it's a love hate relationship

Well, you should know by now that I live in Arizona. If you've never been to AZ, let me tell you what its like. During the winter, it feels like what the rest of the country feels like in the spring. If you want to know what it feels like during the summer, walk into your kitchen, turn on the oven, and go ahead and crawl inside. It's a desert, so its very brown and dry and not very pretty.
When the theme for March's Ten Favorite Things was "The Place You Call Home," I had a really hard time coming up with ten things about Arizona that I loved. Or even liked. I thought it was ugly, boring, hot, and all around just a terrible place. I never understood why people would choose to live here. I had it in my mind that I would be out of here as soon as possible. Especially being in Germany where everything was green and pretty- I realized that I wanted to wake up everyday, look out my window, and see pretty green grass and have a nice view, not rock and cacti.

But as graduation gets closer, and DJ and I get closer to spending our lives together, I think about living in Arizona more and more. We're going to move back to Phoenix once DJ is out of the Air Force, and at first, I wasn't happy about it. I knew we had to, because that's where we both needed to go for school and we want to be around our families once we start our own family, but I still didn't like the idea.

I must say, though. It's growing on me. Being in Montana, I've realized how much I belong in a big city. There isn't much to do here. There's a ton of outdoorsy things to do, but you have to drive far and the weather has to be nice. So it makes it tricky to just get up and go without planning. So basically almost every day can be pretty boring. DJ and I have fun together because, well, we're together. But I definitely couldn't imagine living here forever. There's a mall with like 4 stores. We go to the same few restaurants. THERE'S NO IN N OUT. Its so fun being here with him, but I'm very excited for us to move home so we have more to do.

Plus, my friends are back home. I have a total of one friend in Great Falls. I have a total of two friends at home so its definitely better there. Ha, just kidding I have a few more friends than that, but anyway. I know that DJ misses his friends terribly, and I know that when I move here at the end of the year I'm going to miss mine too. We dream about the day we can invite all of our friends over for a barbecue and see them (and our family) whenever we want.

Phoenix is really a great city. Sure, its ugly. Its hot. There's too many homeless people and really bad traffic. But its also huge and there are so many opportunities. There's plenty of opportunity for us to find jobs once we move back here. ASU (boo) is there so we have a place to go to school. I'll still be a Wildcat at heart though, don't worry. There are so many cute restaurants and things to do for date night. It's a great place to raise kids. There are some really nice neighborhoods, and some amazing people. We have every professional sport, tons of good concerts, and some really fun places to go out.

I really have a love hate relationship with this place I call home. Some days I'm so beyond excited to live there again. Some days I tell DJ we have to move to Colorado or something. But in all seriousness, I'm lucky that I'm from such a great city.

Do you love the place you call home?
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it's a love hate relationship

Well, you should know by now that I live in Arizona. If you've never been to AZ, let me tell you what its like. During the winter, it feels like what the rest of the country feels like in the spring. If you want to know what it feels like during the summer

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the long weekend!

Hello my lovely friends! I hope everyone had a good long weekend. You might've noticed that I got a little face lift! I'm excited about it but it'll probably change again because, you know, I'm indecisive

Also, I started offering blog consultations as a sponsorship package and they'll soon be up on the design site too. I have been doing consultations for a while for free- just helping some girls out with anything they need, and I figured that it could be helpful to offer it to all of you. I'm of course no professional here, but I do feel like I have enough knowledge of blogging and design to help a sista out! So basically it will be an hour (ish) session via Skype (or phone or whatever works) where you have free reign over the topic. If you're just starting out, I can help with anything you need. If you're looking to grow your blog, I can help you come up with a strategy. If you have questions about design, content, social media, or any aspect of the whole blogging thing, I can help! Its really just a time for me to help you in any and every way possible. So if you're interested, go ahead and use the promo code "CONSULT" for a sweet little deal on a consultation here!

DJ was home this weekend and we had a really good time! Saturday was such a perfect day. The weather was finally cooling down (it had been in the high 80's) and it was beautiful outside! I'm not complaining about the high 80's though- its 110 at home. Ew. We woke up and got ready to go to breakfast. We tried a new place that I found online, and before we even got there I knew that I was going to love it. It's a coffee and crepe house, but they have other things too. It's called Faster Basset and if you're ever in Great Falls, which I'm sure you wont because- its Great Falls, you must go. I'm pretty sure there's nothing else like it here. I got a caramel macchiato and DJ got a white mocha. YUM. And we got crepes, too. Which we've also had in Europe, and I must say, they were just as good here. I already can't wait to go back. The vibe at the restaurant was so fun. There's couches and a fireplace and it shares a room with a bar which also looks amazing. Only a couple years until I can try that side! 

After breakfast we headed over to this little area of town where there's some good shopping. We walked around Pier 1 and found tons of things that we wanted to have in our house someday. I could literally spend hours in that store. I love it. We ended up getting a cute little shopping list and the cutest mug. We also went to Old Navy and we both got some cute shiz for super cheap because they were having a Memorial Day sale and they give military discounts. Woo!

GUYS. Montana is pretty.

We're just relaxing today and enjoying our time together! How are you spending the long weekend?
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things I really suck at

Guys. DJ has been at work the past four days and I've been going a little crazy. He comes home today thank goodness because I've been so bored that I am now seven days ahead of schedule for my first summer class. Like I've been so bored that I did seven days of work in two days. Who am I!? But anyway, in the midst of my boredom, I thought, "Hmm. Maybe I should blog." Look at me coming up with these good ideas. So here I am. Blogging. Except I don't have anything to blog about. Except myself...because I love talking about myself. Yolo. So I present to you....
Making decisions. Have you seen that vine about asking a girl where she wants to go for dinner? Yeah, that's literally me. I don't know why I cannot make a decision to save my life. It's actually really bad and something I need to work on.

Instagram captions. Okay, so. I'm really bad at coming up with clever Instagram captions so I usually just put one word describing the picture. They're lame and my friends make fun of me for it. But its the picture that counts, right?
Reading blogs. I barely have the time and motivation to focus on my own blog, so I've been slacking even more in reading others. Sorry.

Typing. Thank God for spell check and auto correct because I can't type to save my life.

Accepting compliments. I just get awkward when someone compliments me. I've gotten used to it from DJ. But at first when he would tell me I'm beautiful or something I'd just get really nervous and say "no you are!" or something dumb. 

Parking. I took DJ's truck to the store the other day and I hard to re-park like 6 times. Oops. 

Eating healthy. I'm on poptart #3 as I'm writing this.

Finishing things / sticking to things. I've already almost given up on this post like ten times. Frankly, I'm surprised my blog has lasted this long because I get bored of things really fast and usually move on to the next thing within a few weeks.

Watching movies. I get bored really easily so whenever we watch movies at home I just talk a lot and don't really pay attention. Unless its Bridesmaids. Then I quote the whole thing.

Whispering. Can't do it. I'm a loud whisperer.

Growing out my nails. I'm bad about biting them, but before I came to Montana they were really long. I was so proud of them because my nails are literally never long. But then at the airport I accidentally cracked one and then they all went to shit.

Packing light. I literally can't do it. The weight limit was 40 pounds for my suitcase and mine was 39.5. Plus I brought a  carry-on suitcase that I'm pretty sure was bigger than it was supposed to be. When I went to Germany I had two 40 pound suitcases.

Yay for long lists of things I can't do. DJ and I have some exciting things planned this weekend so I'll be back to update you on those soon! What are some things you just really suck at?
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In-N-Out changed my life

Hey loves! I have Haley here, from the Business of Blonde, who I actually know in real life! We used to work together at In-N-Out, and today she's sharing how it changed her life! Enjoy!

In 2011 I was preparing to graduate from high school in Arizona, and was  desperately looking for a decent job.  One morning, during dance rehearsal, I heard some of the girls talking about applying for in-n-out and how excited they were about the interviews. I wasn’t an in-n-out fanatic and I wasn’t so keen on working fast food, but I needed a job and they were starting at $10 an hour pay so I decided to hop on the bandwagon and apply.

The Application process was pretty simple, and done completely online. Within the week I had an interview with the managers and was offered the job. FUN FACT Brianna and I were hired on the same date! If you’re not familiar with in-n-out they only hire super up-beat friendly people, so you basically become instant friends with all your coworkers.

There was one guy who immediately stuck out to me named Nick. He was two years older than me, he was always joking with people and didn’t mind if he was the butt of the joke. We talked a little at work and realized we had a few friends in common. After working together for about five months he started a Facebook message with me late one July night. Our Convo when a little something like this:

Nick: Why are you awake so late?
Haley: It’s only 1am and It’s summer?
Nick: Oh, haha I forgot I’m in Idaho and It’s later here
Haley: So maybe I should be the one interrogating you about your sleep habits?

This banter went on for two months, no phone numbers were given just a single message that I was obsessed with. I would constantly check my phone for his message. We would stay up messaging till 3 or 4 in the morning. (later we both admitted we just thought the other person was staying up.)  Eventually messaging turned into texting, and phone calls and finally we planned to meet outside of work. 
We met for the first time at Starbucks and I was amazed at how easy it was to talk with each other. A week or so after our first Starbuck date Nick got down on one knee with a plastic ring and asked me to be his girlfriend.  Officially we started dating around the beginning of October, by Thanksgiving we knew we were going to be together forever and had already picked out an engagement ring.
December 5th 2011 Nick proposed in his home with 300 tea light candles. Being 18 and engaged isn’t exactly what my family had planned for me, so there was some serious hesitation on both our families’ sides. We decided even though we were engaged we would wait a while to actually start planning a wedding. Throughout our two-year engagement I spend six months in Florida working for Disney and Nick spend a few months in Indiana for school.
On November 30th 2013 it all came together, I married Nicholas Kennedy, and I owe it all to In-n-out.

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what we've been up to

Well hello loves! I can't believe I've already been in Montana for a week. It's going by so fast already. DJ left for work today so I figured I should probably come here and tell you what I've been up to! Because I'm sure you really want to know..

Last Wednesday was long. I woke up at like 6 and left around 8 for the airport. I had a long layover in Salt Lake City and it felt like it was ten hours long. I didn't get to Montana until 5pm and by that time I was just so anxious to see him. Okay but rewind- the weeks before I left, I kept joking with him that I wanted a bright pink sign at the airport. I told him I wanted a bright pink sign and a puppy. Well guys, I don't have a puppy.
But he freaking made me a sign. He's so crafty, huh?

The weather here is absolutely perfect. Considering the fact that its over 100 degrees back home, I'm loving the weather here. Sometimes its a little cold. This morning I had to put on sweatpants and a sweatshirt just to be warm enough while I was asleep. But during the day its beautiful! It's definitely barbecue weather. So that's what we've been doing.
That's our tiny $5 grill. And yeah, I had cheese on my burger. Oops.

Other than eating, we've just been relaxing. On Saturday we went up to the National Forest and got the truck a little dirty. It was so cool being out there because the last few times we've been it was snowing. This was the first time I got to see pretty Montana being green, not white.
Pretty, huh? I love it here. But I wish there was more to do. Coming from a big city with tons of fun things to do, it's a little boring here.

We've been looking around and I think we finally found some apartments we like. We'll be moving next month, and its super exciting. We're having trouble finding nice places in our budget because 1) theres like on apartment complex in the whole city 2) houses are expensive 3) his housing allowance is definitely too low for the price of places here. But hey, we're making it work.

Also, I'm officially a senior in college. Whoa. Summer classes started this week (boo) but its a little exciting because then I only have one semester left! Woo!

What have you been up to?
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The blogging community is so diverse, and that's one of the things I love about it. There are people from all over the world. People in every stage of life. People with jobs that are completely different from one another. We have different views, opinions, beliefs, and outlooks on life. No matter what, there's always going to be someone that knows exactly what you're going through. That's the beauty of blogland. No matter what you believe, there will always be someone to support you. However, with that, there are also people out there that won't always relate to you. Whether its just on one post, or on your beliefs in general, not everyone has the same outlook. Which I also think is pretty amazing. It's always so interesting to me to read people's comments, especially when there are disagreeing viewpoints. I love that our blogs give us a place to talk about controversial topics and see both sides to certain topics. But I think that there is one important aspect that some people neglect, and that's respect.

As bloggers, we all have a voice. Usually by reading as little as one post, you can tell what kind of "voice" a blogger has. Some blogs are full of sarcasm, some are serious, some use inappropriate language and talk about the dirty details of their lives, and others are very proper and keep it "professional." It's what makes each blog unique. But I think that there's a very fine line between being funny or sarcastic in your voice and being disrespectful.

Especially when approaching controversial topics, I think its important to keep other's beliefs in mind. If you are against something, or don't believe in something, there's obviously nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with sharing your opinion. But whether you're for or against a belief, I do not think that it is ever okay to be offensive to those with opposing viewpoints. There is a way to present your opinion without belittling others and mocking their beliefs. It saddens me to see people share their thoughts in a way that makes a joke of the beliefs that they do not agree with. It saddens me to see bloggers disrespect one another. Whether it is intentional or not, I think that it's pretty easy to tell if what you're writing could offend someone, right?

Just because you do not believe something does not mean you should mock what others believe. It's disrespectful, and sadly its something I've seen many times throughout the blogging community. If you choose to discuss deep and controversial topics on your blog, you have to consider all aspects. You have to be ready for people to fire back, and you can expect some to agree with you. Voicing your opinion is of course not a bad thing, but doing so in a disrespectful way is inappropriate in my opinion.

This also goes for readers. So many times I've come across a blog post flooded with negative comments. And sure, people will be nasty. It is the internet, after all. But as bloggers, people in the same community online, I think that we need to support and respect each other. Obviously you're going to come across things you disagree with, but there's a way to express this without being disrespectful.

Obviously, I don't make the laws of Blogland. There aren't really "rules" to blogging, of course, but there are things that I believe bloggers should abide by. It an amazing thing that we get to share our lives and our beliefs with each other, but in the end, if there isn't a mutual respect for each other and our beliefs, then is it really even a community?
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the boy behind my blog!

Happy Thursday! I'm off enjoying my first full day with my man and I couldn't be happier! I hope everyone's having a good week! Once again, and for the last time (so sad!), I'm linking up with Stephanie and Mallory for The Boys Behind the Blog link up!
Mal Smiles
Take it away, handsome!
1. What was your first job?
I worked at a soul food place in high school!

2. What is the biggest risk you've ever taken?
The biggest risk would be joining the military. It was pretty scary.

3. What is one thing you can't live without?
"I can't live without you my love"
I swear I didn't pay him to say that.

4. What is your least favorite food?
I don't like brussel sprouts! Or asparagus! 
Which will change this summer because I'm good at making veggies taste yummy.

5. If you could time travel, where/when would you go? 
The Medieval times! That would be awesome.
Uh what who are you.

Did your man link up?!
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college vs the real world

Hey ladies! I'm on my way to see my man today (!!!!!!), so Allison from Because I Said So is taking over and sharing her experiences of post-grad life with you today! Enjoy :)

It was almost exactly a year ago that I graduated college. Please hold while I sob uncontrollably. 

Ok I'm back. I remember being so excited to jump straight into the working world and be completely independent. Now, I love working and having my own life, but I sure do miss college.

So, I'm here to point out the differences and mostly things I miss about being in college. And since I love lists, it's coming at you in the form of a pros/cons list kind of without the cons-- Yay!

Pros of College:
-Naps on naps on naps. I used to be able to come home from class at 12:15 and take a nap for two hours and then do whatever the heck I wanted to (not schoolwork that's for sure) for the rest of the day. Now, I have to suffer through 8 hours straight of work. Even RedBull's don't help that much.

-Making your own schedule. Not a morning person? Not a problem. You don't have to start the day until 12 if you don't want to and most classes are over at 5. Sheesh. Those were the days.

-Friends everywhere. Literally like 10 of them all five minutes away.Now all of my friends like over 2 hours away and making friends in a huge, new city is freaking hard.

-The freedom to do whatever, whenever. Sure there are consequences of missing class, but those aren't as bad as missing work with no good excuse.

 Pros of Working:
-No homework or tests. I for sure don't miss that. Work is over at 5 everyday and until 9 the next morning I can do anything I want and not have to worry about failing a test or missing an assignment.

-Making money. I can spend way more now than I could in college--I guess this is a good and bad thing? Whatevs. My closet loves me and my wallet hates me.

-Happy Hour is so much more rewarding after a long day at work. But, on the flip side, I don't drink as much as I used to (not that I was an alcoholic, but you know what I mean) and now I can't recover as fast. Getting old sucks.

-Attending swanky work events. This might be because of the industry that I work in, but it's way cooler than meeting people at the local frat bar.

Country Club Fabulous-ness

-Everything and every moment that you have free is 10x more precious. Weekends are like my prized possession. Any spare time I have is treasured and I can't get enough of it.

So, wherever you are in life, enjoy the moment. Don't spend you time pining away for a life you think you want. Sometimes it's not all it's cracked up to be and sometimes it's even better. That's the beauty of it.

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finally falling into place

When I was in high school, I was dead set on being a doctor. There was no doubt in my mind that I would breeze through my undergraduate as a pre-med (physiology) major, get into a great medical school, and become a neurologist. LOLZ because yeah right I can't even imagine doing that now. I changed my major about six times in the two years I've been in college. I was everything from physiology to nutrition to neuroscience before I settled on psychology. Even now I sometimes wish I could switch it one more time, but it's too late because I graduate in 220 days, but who's counting, right?

There's something that just doesn't feel right to me about the way you're "supposed" to go from high school straight into college and have it all figured out. As an 18 year old, how was I supposed to choose a major and right then and there decide what I will spend the rest of my life doing? At 18 years old, are we even experienced enough, or educated enough, to have any idea of what we want to actually do? Sure, some people know. Some people have a dream of becoming something and stick to it and have no problem. But I feel that with most people, that isn't the case. Plus, you can only be an undecided major for so long- once you've taken all of your pre requisites you really don't have a choice but to choose something. I'm very fortunate that I have everything paid for. If I was paying for school out of pocket, I would've absolutely waited and tried to figure out my interests before starting at a university, because honestly if you're just spending money on classes that aren't towards what you want to do, it can be waste of money. And time.

Anyway, back to where I intended this ramble of a post to go! So I don't know what I want to do with my life and it changes every five seconds. One day I want to get my MBA, or my Master's in accounting. The next day I find a renewed interest in psychology and decide I want to go get my PhD. Why am I such a mess? My competing interests in psychology and business are the problem because I can't figure out which I would rather do. But then I found a program where I can apply both.

DJ and I talk about our future all the time. And while sometimes we change our minds, I think we've both figured out what we really want to do, and the best part is that it works out perfectly for us both individually and as a couple. I'll be moving there in January after I graduate. Hopefully he'll come home in December for my graduation, we'll spend the holidays together and with our families, and then we'll drive back to Montana to start our lives together. He gets out in February of 2016, and we want to move back home to be with our families. He wants to pursue a BS in Construction management, and I want to get my Masters in Applied Psychology. They're both programs through Arizona State, and it's really exciting to think about.

Sure, we'll probably change our minds in the next two years. But for the first time in a very very long time, I feel confident in what I want to do. I feel confident that I've found something I could make a career out of, and something that I could enjoy doing. Same goes for DJ. So yay for getting our shit together. It's definitely a relief to have some idea of what the future holds!

PS did you know I'm going to Montana tomorrow? Woo!
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unique date ideas with Datevitation!

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I'm in such a good mood today because in two days guess where I'll be? Yep, that's right. Wednesday I'll finally be in Montana with DJ for THREE WHOLE MONTHS and the thought of that literally puts the biggest smile on my face! I love coming up with cute things to surprise DJ with while I'm there, and today I wanted to share with you something I'm super duper excited about.
See that cute little book right there? That's a love coupon book from Datevitation. What's a love coupon book you ask? Only the cutest thing ever. That's what.
Here's how it works. You go to their website and you pick an occasion for your book. It can be for someone you love, for a friend's birthday, a holiday, or anything! It doesn't have to be for a romantic interest- these books can be made for anyone! The best thing about the book is that it's totally customizable. Once you choose the cover, you get to pick all of the coupons that go into the book. They're so fun. There are over 500 date ideas to choose from, and they include pretty much anything and everything you can think of.
 So you pick and choose the dates you want to include, and you put them together in a little book. How cute is that, right?! Some of the dates are super creative too, like this staycation idea! Handsome and I will definitely be doing that this summer. They print everything out for you in a super cute book and you can even add your faces to the picture (which is such a good idea but I couldn't find pictures of us that I liked for it.)

You can customize the words that are in the book, and even include a special note to the recipient of the book!
I'm so beyond excited to get to Montana and share this with DJ! We love coming up with creative dates and this just adds to the fun!

Today Datevitation is giving away a free date book for you all! Also, if you visit their website, you can use the code "BELOVED" for $10 off your coupon book and free shipping! This would be a perfect Father's Day gift, so if you order by June 5, your book is guaranteed to be delivered in time for the holiday! I would love to hear your thoughts on the book, and good luck on the giveaway!


being a busy bee

Where have I been all week? I'm slackin' over here, guys. But it has been a busy busy week. I had my last day of work on Wednesday. I was a little excited to be done with the commitment, but I know I'm gonna miss that little guy. He's almost one, and he's getting to be at such a fun age, and I know that this summer so many exciting things will happen with him that I'll miss. You know, walking and talking and all that jazz. I miss his little four-tooth smile already!

Thursday was my last full day in Tucson. I can't say I'm upset about that. I went to breakfast with my roomies for our last breakfast together, and it was awesome. I had amazing blueberry pecan pancakes.
So you're welcome for making you hungry. They were so good and now I can't stop thinking about them. YUM. Whoa, okay, anyway. You can read Carlin's sappy little post about it here because I don't want to talk about how hard it was to leave her. We also took our last (also its only our third) roomie picture. I was grabbing Carlin's butt, that's why she's laughing. Yolo
Friday I finished up my last final, and headed home to Phoenix. It's crazy because a few months ago, I was so anti-Phoenix. But now, I can't wait until DJ gets out of the Air Force and we can move back. Driving into Phoenix on Friday, I couldn't help but feel this overwhelming sense of home. Its where I grew up. I know the city so well. Its where my friends and family are. I can't wait to come home. DJ is looking into some programs at ASU for his Bachelor's and I'm looking into Master's programs there, so it'll be exciting for us to move home and get back to school once he's out!

Today I met up with my homegirls Kailey and Carissa at Lux in Phoenix for coffee. What was supposed to be a quick early morning coffee date ended up being five hours of laughing, talking, gossiping, and all of that good stuff. If you're ever in central Phoenix, Lux is such a neat little place. It's definitely very hipster, and the coffee and food is amaze. I also ran into DJ's mom there, which is funny because we were supposed to hang out later in the day. But all around it was definitely a good way to spend a Saturday!
Ugh why am I so much taller than everyone. Anyway, tomorrow is Mamas day so I'm hanging out with my mom and grandma, which should be a good day. Then Monday is prep for Montana and a baseball game with those hotties in the picture above. Tuesday is hair cut / eye brow waxing / nail painting so I look fresh for my man…..and Wednesday is THE DAY! It's so close guys. I can't wait.

So, there's what I've been up to and why I haven't been around. Also I've been lacking some motivation, but I'm hoping Montana will change that. While we're at it, use the code "MONTANA" for a discount on any ad because I'm so freaking excited!!!

What have you been up to?
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defining success

This weekend, I hit 1,000 followers on Bloglovin, and it got me thinking about what it means to be a successful blog. Many people (including myself) generally look at numbers. We see that someone has thousands of followers, and we consider them successful. Or perhaps we see that someone makes a ton of money from their blog, and that right there defines their success. And it totally could be. If the reason that you blog is to make money, then gaining a substantial profit from your blog absolutely makes you successful.

But so many bloggers don't do it for the money. There are so many other, and dare I say more important, things that come from blogging. The friendships, opportunities, connections- it's all such a huge part of why I do this. I do make money, and I admit that the money I earn from blogging and designing really helps me out. But that's not why I blog. When I began blogging, I didn't even know it was possible to make a profit. I know so many other girls that do it solely because they love it, too. So, what, if not money, defines success?

For some, it can be based on followers. It can be based on the number of comments you get on your posts. You can base it on the number of shares you get. But personally, I think that a blog with 5,000 followers can be less successful than one with 100. I believe that success in the blog world depends on the impact you have.

I share my stories and experiences because I want to connect with others. I want to help others. Whether its something simply and silly like showing someone a new recipe, or sharing a funny story, to the bigger things like giving someone hope that their long distance relationship can be successful- that's why I do this. I've connected with so many amazing girls throughout my blogging experience, and I've had some girls really open up to me about their relationships. The fact that people i don't even know can confide in me and look to me for advice or to share their own experience truly means more to me than any statistic.

Sure, I'm celebrating hitting the 1,000 mark because I've worked hard to grow this blog. But that's not how I measure my success. Getting an email or a comment saying that you've given someone hope, inspired them, brightened their day, or helped them to believe in something- that's how you know you're a success.

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may's ten favorite things

Hola loves! Happy Cino de Mayo! I didn't even realize this month's link up would be on the 5th until after I chose the topic, or else we could've just shared all of the things we love about Mexican food. I really love Mexican food. Like a lot. Yum.

Whoa, we're getting off topic. Back to business! Its the first Monday of the month, so that means you get to come share your Ten Favorite Things about this month's topic…travel! So, grab a button, link your posts, and check out each other's favorites!

Grab button for Endlessly BeLoved

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gluten and dairy free meals!

Alright guys, remember the other day when I said I was going to stop eating dairy but I was going to maybe cheat a little and have some gluten? My stomach is saying otherwise. For the past couple weeks I've been going through every day feeling like theres something in my stomach ripping me apart, and I really need to get back on the "diet" train. I know Tuesday's post was about dieting too, so sorry. But anyway, I have exactly two weeks from today before I'm in Montana (thank goodness) and I'm going to really try to have no dairy or gluten within those two weeks. So today I thought I would share some of my favorite gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. Well, they're not really recipes. But they're meals that're both gluten and dairy free, so there ya go. They're all really yummy, so even if you don't have restrictions in your diet you should totally give it a try!

Gluten-free pancakes- I'm pretty hesitant to try gluten-free versions of things that typically have gluten in them. I'm not a big fan of gluten-free breads or cookies or any of that stuff. BUT I did try gluten free pancakes thought and loved them. My favorite mix is this one, but I've tried others and they're generally all the same. It's nice for a little treat or when everyone else wants pancakes- just make them gluten free and no one will even notice!

Oatmeal- Oatmeal is probably my favorite breakfast. It's quick and easy, and there are so many ways to make it. You can use water, but I prefer making mine with either vanilla soy or lactose free milk. I love blueberries and honey in mine. But you can put any fruit, honey, or cinnamon in it and its delish!

Eggs- Also a favorite because its so easy. I love to cook up some potatoes and turkey sausage with peppers and onions and then throw an egg on top. So good! But really there's a lot of flexibility with eggs and you can make them however and with whatever you want. You can have a cup of fruit or potatoes instead of toast and its still just as good!

Smoothies- I like to make smoothies to bring to class with me in the morning. My favorite is super simple- strawberries, banana, ice, and orange juice. If you can have dairy then yogurt is really yummy in smoothies, too. But really you can throw any fruits and liquid in a blender and it'll probably taste good.

Bacon- Bacon is gluten free and dairy free. Put it on everything.

Salad- I love making a simple salad with mixed greens, a hardboiled egg, almond slices, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds with Brianna's french vinaigrette. That's my shit. And yes, I use that dressing because it's my name. No shame

Breadless Sandwich- Uh what? I know that sounds awful, but a little plate of lunch meat, hummus, veggies, and a hardboiled egg is kind of like eating a sandwich without the bread. I mean not really, but I didn't know what else to call that.

Tuna and peppers- This one might sound weird. But it delish. I love making tuna salad and then cutting up a bell pepper to eat it on. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

I'm not really good at eating lunch. Usually I'll eat leftovers from dinner or just have some fruit between breakfast and dinner because depending on my schedule, I eat either a late breakfast or an early dinner.

Dinner- (my favorite because there are so many options)
Quinoa stuffed peppers- You know I love this one. So good! You can see my "recipe" here.

Quinoa pasta- This one's another favorite. It tastes just like regular spaghetti. Plus you can mix it up. Sometimes I make a garlic infused olive oil and use that + spinach and broccoli and mix it up with the pasta. Or you can make pesto, regular spaghetti, or if you can have dairy you can make alfredo! Pasta is such an easy dinner and quinoa pasta is so good for you!
Chicken + rice + veggies- Simple. I like to just cook my chicken in a pan, but you can bake it too. My favorite is a stir fry-type dinner with peppers, squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, and broccoli with chicken over rice. So yummy. But there are so many ways to mix it up with the veggies and chicken that this is probably the dinner I make the most.
Turkey burgers- Or regular burgers but I like turkey better than beef. I usually just make a turkey patty (no bun) and then cook up some veggies to have with it. The burgers are good if you cook them with some soy sauce or just some salt / pepper / garlic powder

For dessert I usually either have chocolate (yolo) or cereal. Which sounds lame. But apple cinnamon chex are gluten free and super yummy, so there's that.

What're your favorite meals?
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