A Day at the Beach: South Haven, MI

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Monday was our 8 year anniversary, 2 years married and 6 years dating. Brett and I both took the day off of work so we could spend time together. We decided to head to South Haven which is about an hour from our house.

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South Haven is a little town in Southwest Michigan located along Lake Michigan. One of the best things about Michigan is all of the lakes! We usually spend time at one of our smaller local lakes but being only an hour from Lake Michigan is pretty amazing. South Haven is special to me because my grandpa, the landscape artist, worked on the design of the downtown area.

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We started our day at the beach by wandering through the downtown area with all of the cute shops. My favorites are the Blueberry Store where you can buy products made from locally grown blueberries and the pet store, Decadent Dogs. After wandering through a few stores we stopped for lunch at Clementine’s.

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Clementine’s usually has a line out the door and is a must for any trip to South Haven! Because it was a Monday we were able to get seated right away! I got the Outlaw steak and a strawberry daiquiri. This is my usual Clementine’s order.

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After lunch, Brett and I headed for the antique stores. We love to go hunting for antiques! My favorite thing to collect are tea cups and dishes of any kind. I’m lucky to have a set of china from my grandma but I still love collecting pieces of china here and there. Brett collects aviation related items and vintage signs. Brett was able to find an aviation sign for our outdoor bar and some vintage beer labels for our basement.

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We grabbed some boba smoothies and headed for the beach! It was the perfect summer day in Michigan, 81 degrees and sunny! The beach was pretty packed for a Monday but we were able to find a parking spot right away! We set up camp near the water and I read while Brett napped. We did a bit of swimming and hanging out on the sand bar.

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Being at the beach always makes me sleepy so after a couple of hours we packed up. Before heading home we made sure to stop at Sherman’s Ice Cream! Sherman’s is a must for any South Haven adventure! My favorite ice cream flavor is Chocomania.

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We had a great beach day and it definitely reminded me that I need to make more time to spend with Brett. We spend a ton of time with family and friends but rarely make time for just the two of us unless we are traveling. I loved spending the day with him!

If you are ever visiting Michigan, I would highly recommend a day in South Haven! We barely scratched the surface of all of the great things to do in this adorable beach town!

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I Just Want to Travel

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I love to travel. There’s just something so amazing about exploring a new place, culture, way of life, that really makes me feel alive. I love wandering around new cities and getting lost. I love listening to people speak different languages and wondering what they are saying.

Every year my vacation days refresh and I begin to plan all of the things I want to do and see. My work is pretty good about vacation time but it never seems to be enough for me. There’s a whole world out there that I want to explore!

Brett also loves to travel so we talk constantly about the next places on our bucketlist. In 2020 we really want to visit Amsterdam and Prague but I’d love to sneak in a few days in London. We didn’t plan a big trip in 2019 because we traveled to Florida, Arizona, Oregon, and Florida again. I think we will visit Massachusetts or New Hampshire in the fall though!

Travel is something that is always on my heart and mind. I visited Europe for the first time in 2011 and became addicted to exploring new places. There are so many places that I haven’t been and I’m looking forward to visiting all of them!

Do you love to travel?

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Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash

 

 

Learning How to Say “No”

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I’m a people pleaser and that’s not always a good thing. I hate disappointing people and nothing brings me more joy than helping someone in need. This people pleasing quality gets me in trouble a lot of the time because I make other people happy but don’t have time to chase my own happiness.

I’ve been struggling lately with this because sometimes people take advantage of how caring I am. I get myself in situations where I’m so busy taking care of other people that I don’t take care of myself. I end up exhausted, crying, and swearing that I’ll make a change and start saying “no”.

This weekend we had a family member ask me to do something for her and her family that went way too far. I want to help them but helping them would hurt my mental health in a way that would take too long to recover from. I don’t want to go into details but I had to have a serious conversation with Brett and luckily we both agreed that I had to say no.

Saying no is hard, especially when you love the person and want to help them. But sometimes you have to say no in order to protect yourself from damage. It feels selfish and wrong but it’s needed. I hate disappointing people and I know that this decision will hurt my relationship with the person. But this time I have to put myself first. I have to save myself from something that will damage me.

Taking care of yourself is more than just “self-care Sunday”. Taking care of yourself means protecting your mental health, your energy, and your well-being. It means learning to say “no” to things that will hurt you. Put yourself first, you’re worth it!

Do you have a hard time saying no to people? Any advice on getting over being a people pleaser?

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Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

2019: Second Quarter Goals Recap

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In April I posted my second quarter goals with the hopes of accomplishing everything on my list. I think I did a pretty good job considering that Q2 flew right by! I’m starting to think that I have a terrible sense of time because I blink and it’s the end of the quarter.

  1. Create a self-care routine. I’ve come to the conclusion that self-care is different for everyone. I’m not really the bath and face mask type even though I really want to be. I spent Q2 creating a non-stressful nighttime routine including a time to be in bed every night. I took melotonin so that I could sleep better and started doing at home workouts and nightly walks. All of these things made me feel like I was taking more time for myself instead of being so stressed out all of the time.
  2. Learn two new recipes to add to our dinner rotation. Done and done. I wanted to include learning how to cook a ham for Easter in this but decided that I should learn something else. 🙂 I learned how to make crack chicken in the crockpot and lemon chicken with feta and garlic asparagus. Pretty proud of myself since I despise cooking.
  3. Start planning out our summer schedule. I hate coordinating my busy summer schedule with Brett’s even busier summer schedule. I feel like I never get to see him and that’s why I wanted to prioritize our schedules this summer. So far everything has gone well and both of our schedules are mapped out.
  4. Finish my spring cleaning projects. I didn’t get everything done on my list but I do feel really good about the progress I’ve made organizing our house. The basement and storage room still need help but I think that the rest of the house is looking really good! We even got around to power washing the house and cleaning the gutters.
  5. Get a quote to have our driveway re-done. We got the quote and it’s pretty expensive. We bought our house at the top of the market so we decided that it’s probably best to only do one big house project. We’d rather spend the money on a new bathroom instead of getting the driveway re-done.
  6. Go shopping and do a spring wardrobe refresh! I pretty much failed at this. I was able to buy a couple new pairs of work pants and some shorts and tops. But I didn’t go through my closet and donate/sell the clothes I’m not using. I really do need to buy some more clothes but I’m trying to be extremely picky.

Q2 was really great and I’m looking forward to a busy and rewarding Q3! I’ll be posting my Q3 goals soon so be on the lookout for those.

How was the first half of 2019 for you?

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

National Migraine Awareness Month

June National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

I’m sure you have heard of other National “insert illness” Awareness Months before. June is the awareness month for migraines and headaches. The goal is to raise awareness and recognition for migraine treatment, patients, and more.

As a migraine sufferer I know how hard it is to have other people understand what it’s like to live day to day with the constant pain of a headache or migraine. I understand how debilitating and lonely it can be. What gives me hope is knowing that there are millions of other people who want to raise awareness too. People who want to share their stories and join the fight to find new research and treatment options.

My migraine story started when I was in high school and have continued throughout my twenties. I don’t know if I will ever not have a headache or migraine but the odds seemed to be stacked against me. However, three new treatments options were released in 2018 so I have hope that something will be created that will help me.

If you are struggling with migraines or headaches, just know that you aren’t alone. There are millions of other people in the world who are also suffering which is why it’s so important to raise awareness. If we all stand together we have the opportunity to have our stories make an impact and bring about real change.

Migraines are an invisible illness. When you call in sick from work with a “headache” most people think you are lying or should suck it up. But for some people, including me, living with the constant head pain is reality. We are told that we look healthy and not chronically ill.

Well, this is what chronic migraine looks like. I drag myself out of bed every morning, brush my hair, and throw on enough makeup to look somewhat decent. I don’t feel good, I want to go back to bed, but I go to work and continue living my life the best I can. If I really don’t feel good I work from home or take a sick day. I know I’m lucky to work for an amazing company but I’ve heard other people’s stories about being fired for not being able to come into work.

This pain could ruin my life if I let it. I could stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself. But I won’t. I’m out living my life and talking about how I feel. I want spread awareness. I want people to know that headaches are a real problem. I want doctors to find new treatment options. I want to be taken seriously.

I won’t let migraines ruin my life. Some days are better than others. Some days feel like the worst days of my life. But I know that things could be worse. I’m still able to work, own a house, be a dog/cat mom, and travel. Migraines make all of these things so much harder but it’s rewarding to know that I am able to overcome the pain most days and accomplish big things.

June 21st is the Annual Shades for Migraine Awareness Day led by the Association of Migraine Disorders. If you see people on social media posting pictures of themselves wearing sunglasses with the hashtags #shadesformigraines and #MHAM this is why. These people are sharing their support for the millions of people worldwide with migraines.

I’ll be wearing my sunglasses on June 21st. Will you?

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Image via American Migraine Foundation

 

May According to my iPhone

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May was a super busy month for me! It wasn’t very memorable and slightly boring though. Mostly work, family time, dog walks, and time at the lake. Here’s a quick recap of what my life looked like in May.

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Let’s start with the world’s happiest dog, Oscar! We celebrated his first gotcha day in May. This means that one year ago we adopted Oscar from the animal shelter and brought his home to join our family. You can read his full adoption story here. It was really important to both Brett and I that we rescue a dog and give them a good life after a not so great start. I think we have succeeded so far!

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May was dreary and rainy for the most part but we still had some good times at the lake! I’m ready for summer!

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May was the last week of my work’s walking challenge. Brett, Oscar, and I walked pretty much every day around are neighborhood. My boys are so cute! ❤

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It was beautiful a beautiful spring in Michigan (when it wasn’t raining)! I love seeing everything come to life after a long winter.

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Oscar isn’t a fan of swimming but he loves sitting on the dock! We enjoyed our first real lake day on Memorial Day!

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My grandparent’s got a new boat this year and we took it on it’s maiden voyage on Memorial Day! Such a fun day with family!

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Here’s a quick look at our upstairs guest bedroom. I never fully decorated it when we moved in so I’m finally getting around to making it feel like a welcoming part of our home. Here’s a before and hopefully I’ll have an after soon! It’s a huge space because it’s a converted attic so it’s the length of our house. The old owners used it as their master bedroom.

Did you do anything fun in May? What are you looking forward to in June?

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Summer 2019 Bucketlist

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June is here which means it’s practically summertime in Michigan! Summer is always so busy for us so I like to make a list of things that I want to get done. Pretty much every weekend in the summer we are at an airshow so my free time is super limited. Creating a bucketlist helps me to actually enjoy my summer!

  • Watch fireworks
  • Have a bonfire and roast s’mores
  • Go hiking
  • Host a cookout
  • Learn how to mow the lawn
  • Plant flowers
  • Paint our dressers
  • Go kayaking
  • Spend as much time at the lake as possible
  • Try to teach Oscar to swim
  • Go for boat rides
  • Spend a day doing nothing but reading
  • Go to the beach
  • Eat dinner outside every night for a week
  • Plan a small wedding anniversary trip
  • Airshows, airshows, airshows

What are your plans for this summer?

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash