My 10 Favorite Ways to Unwind

Happy Sunday! The weeks seem to be going by quicker and quicker and how we are already almost through the month of February is beyond me. My spring break is right around the corner and we are in the midst midterms as I speak. SO much to think about and prepare for and keep on top of. Life is hard enough, but college. Man, college is hard. We all need to unwind every once in a while. These are 10 of my favorite ways to relax when life just becomes a lot sometimes.

WALK

One of my favorite things to do is going on a walk. I might walk to the lake, around campus, or even just to the mailroom. Just something that gets me moving and my mind off of responsibilities. I usually pop in my headphones and listen to some playlists or my favorite podcasts. The Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard is my personal favorite at the moment!!

PAMPER

If this isn’t obvious by this point I LOVE pamper nights. Take a shower, moisturize your body, apply a hair or face mask and paint your nails. I find that making myself feel my best helps me do my best, in all things.

READ

Disconnect for a while. Light a candle, grab a cup of tea and read a book. Sometimes it’s nice to escape your world and enter someone else’s reality. I have a few with me here at school and it’s a nice distraction. I also love Audible for listening to books when I am on the go and walking to class or taking the shuttle downtown.

JOURNAL

Start your day by writing down your thoughts and what you need to accomplish. It helps to lay out everything in front of you so you can tackle one thing at a time. Aside from making a to-do list, I also find that making a gratitude list is super beneficial to my day. It puts me in the right head space and brings me back to what’s important.

CRAFT

This isn’t something I usually gravitate towards but it really does help. My favorite is coloring in those incredible adult coloring books. Anything to stimulate your mind in a more creative way than school does.

COOK

Experiment in the kitchen. Try a new recipe from your Pinterest board. Bake something. Mug cakes have been a recent find of mine and there are COUNTLESS recipes, even “healthy” ones! But also cookies are always a good option.

LISTEN

Make a playlist with your current favorite songs so that you can be ready to face the week. Music can actually influence your mood, so why not make a playlist with happy and upbeat songs to listen to on your journey to school or work?

SOCIALIZE

I know more than anyone sometimes I just need my alone time. Especially when I have a lot going on this is a crucial part in getting me through. BUT it does help to see some familiar faces and focus on other people

WATCH

It sounds great to read and switch off, but we can’t stay away from the Internet for too long, am I right? The weather is still cold, so there’s few things better than to snuggle up on the couch binge-watching a tv show. Netflix, Hulu, HBO go, go crazy.

SLEEP

I need so much sleep. I always have and probably always will. I seriously get at least 8 hours a night, even in college. I can’t function without it. Sometimes that’s all our body needs is a little extra rest. SO let it have it so you can conquer the time you’re awake!!!

XOXO Anna

Foodie Finds: Goddess and the Baker

How I have lived in Chicago for over a year now and haven’t tried this place until last weekend is beyond me. Do you ever see something or walk into a place and just go, “WOW.” Because that’s how I felt when I stepped foot into Goddess and the Baker. I was amazed and completely taken aback. There was this amazing light up neon sign on one wall, a wall of windows on the next, and then a whole section of just pastry after pastry all lined up nicely in the case. The aesthetics were everything so it already had at least a 7/10 in my book. Now all that was left to try was the actual food and coffee. I had pretty high expectations from all of the reviews I had read prior to going. I was hastily looking up the menu on the train ride there trying to figure out my order ahead of time. Breakfast sandwiches, a burrito, oatmeal, açai bowls, parfaits, omelettes, avocado toast, you name it they had it. I opted for the “morning sandwich” and boy was I not let down. I was blown away with how good this sandwich was. I accompanied my breakfast with a vanilla latte and man was it a glorious combination. This brought my overall score up to a solid 10/10 would recommend.

Of course we had a photoshoot while we were there because pictures are memories and memories are everything.

So if you are in the Chicago area please please please check this place out, you will not be disappointed! And if you are, well blame me. BUT you won’t be, I promise.

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XOXO Anna

Will You Be My Galentine?

Oh Valentine’s Day, the holiday with the most love-hate relationships. People love to hate on Valentine’s Day for all the romantic and lovey-dovey cheesiness it brings. But at the end of the day, it’s a day celebrating love — and I’m down with that. Because who doesn’t love love?? Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, some of your best gal pals, your family, or your pup… it’s all love. Since I’m away living my college life in Chicago I will be spending this Valentine’s Day with my gal pals. And everyone who is anyone knows that this special day has been coined Galentine’s Day, the Valentine’s Day spent with your gals, on February 13th. And anyone who has no idea what I am talking about or what I am referring to, here is the lovely Miss Knope to explain:

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Now that that’s out of the way let’s get into it! So if you’re hanging with your besties this holiday, here are some fun slash cute slash AHMAZING ideas of what to actually do!

HAVE A SLEEPOVER

Gather up all of your bffs and bring it old school! Binge watch your favorite Netflix show or marathon a movie series. Pop some popcorn, get ALL the snacks, pump the old tunes, and build a blanket fort for all I care! This is such a good idea for some serious catching up and much needed girl talk.

BAKING PARTY

I’m at least speaking for my friends and I when I say we LOVE to bake and therefore EAT all of the baked goods. AND Valentine’s Day is ALL about the sweets so why not take advantage of it?? It’s all about the comfort and all about the fun. There are so many options to bake! Pinterest is the epitome of everything food wise. There are so many recipes to choose from. Take one and run with it, baby.

MANI-PEDI DATE

You don’t always have time to plan an elaborate movie night at your house so you can go out to do things too! A couple hours spent pampering is never a bad thing. SO find a girlfriend that might also need a polish change and set up a time to meet up. This is great way to not spend the whole day while still getting to hang with your friends and treat yo self.

BRUNCH AT HOME OR ON THE TOWN

One of my personal favorites and I know a lot of other people’s too is the inevitable brunch. You could host a brunch or go out on the town to a fun new trendy restaurant. If you host, make sure to send out invites and come up with a fun vday menu (full of a possible waffle bar)?! And a pj’s only rule is must. So whichever one you decide, fill up with all the conversation, iced coffee, and avo toast your little heart desires.

I hope that whatever you thoughts are on Valentine’s Day, this year you can find it in your heart to have some good old fashioned fun with your girls!

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Happy Galentine’s Day to all my ladies!! LADIES CELEBRATING LADIES! Will you be my galentine?

XOXO Anna

 

 

 

Mood lifters

Happy Sunday and happy February!! I felt like January was the longest month ever. Getting back into the swing of things at school and getting out of my winter break mindset all together. The winter can be a very difficult time to function. I know I get in a funk every few days just simply because of the frigid weather and lack of sunshine. Anyone who knows me knows that I love making my lists. It can be a list about anything, just to get some thoughts down on paper. I made a list of some of my “mood lifters” that help me when the skies are grey or I may just not be having the best day. I encourage you to make a list, whether it is about things that lift your mood or simply just what makes you happiest. You can also check out my blog post from a couple weeks ago for what to do when you get in a rut. These go hand in hand, and I find make all the difference. A mood lifter for me is anything that makes me feel like myself in it’s purest form. Something that makes me smile. They can be small or big, just like my little list here:

  • game night with my friends
  • calls with my mom
  • walks by lake michigan
  • walks downtown chicago
  • doing well on an exam after I studied my booty off
  • being able to sleep in
  • seeing people I love happy
  • eating really yummy food
  • sunshine on a gloomy day
  • finishing a good book
  • seeing my family
  • petting a random dog on the street
  • arnold palmer’s
  • planning my summer abroad

These are just a few of the things that have been boosting my mood lately. A lot of these things have to do with being with people and a few also have to do with being alone. For me, I have to find a good mix of the two. I refuel on alone time and it’s important for me in the way I live my life. However, my number one love language is quality time so that is also very important to me in spending time with the people I love. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you. Finding the secret combination that will make you shine and be the best you you can be. Find your own mood lifters, write them down, think about them in your head, put them in your notes on your phone, whatever method is just fine. Have them ready when you need them and take advantage of them! BE HAPPY!!!

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XOXO Anna