loving little things.

A wall: Paris on Ponce- Atlanta, GA

I’d like to celebrate all of the beautiful wall art displayed all throughout Atlanta.

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A coffee shop: Bad Owl Coffee- Henderson, NV

I left my wand at home, but when you carry magic with you everywhere, you figure, this coffee stirrer will have to do. Besides, this coffee shop is now on my list of faves, as they carry food. Pictured here: A Biscoff Latte that tastes just like the cookies.

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A message (to give my future husband): Recess- Las Vegas, NV

Because everyday deserves a “happy ending.” Oh! And please let my future husband know the “Ways to My Heart.”

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A window: “We Welcome All” a West Elm

I think this window says it all.

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loving little things.

As I am gaining a better perspective of  “the art of slow living,” I’ve learned so much about enjoying the simple moments in life. In the “loving little things.” series, I continue to share my weekly finds. These are shared as images, quotes, and pretty much anything little thing that sparked something for me.

A moment:

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Mommy & Me Quality Time – I currenly live over 2,000 miles away from my mom. In about 4 more weeks, that distance will be greater. This past week, I spent time running around the city with her and it completely filled my soul. It’s nice having summers off and being able to take a flight just to see her smile.

A sign:

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Chalkboard signs are the cutest. Especially when they have an uplifting message. I inured anyone reading this post should also read this sign and are the same message from me- “Shut up, I think you are GORGEOUS!

A meal: Jumping Rice & Rolls -Las Vegas, NV USA

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I have been eating so unhealthily this summer. So much, to the point that my stomach rejects the mere thought of putting anymore fast food into my body. I decided to stop by a local restaurant to have something a little more pleasing. I was completely satisfied with my Terikaki Salmon and Jasmine Rice Jumping Bowl and my body was too!

The Golden 3: Letting Go

I’m a firm believer in self-reflection on who I am as a person. Inside and out. There are many areas in our life that we can work on. I say “we” because I am included and far from perfect. But imagine if we continue to better ourselves and progress in our daily lives. Oh how our world could change! This summer I’m letting go of 3 things.

1. Shopping apps and email subscriptions.

I tend to check my email a lot. So much, in fact, my boyfriend asked me to check them later one day. There’s nothing important in those emails. Nothing but stores promoting their weekend and holiday sales. Which make me spend my money. I know, I know. I could just not go to those stores, but I’m still working on that. And this is the first step. Give me time…lol.

2. Numbers in my phone that are never used.

You know what numbers I’m talking about. The contacts of people from high school, who you run into. You say you’re going to meet up “soon” and three years later neither one of you have called. Don’t forget about that person whose number you keep ‘just in case.’ Letting them all go! “New phone. Who dis?”

3. Two -words “What if?”

I’ve asked myself this question quite a few times over the past few months. Truth is, I should not focus on the “what-if.” It either did or it didn’t. The present is what’s important today. Being focused on the ‘now’ allows us to minimize distractions in our lives. We are able to decrease worry and sadness over false ideas.

I hope these three things I’m letting go of, allow me to save money and time.

Are you letting go of anything this summer? Share by dropping a comment below.

Design

loving little things.

“There’s beauty everywhere!”

As part of this minimalist journey, I’ve learned so much about enjoying the simple moments in life. In this series, Loving Little Things, I will be sharing weekly finds. These will be shared as images, quotes, and pretty much anything little thing that sparked something for me.

A small thing: Barr-Co.

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I really enjoy this line of skin care. I first stumbled across the line in San Diego, California while perusing in and out of small shops. Not only are the scents fresh, they’re made with oatmeal and other ingredients that help with my eczema and irritated skin.

A quote:

“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” – markus aurelius

I’ll be keeping this quote in mind as I am organizing my capsule wardrobe for the next month. It’ll be my first time having a capsule, since I have began the minimalist journey. The capsule wardrobe is for the month of July, as it is my last month in the states. It will be full of roadtrip adventures with the beau and tearful goodbyes to family and friends. Therefore the last thing I want to spend time on is searching for something to wear. So be on the look out for more travel guides.

 

A photograph: How will you change the world?

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A photograph at the closing of the year where my (now former) students wrote their name and future career. It’s a question even we as adults should reflect on time to time. After all we’re their role models and their our future.

The Golden 3: 3 Tips for Purposeful Shopping

Prior to becoming an elementary school teacher, I was working in the field of retail. More than 30 hours a week I was surrounded by garments, jewelry, accessories, and my all time favorite SALES! Yes, they got me. I would always tell people, “I like my money where I can see it. In. My. Closet.”

I would buy items that would be trendy at the time and style it and make it my own. I mean, no one would really ask you for your help if you look like you needed it yourself. I remember my last count of jeans was 52. Yes, you heard me right!

Every season, I declutter my closet. Out with the old, in with the new. But ever since I began this minimalist journey, I’ve realized that it takes more than decluttering. There is a level of “letting -go.”

DesignIn today’s series of Confessions of a Shopaholic “The Golden 3: Purposeful Shopping,” I would like to share three questions that may guide you to shopping smarter.

  1. Is the item something you can see yourself having long-term?
  2. What is the quality?
  3. Do you really love it, or can you do without?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy shopping and like to buy items that I believe would be a perfect addition to my closet or home. But, it has to be just that. The Perfect Addition!

Have a tip to share about being mindful while shopping? Share below. Don’t forget to comment and like!

 

You Should Be Here: The Next Time You’re in California!

You know that trip to Oahu, Hawaii I took for my birthday? Yeah, that one! Well, I didn’t get a chance to go to a black sand beach because our schedules were already booked for a luau and snorkeling. So when the beau and I decided to take a road trip to Northern California for a quick weekend get-away, he left me to plan the adventure.

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How it all began?

I already knew I wanted to go to Muir National Monument Park. Wrote that down, set it in stone. We considered Yosemite and Redwoods National Park but both were a 4 hour drive away from where we were staying. So I typed on Google, “black sands beach” and bam!  Up pops a real picture of someone standing on black sand on my screen. And tah dah!!! We drove and drove and drove, and yeah we made it!

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There were a lot of precious moments shared that weekend.

-Spending time with the beau and his family.

-Breath being taken away by the gorgeous mountain views, clear water, and crisp air. I must add…the water was freezing!

-Hand-holding and sneaking kisses because young eyes were around.

-Watching the beau succeed in climbing yet another huge rock, Invincible!

-The release of negative emotions and doubts that sometimes cloud our judgement.

All in all, it was just what we needed…

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Things to keep in mind:

To get the best directions to this location, I used Google Maps. The location was best found with the address Black Sands Beach Marin, California.

The beach is located down a winding road past the tourists who are all tryin to get pics of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Plus: This location is not that well known. There were tons of cars pulled over to get pics of the bridge and only 3 cars that made their way to the parking lot of the hike.

Check the weather. We were there at the end of May and the weather was pretty chilly (I hear San Fran is pretty much like that year around.) I wore a popping red jacket that cut the wind perfectly!

It’s a little bit of a hike down a winding hill, so make sure you wear/bring appropriate shoes.

Happy Travels!

-Raven

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5 easy steps to Purposeful Packing

I am an over-packer. Not just a little bit, no… I can go a bit overboard. Not intentionally, though. I just want to have everything I need without feeling like something is missing. I also like to have ‘just-in-cases.’ You know? The items you throw in the bag “just-in-case” that probably never get used. Well the past two trips, I have decided to incorporate my recent adoption of minimalist practices (I’ll talk about that in a later entry) and pack my bags for my Mexico City and Hawaii trips purposefully. Perhaps, these “5 Steps to Purposeful Packing” can help you out on your next trip too!

Step 1: Pick Appropriate Sized Luggage

For the past two weeks I have been on a luggage hunt. I wanted to have quality luggage for a decent price. I also wanted different sizes to go with the length of time I’ll be at each destination.

I figured that by having three different sized luggage, I’ll be able to pack everything I need perfectly!

Small- 3-5 day stay || Medium- 6-12 day stay || Large- 13 days or more

Step 2: Pack the Essentials

Sometimes we stay at AIRBNB listings (use the link to get $20 off). There are unique places to stay. They only thing, for those who need one, is you do not have a housekeeper and sometimes toiletries are not provided. Packing travel sized toiletries saves you time when packing a carry-on. *Money saving tip: Purchase travel sized bottles that come with twist-off caps. Refill these bottles using your full-sized favorite products from home. More bang for your buck!

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Step 3: Roll, Not Fold

I learned this trick from my aunt. Now, I always roll my clothes. It makes for much more room in my luggage. I’m also able to see everything I’ve packed when pulling out outfits and separating the clean from the dirty.

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Step 4: Comfort, Cute, Classy- You Decide!

Think about the type of trip your going on, where you are going and what you may do. Will I need my hiking boots? Will I need to pack sunscreen? Are those heels necessary?

Step 5: Treat Yourself

When packing, you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re leaving things that you really like to have with you. I personally carry one tote bag for those ‘little things’ I like to travel with. My beau often carries a backpack. In our carry-on, we pack small things we like to have on our flight or that we may need on an excursion (ipad, notebook, etc.).

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“There’s no better lesson of the necessities in life, than one who packs for the value in the adventure.” -Raven Love

Packing can be very frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with the essentials and move forward from there!

What are some packing practices that have helped you pack less?

Pack Light!

xo, Ray

The Golden 3: 3 Ways to Pull Yourself Up

 

3 Ways to Pull Yourself Up this Week

This post serves as a pleasant reminder to myself: to do things for myself that I should do, before I need to do them. My mood hasn’t been the best lately. We all have our struggles, whether they be little or big. But, I’m not going to let the mood stick. Today, and everyday, I must choose JOY! My mother always says, “Go there, but don’t stay there.” It’s about time I take her advice and climb out of the rut I’ve been feeling. So today I’m sharing my The Golden 3: 3 Ways to Pull Yourself Up and maybe they’ll come to help you too.

A Delicious Dinner 

Nothing compares to a good meal at the end of a rough day. Typically, I like to try a new restaurant. This week, I plan to try cooking a new recipe.

Private Dance Party

It may sound a little crazy. But it’s really not. Follow these 5 simple steps to DANCE IT OUT!

  1. Head to the living room.
  2. Turn it up on your favorite jams.
  3. Grab your microphone (or spatula).
  4. Let the music hit your soul.
  5. DANCE IT OUT!!

Be Still.

Finding a moment of peace is one of my best ways to pull myself out of a rut. During this time I like to reflect by writing in my journal, completing a Bible plan, reading a book, or simply laying in silence to the sound of a meditation series.

Overall, today is already looking up for me. And if you’ve found yourself to stumble across this post because you needed some ideas to help you get out of your rut, hopefully you’d give these a try.

What do you do to shift your mood? Share by commenting below.

The Golden 3: Lessons We Learned in 5th Grade

3 Motivational Reminders from 5th Grade

Although May is my favorite Month of the year, it is also state testing month for us teachers and students out there. After 5th Grade Boot Camp, a time when we crash course the kiddos with everything they learned from the year, they were definitely feeling the overload. I didn’t want them to feel discouraged, so I decided to think of something else I could equip them with. Something better.

I wanted to motivate my students to not only do their best, but to believe in their best. Even adults have tests, though they do come in a different form. We ourselves can sometimes become overwhelmed. So I send you off with this Monday’s Golden 3, three quotes to provide motivation for whatever mountain you have to climb this week. Sometimes simple reminders can go a long way.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit extra.”

-Jimmy Johnson

“You are capable of more than you know.”

“Don’t Stress

    Do Your Best.

        Forget the Rest.”