The Voice Within: Wisdom from my Grandmother

Be.

“But what is your spirit telling you?”

There I was, sharing my story of heartbreak with my grandmother, hoping she would shed some wisdom on my life. And she hits me with this question, “But what is your spirit telling you?”
I’ve never been asked that question before. I sat there in silence. I started to talk about my heart. “Yes Rae, but your heart can be swayed. Our hearts may feel one thing, but our spirit is what truly speaks to us.” As she did shed her wisdom during that conversation, I couldn’t help but replay that question in my head that whole day.

Still.

“But what is your spirit telling you?”

In search of the answer to that question, I decided to rid myself of all distractions, which came down to television, my phone, the radio, and my apartment. A friend of mine called up and we decided to hit the road. I had no expectations of what to do or see. I just wanted to be. We took a 4 hour round trip sharing life, laughs, and quietness. We hopped in and out at small towns with mountainous views, snapping pics, and feeling the waves (heat waves that is). I laughed as loud as I wanted to. Sat in silence when I needed to. Took as many pictures as my phone allowed. It was like we were journeying west, moving onward.

And listen.

On the way back home, I realized the feeling I had been missing. The feeling of being unapologetically myself. Free.

I prayed hard that night and poured my hear out. I wanted, NEEDED to hear God’s voice. And then the question whispered to me once more.

This time I knew my response, but I was afraid to answer.

I whispered to my heart, “You can do this. This time is for you. You must let go.”

Sometimes we don’t realize the answer to our question is there all along. Sometimes we must go deep within. Reconnect with spirit. It won’t come easy, but when you finally feel it. You know.

Be still, & listen.

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: 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!

 

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

Live and Live Some More

I often hear from fellow friends, family, and new acquaintances, “I wish I was out there livin’ like you” or “I used to do those things but, it’s too late for me now.” To both of these I respond, “LIVE AND LIVE SOME MORE.”

Honestly, I was in the same place before. There I was thinking that I couldn’t do these things that I love (traveling, home decor, etc.) until I graduated. Then came the excuse, “I’m not independently where I should be for me to have enough for that.” It was not until a tough moment in my 20-somethings that I realized, I have to live and live now. I started by making intentional trips to Atlanta after work and on weekends. This led to me exploring what I call, my own backyard, finding new neighborhoods and the things they offered. Later, a friend and I decided to do a 5k race that turned into a dance party for 20 bucks, and after that my aunt and uncle bought me a passport and took me on my first international trip, Aruba. Let me tell you this ya’ll…

The Game Changed!

Everybody’s way of livin’ isn’t yours. Find what motivates and inspires you. Find what fits and rock it in every way. Do something you love and build on it. Besides, the only truth we must prove is the truth of being ourselves.

I say all of this to tell you, in any way you can,
Live and live some more!

Good Vibes Tribe and Happy Easter!

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The First Golden Chase

I knew this past Sunday was going to be a great day. The sun was shining, mimosas were bubbly, and my skin was glowing! It was a glorious day, to say the least. The sun is where I THRIVE!

As a result, I began contemplating about how to best share my journey as a twenty-something, traveling, and lifestyle. I thought about my love for writing and my new hobby, snapping pics, (I won’t say photography because I’m not there yet. ha!)

There I was, in my element, thinking about how great this day was and my next move. Which lead me to the creation of Chasing Golden Elements.

This blog will be full of fun, adventurous travels, & any other randomness I have experienced that week. Plus you’ll be the first to know about the BIG SECRET! Shh! 🙂

So join me on my first golden chase and welcome to Chasing Golden Elements.