The holiday season is right around the corner, and I’m feeling so excited to have this semester over and done with! I’ve been incredibly busy, so it’s going to feel great to relax for five weeks with my family. 

Anyway, today’s article is my winter mood board, and as you can see, I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from neutrals, whites, and feminine touches. 

december moodboard

It may sound surprising to many people, but winter is actually one of my favorite seasons. It probably has to do with me being an introvert; I love to spend time indoors snuggled up with a blanket and a good movie. I also love Christmastime, because it means I get to spend time with my family and friends who I may not get to see often (for example, Eli). I decided to incorporate lots of scenic images of wintertime into this moodboard because it really sums up the energy I’m trying to emote this winter: placid, calm, and graceful.

Additionally, I included a few shots of  sweaters and beanies that I found on google, because I’m really into neutral colors (like I said) and warm, fuzzy fabrics. A good chunk of my closet right now consists of pastel acrylic sweaters, beanies with pompoms, and warm, neutral-toned winter scarves. I like to wear clothes that can be easily layered and customized, because you never know what to predict weather-wise in New England! I also feel like neutrals match my current makeup style very well, which is mostly warm-toned smokey eyes and red lips. I’m hoping to get the “Proof is in the Pudding” palette by Beauty Bakerie in my winter Fab Fit Fun box, because I think that also ties into my current aesthetic well!

Lastly, I wanted to include a couple images of my favorite indoors activities: drinking tea and burning candles! No matter where I am and what I’m doing, I always have at least 4 candles burning throughout my apartment back home. There’s something about the comfortable glow combined with that Christmas-y smell (I burn winter candles year-round) that puts me in a great mood. Right now, my favorite candle is “Crisp Fall Night” by Yankee Candle, and I also love pine-scented tea light candles as well. As for tea, I’m proud to say that I am finally coming around to enjoying tea. I didn’t find it appealing for a while, but now I’m absolutely obsessed with Trader Joe’s Winter Wake Up tea, with a little milk and sugar added.

Anyway, I feel like this moodboard really sums up how my December is going: filled with warm beverages, sweet-smelling candles, and lots of knitting. I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my family, and of course, I’m really excited about writing more content for blogmas! My next post is going to be one of my favorite things to write- a holiday gift guide! So keep your eyes out for that. 🙂

I have to say, each year, summer seems to be getting a little bit better for me. Summer 2016 was terrible. Summer 2017 was almost worse, but in a different way. And summer 2018 left me completely bored out of mind, with a total of .8 friends to occupy my time with.

This summer, I don’t really have any close friends in my hometown, and I still don’t even have a car, but I feel like I’m at one of the happiest points in my life. There a handful of lifestyle changes I have made, and while I definitely feel productive, I’m also giving myself time to relax and catch up on sleep. I’m also at the healthiest point in my life, now that I’ve incorporated a medium-intensity workout into my daily life.

The program I am using is called Body Boss, and so far, I am on week four of the pre-training program. My mom bought the set on Amazon for $100, and although it may seem like a huge investment, I’m actually amazed with the progress I have made so far. This program is definitely not designed for people seeking a low-intensity workout, and it’s certainly reminding me how out of shape I was before I started. The program we bought also comes with food guides and a smoothie recipe book, which I intend on putting to use in the hotter months.

Having an intensive workout routine is actually a lot more fun than I anticipated it to be. I am excited to to wake up and begin my day with exercise, and now that I’m starting to see results, it just motivates me even more and makes me feel amazing about myself. My energy is improved, my sleep is better, and my overall mood is just happy and productive. I guess it is true that exercising can help beat the blues.

Some healthy weight-loss progress!

Every year since 2015, I’ve had an actual summer job that a company or business, but this summer is different. I think it’s common for most students to work full-time in the summer and then focus on school in the fall/spring months, but in my case, I actually worked part-time on my campus. I haven’t had easy experiences with working, especially since I don’t have a car and I always have creepy/toxic co-workers, no matter where I am. I decided to pursue dog-sitting as a summer job this year, because I still want to make money, but I’m ready for a break after working formally for seven months at school. It’s a really low-stress situation for me, and even better, I get to spend time with adorable animals that won’t talk back to me or offend me! One of the biggest reasons that I want to pursue a career as a freelance writer is because I do have such a hard time getting along with people and managing my anxiety, so if that sounds like you, it might be a good idea to pursue dog walking as a summer side hustle. I’m also trying to save $1000 of my earnings by the end of August, with the goal that I won’t have to go back to my toxic school job to get by. Especially since there’s a good chance I’ll be weaning of lexapro, and that will be emotionally draining, I don’t need extra negativity in my life.

Sophie is one of the dogs I walk, and she’s absolutely adorable. Look at that face!

The third way I am keeping myself occupied and productive is with my book club, which I put together myself in March. I love reading, which I’ve stated many times, and I also love being in charge of things and dedicating my time and energy to it. Even if reading isn’t your thing, I recommend finding a niche, club, or activity that you identify with, especially if you’re feeling lonely or bored. I think book clubs are a great way to be social and stimulated, especially in the summer, when you might have the urge to just roll around in bed all day. I’m hoping to find a way to incorporate my book club into this blog, so if you are interested in being a part of that, let me know!

The fourth and final way I am dividing my time is with volunteering, which I would recommend to absolutely everyone. There are so many different fields to volunteer with, and because I love animals, I will be working on a farm/animal shelter this summer. Not only are you keeping yourself busy (and hopefully having fun in the process), you are doing something amazing and positive for your community. I can already say that volunteering has been one of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences of my life, especially since I get to spend it with animals. Volunteering is also very low-stress in regards to commitment, because you generally are able to pick your own hours and regulate the areas in which you would like to dedicate your time.

Those are the top four ways I am beating my summer boredom, making money, and as an introvert, pushing myself to leave the house a few times a week. Like I said, I am really satisfied physically and emotionally with where I am, and I’m so looking forward to continuing this journey of self-love and healthy living. What are you guys’ plans for the summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Coming up next: My Summer 2019 Lookbook