Hello again!

Hi y’all! Week number one of the semester is done (15 more to go!) and I had a little time to post a life/goals update and some journal prompts and ideas for you lovely people. This will probably end up being a rather short post, but I miss writing here and will write what I can, when I can.

As for my daily life, not too much has changed: I go to school Monday through Friday, spend time with my friends and family, and do my best in order to pet as many damn animals as I can haha. Life is a bit quiet at the moment but I am enjoying it to the fullest. Going to school full time- even at just a community college- can be overwhelming and busy, so I genuinely enjoy whatever peace I can find!

Concerning my goals, however, my life has been a little more exciting and lively. Although I have big and general goals for 2015, I decided to break them up into smaller and more specific goals that I will work on each month. For example, one of my annual goals is to continue learning and becoming a smarter, more informed person. So every month I aim to read at least one book (which sounds totally wimpy but when you’re a student time becomes scarce!) and keep up to date on current events. My monthly goals for January are:

★ Read a book

★ Complete & send in 3 writing submissions

★ Make good grades

★ Volunteer once a week

★ Blog daily

★ Maintain healthy habits

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished one of those goals already (I finished a book I started in December and then read a captivating fiction novel) and am halfway through on the second. I have also been doing my best to maintain healthier habits, which means I’ve been keeping on track with my skincare routine, staying hydrated, making and eating healthy meals, resisting junk foods (unless I’m having my daily treat), going to bed at an earlier time, keeping good hygiene, etc. This goal, along with achieving good grades, will have its success shown at the very end of the month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Unfortunately, I have not accomplished the remaining two goals- blogging daily and volunteering once a week. I’m going to be honest and say that the first is completely unreasonable given my schedule during the semester, and as far as the latter goal, I’ve been damn lazy. I could get off my butt and sign up for duty at the soup kitchen, donate some items to the self-help pantry of the city’s Epilepsy foundation, etc. These things are plausible and totally doable. But I’ve been lazy and a tad selfish this month. I’ve spent so much working on myself that I’ve forgotten that part of self-love and inner-peace is helping to better the lives of others around you. So while I won’t be able to check these things off of my list, for the remainder of the month I’m going to keep writing when I have the time/energy and at least once donate my time and efforts to a good cause. I just need to do it; otherwise I’m wasting some of the life that I’ve been blessed with. As the beautiful-inside-and-out Audrey Hepburn once said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at each end of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.” Words to live by, my friend.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you all a few of the journal prompts I thought up this morning:

★ What are the things going right in my life? What am I doing right in my life?

★ What are the things going wrong in my life, and what am I doing wrong?

★ How can I turn those wrong things around or use them for the greater good of myself and others?

I hope this post resonates with you in some way. We all fall off the wagon but we must remember to celebrate our successes- no matter how small- and get back on track and continue working hard. How are your goals going? Are you enjoying January? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day & lots of happy moments,

Violet XO

How To Help: Easy Ways To Help Others

A big part of discovering oneself and the path to self-love is loving others. Once you begin to see the good in yourself, it becomes even easier to see the good in others. Being comfortable with yourself assists you in being comfortable around others and looking at them through a wider perspective. And after all, we have more than enough love and compassion within us- it’s time to spread some of that joy and adoration around!

The world is a huge place, with thousands of issues that need to be solved and millions of people that need to be helped. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking overwhelming. A lot of us hesitate to help others because we simply don’t know how and where to start. What can I do? Where can I lend my personal abilities? How can I make any bit of difference?

Because the world needs us all to pitch in (and because I know from experience just how intimidated and lost one can feel when trying to help out) here are ten easy ways to help others. I hope this list helps you begin the process and get y’all in the habit of doing what you can! I know I’ll be doing the same.

1. Host a food drive and donate the bounty to your local food pantry or self-help pantry. Or, buy some non-perishable foods yourself and donate them.

2. Donate blood. If you’ve never done this before and can physically do it, do it at least once. I’m horrible with blood and needles- and the experience was pretty terrifying- but I pushed myself to do it just once. It’s okay if you don’t become a frequent donor; just one donation can help save up to three people.

3. Go on a Litter Walk. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one before. Grab a friend or a relative and take a nice, long walk outside. Pick up as much litter as you can find and dispose of it accordingly. Recycle what you can, too!

4. Purchase gently-worn clothing from thrift stores (i.e. pants, jeans, shirts, sweaters, coats, etc.) and new socks from a nearby store. Donate them (along with any gently-used clothing you want to give from your own closet) to your local homeless shelter. Another thing they are always in need of are basic hygienic items, such as travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, plain chapstick, deodorant, etc.

5. Make blankets and distribute them to those who need them, be it at a homeless shelter, a local church’s charity, or the elderly couple down the street that have come down with a cold. An easy and efficient way to make blankets can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fleece-Tie-Blanket.

6. During the winter season and when it snows heavily, volunteer to shovel your parents’, grandparents’, or neighbors’ driveways. This can be a rough time of year, especially for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

7. Visit an animal shelter (or even your closest Petsmart or Petco) and find out if they need anyone to volunteer their time, effort, and love. Even if all of the custodial duties are fulfilled, they may want someone to take the animals on walks or just spend an hour or two playing with them. If all else fails, you can always donate cat/dog food, toys, litter, treats, etc.

8. Sign up on DoSomething.org. This is a reputable and incredible website and organization that is specifically meant for helping people find ways to help others. I highly recommend it! They have a large variety of causes and campaigns, from animal rights to helping Syrian refugees. If you do only one thing on this list, do this one. And make sure to find a cause that suits your needs and talents. (:

9. Spread kindness around your school or workplace. After learning about operationbeautiful.com, I spent most of my high school days writing positive and inspiring notes and posting them all around when no one was looking. I still do it to this day because I’ve had friends (who didn’t know it was me, at the time) who found a note or two and kept them in their room or something because it made them feel so good and happy about life and themselves.

10. Lastly, help out around home. Do your normal set of chores quick and early in the day so your guardians aren’t stressed about it. Help them when they go grocery shopping and put away the produce for them. Pick up things that are too heavy for them to safely pick up. Do the chore they like the least so that they have one less item on their To Do list.

I hope this helped you get in the mood of helping others and spending your free-time wisely. Let me know in the comments section what you do to help others. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Much love,

Violet XO

Temporary Goodbye

Happy Wednesday, loves! I hope your days have been incredibly wonderful so far. I start school next week, so unfortunately, I will no longer be able to post as frequently as I have during this winter break. This is my temporary goodbye to all of you beautiful souls. I hope to be able to post at least once a week, but depending on my workload for classes I can’t promise anything. Until then, I’ll be wishing you all the best. Take care of yourselves, babes! You are worth it. 🙂

When surrounded by stressful people.. -_-“

Good morning, internet lovelies. How was your weekend? What’s the weather like where you are? I hope that these past few days have been whatever you wanted them to be and you had nothing but positive moments. As for myself, this weekend has been hell (as is every weekend when my brother and his family stay over). These people are the opposite of my parents and I- we like quiet and calm, we stick to a normal routine/schedule, and we go to bed at a decent hour most of the time. My brother and his family, on the other hand, are consistently late (3 hours tardy to their own wedding, hello), loud and obnoxious at most hours of the day and night, and they thrive and feed off of petty drama. Every single time we’re in contact they cause problems and in short they’re just very disrespectful to themselves and others. I love them, because they’re my family, but I hate what they do with their time. Most of the time I can distance myself from them since they live in another state now and can no longer pop over uninvited every week. But on weekends such as these, I have no real choice in the matter.

So what does a person do when they are unfortunately surrounded by drama-fueled, stressful people?

To be honest, I’m still figuring the whole shebang out. But I can share my tips with y’all that seem to work with me; I will share them because I know shitty, negative people are a part of life a lot of people deal with and we need all the help we can get.

1. Garner alone time for yourself. This is especially important when the Negative Nancy’s happen to live in your humble abode. Carve out time to be spent by yourself, whether that means holing yourself up in your room, going outside for a long walk, listening to your iPod, etc. If you want to survive this, you need some You Time. Otherwise you’ll not only stay stressed, but you might become increasingly resentful towards your loved ones for encroaching on your space- anger does not do the body good.

2. Be positiveIt’s ridiculously easy to fall into a disgruntled trap of feeling annoyed and angry at the universe for doing you this disservice. It’s totally fine to feel angry or upset in general, but be very careful not to wallow in it- both your mind and the universe are listening to you. When you focus on what you don’t want/what you’re upset about/how terrible you feel for too long, the world is going to grant your wish. And no, it’s not the wish that these people go away that will be granted, but your feelings and thoughts that will be repeated and brought into the world. For example, when you get caught up in feeling shoved around by whomever is being a little shit, you’re going to find more instances of the situation occurring and you’ll only become more irritated, and sure that the universe is out to get you and your life is miserable. Instead, focus on what you desire to feel- free, firm, at peace, whatever you’d like. It’s the same sort of sentiment, except you’re actively choosing positive words and thoughts. This is the kind of wish you want granted.

3. Lastly, gratitude is the attitude. It’s an easier life for us when we remember all of the things we are blessed to have. I may have had annoying and rude people in my house, but in order for that to happen I must have a home- a roof over my head, walls shielding me from outside annoyances, etc.- so I am grateful. It’s an interesting spin, right? Try a similar exercise with your current problems and you may discover your burdens are a much lighter load than your blessings. Writing down a gratitude list or praying about what you’re thankful for is also very effective and calming. To be grateful is to be given a new, greater perspective on your life.

I hope these little tips help you when you feel overwhelmed by stressful people. Let me know in the comments if they helped or if you have any life-savers of your own!

Making Resolutions & Goals Stick: Putting In Your Intentions!

Hello there, cupcake! ‘Tis Monday again, and for some of you it’s back to school or work after a brief holiday break. Now more than ever- if you truly want to stick to your resolutions or goals- is the time to strengthen your foundation. This foundation will be the core of your desire and willpower to power through your goals, step by step, and achieve what you might alright be thinking is impossible. But if you really want success for yourself, you need to mean business. We’re five days into the new year, and in the words of Neil Patrick Harris’s family holiday card, it’s time to “Make 2015 your bitch”!

Many times when we fail at achieving a certain goal we set for ourselves, it’s because we start off with a shaky foundation. A weak foundation will only make you more likely to crumble, and you’re honestly too awesome for that shit. Keeping resolutions is hard enough without the extra pressure to sit still and let your hard work deteriorate. It’s all too easy to just think, There’s always next year. But like I said, you are a rad and beautiful and all-around-lovely person- you CAN achieve what you personally believe is success, whether that means eating less junk food, flossing once a day, complimenting yourself and others once a day, etc. Your goals don’t have to be massive or world-altering. After all, the best and most powerful way to change the world is to first change yourself.

Here are a few things that will help strengthen your foundation; all of them fall under the phrase “putting your intentions into” things. 2015 is your year!

You gotta inspire yourself. No one is going to do it for you. That’s right- the muses won’t whisper in your ears every day, nor will you have constant “A-ha!” moments. That is on you. You can’t just wait for inspiration to find you, it just doesn’t work like that. The way people stay inspired and their desires stay aflame is because they motivate themselves. Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you- go out and find it. Make an Inspiration board on Pinterest that you can look at every morning, set up a playlist with motivational tunes that get your passion all fiery, look up TEDxTALKs that relate to your mission, etc. Your goals and journeys are your own, and so is your determination to get things done.

Symbols, symbols, symbols. There’s a reason why so many people are finding a place in new-agey spirituality- as humans we absolutely adore symbolism. We love hidden meanings or just that meaning is placed within something. Something about symbolism attracts us, calls us. You can use this to your advantage! Create symbols that correspond to your desire/future achievement/goal/your end result and then use them as often as you can. For example, let’s say your long-term goal for 2015 is to find harmony within yourself and your world. You find that certain colors, greens and blues, make you feel calm and at peace. You also find pictures of the Yin-Yang and peace sign relax you and put you at ease. You might even perceive a certain animal as the picture of harmony within the self and the world. Once you know what symbols work best for you and your cause, use them every damn day. Paint your nails teal, wear shades of blue, find a pendant with a Yin-Yang or peace sign charm, find an animal totem that fits your description, draw those symbols on your wrist, etc. There are so many possibilities. Use these symbols in ways that you will constantly see them and be reminded of what you’re working for. Put intention into how you decorate yourself and your environment.

Lastly, write that shit down. Oftentimes, when giving advice, successful people suggest journaling, writing every day, or just having some sort of creative outlet to express your desires/how the journey is going/what it will be like when you accomplish your goals. Writing things (or drawing things) down is a way to help remind the brain what you are doing and why. It helps the resolutions stick in your mind, and it is by far the easiest way to put your intentions into something. Keeping an art journal, a diary, or a daily blog (hehe) will help tremendously.

I hope these tips help you along the path that you’ve chosen to walk! Let me know what your goals are, or what you do to put your intentions into what you do. Wishing y’all the best of luck! XXOO

Best Of 2014: Full of Positivity, Body Love, & Inspiration! (PART THREE, BOOKS & MUSIC)

Good morning, beautiful! The Best of 2014 series has drawn to an end- today’s shall be my last post dedicated to 2014. After all, we’re two days into the new year! It’s time to get in the groove of 2015. For more information regarding this series, you can check out my two most recent posts. Without further adieu, here are my favorite self-help books and inspiring songs of 2014…

✦ BOOKS ✦

✦ “Beautiful You: A daily guide to radical self-acceptance” By Rosie Molinary

✦ “The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life” By Thomas Moore

✦ “The Goddess Is In The Details: Wisdom For The Everyday Witch” By Deborah Blake

✦ “The Miracle of Self-Love: The Secret Key To Open All Doors” By Barbel Mohr

✧ MUSIC ✧

✧ “Miss Movin’ On”~ Fifth Harmony

✧ “BO$$”~ Fifth Harmony

✧ “Anklebiters”~ Paramore

✧ “Feeling Sorry”~ Paramore

✧ “Wings”~ Little Mix

✧ “All About That Bass”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Close Your Eyes”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Shake It Off”~ Taylor Swift

✧ “Last Hope”~ Paramore

✧ “All About That Bass” Cover (Not About Your Waist)~ Natty Valencia

✧ “Salute”~ Little Mix

✧ “Dear Future Husband”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Skyscraper”~ Demi Lovato

✧ “Warrior”~ Demi Lovato

✧ “Hello Cold World”~ Paramore

I hope you guys enjoyed this short series and some of the things I’ve shared with y’all! Did your favorite book or song make my list? What would you add?

Tomorrow I embrace 2015 and let 2014 rest. Much love,

Violet XXOO

Best Of 2014: Full of Positivity, Body Love, & Inspiration! (PART TWO, ONLINE POSTS/PAGES)

Happy New Year, darlings! I’m wishing all of you joyous moments and loving memories for this new year. Today I’m continuing the Best of 2014 series and the final post for this shall be up sometime tomorrow. For more information regarding the series, check out my previous post. I’m sharing many links so I’ll make the intro short and get right into it! (;

~ONLINE POSTS & PAGES~

☯ Gala Darling ( http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-make-2014-the-best-year-of-your-life/ )

☯ More Gala ( http://galadarling.com/article/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-your-period-suck-less/ )

☯ Bubz ( http://www.bubzbeauty.com/diary/312-taking-a-break.html )

☯ Miss Varlow ( http://dangerdame.com/2014/12/08/5-ways-to-punch-seasonal-depression-in-the-face/ )

☯ What do you want? ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16446/want-to-find-out-what-you-really-want-ask-these-essential-questions.html )

☯ Thrive ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16661/10-ways-to-truly-thrive.html )

☯ Stop Judging Your Body ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14033/10-ways-to-stop-judging-your-body-so-harshly.html )

☯ Kindness ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16700/how-to-approach-the-world-with-more-kindness.html )

☯ Gabby Bernstein ( http://gabbyb.tv/blogs/1-key-success )

☯ Michelle Phan ( http://michellephan.com/how-to-strengthen-your-relationships/ )

☯ More Mish ( http://michellephan.com/10-best-inspirational-quotes-to-live-by/ )

☯ A goldmine of Louise Hay affirmations! ( http://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/ )

☯ Justine Musk ( http://justinemusk.com/2014/11/17/heroines-journey-soul-happiness/ )

☯ Musk Again ( http://justinemusk.com/2014/10/19/heroines-journey/ )

☯ Make Your Own Desire Map ( http://www.daniellelaporte.com/thedesiremap/graphic-maker )

☯ Loving Light ( http://galadarling.com/article/50-ways-to-put-the-light-back-in-your-heart/ )

☯ Happy & Healthy ( http://galadarling.com/article/new-year-new-routine-10-things-i-do-to-keep-myself-feeling-happy-healthy-magical/ )

☯ RSL! ( http://galadarling.com/article/100-ways-you-can-start-loving-yourself-right-now/ )

☯ More RSL ( http://galadarling.com/article/10-really-easy-ways-you-can-love-yourself-more-today/ )

☯ Be a Love Letter ( http://galadarling.com/article/100-ways-to-be-a-love-letter-to-the-universe/ )

What were your favorite posts/website pages of 2014? Did you like any of the links I’ve provided? Let me know in the comments!