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Eight Ways to Cope With Anxiety and Depression – Jeanne Marie

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Hello Everyone. My name is Jeanne Marie. I am from the beautiful country known as Trinidad and Tobago which is in close proximity to Venezuela. I always knew I worried quite a bit but I didn’t exactly know the extent of my issue till I started studying Psychology myself as well as when I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder at age 25. I know for most people that is quite a late diagnosis but my symptoms only started to manifest itself when I left TT to study in England where I also was treated for depression. 
As a psychology graduate it has been tough sharing my story because 1) I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. 2) it is more challenging because I studied psychology therefore, it is harder for people to accept that I need assistance just like everyone else so I used to deal with my issues on my own or seek out others in the field.
For more of me check out my website: jeannemarieth.blogspot.com

8 Ways to Cope With Anxiety and Depression

  1. Take time to indulge in activities that you really enjoy. For example, I love dancing as such I spend at least two hours a day dancing around my house in my underwear and I don’t care if my neighbors  see me. I feel so free and relaxed. The world doesn’t exist.
  2. Get in touch with a higher being. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a prayer to God (though that is my personal choice), it can be mediating or self reflecting.
  3. Remove negativity out of your life. I know that seems easier said than done especially when these negative forces in your life are family or co-workers. In those circumstances, create as much distance as possible from these people. Light banter if you will but don’t get involved in their bickering and do not engage in their behavior if directed towards you.
  4. Write a list of positive attributes about yourself. I focus on creating a list of 10 positive affirmations each day but I know for some this may be a challenge. Therefore, you can start slowly. One positive affirmation a day and grow from there.
  5. When you feel anxious, go to a safe space by yourself and cry. Let all the emotions that you feel out. I don’t know about anyone else but I tend to bottle up my emotions until it becomes overwhelming and I have a mental breakdown. You want to avoid that as much as possible. Therefore, if you need to cry, I say cry. If you need to scream or talk to yourself, be my guest. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  6. Confide in genuine people. I am blessed with two best friends that I can share my life challenges with. They don’t judge or ever criticize which helps. Find the right people. Some can be very dismissive of your emotions. You do not want someone like that as a confidant.
  7. Of course the obvious choice is seeking counseling. Counseling can be expensive if sought out privately but there is always free counseling sessions available at churches, non-governmental organizations or depending on where you live the government may provides such avenues. Support groups are quite helpful as they make you feel less alone.
  8. You may need to be prescribed medication if your symptoms are severe. You must consult a psychiatrist before taking any pills. Let them recommend any medication they believe may be of assistance.

Thank you for reading. I hope you can apply some of the points to your own situations in the future.

Additionally, I would like to thank Ms. Koral Dawn for the opportunity of guest blogging on her website!

Links to my websites are provided down below.

Blog: jeannemarieth.blogspot.com

Instagram: @jeannemarieth
A big thank you to Jeanne for posting on anxiety and depression! All of my guests have given their own perspective on how to deal with these stresses and I’m so happy to see they all have a bit of a different view on the situations at hand! While many post recently have had similar titles, each one is unique in their own way.
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Getting Into the Holiday Spirit – A Holiday Guide – BeautyMePlease

This Black Friday post comes to you from a fellow Washington resident! Briana reached out to me regarding guest posting, and lo and behold she lives only one hour from me in my new home state! I’m sure you’ll see more collaborating between her and I in the coming years as we can easily work together to come up with ideas. Without further hesitation, I present BeautyMePlease!

As the end of the year approaches faster than ever, every year we still face the same problem: Getting into the holiday vibe. True story! You must be thinking, “alright Bri, Good luck with that”, well GRINCH, I don’t need your input!

Before we get started let me introduce myself, My name is Briana and I am the owner/creator of Beauty me Please! I am a beauty blogger and freelance makeup artist that blog about beauty as long as it is cruelty free & vegan! I also do personal blogs and self care because we all need that reminder to take care of ourselves. If you want to see more of me don’t hesitate to visit me at beautymeplease.com

Coffee up and take a seat because we are getting festive!

1. Smell like a SNACK

Ever here the term “Smelling like a snack? Yeah I have too and I am not too fond of it but it is relevant for this topic. One way to get into the holiday spirit to to bathe in the scents and oh so good beauty products. I am talking candles, shower gels, lotions, hair products and maybe as far as toothpaste. That sounds like a cavity. But it is a start! If your tree is up, spray some pine, need some candles? Hit up Bath N Body works for some sugarcookie or vanilla scented candles to make your house smell like a bakery all day everyday! Something fun and relaxing is taking a bath and using a really good scented bath bomb and then lotion up afterwards. Usually with smells that go well together. Careful not to go overboard though, it happens.

2. Baking and baked goods make the heart whole 

At heart, if there are no sweets of any kind I am a very very sad soul and many others are too. It is literally the unofficial tradition for thanksgiving or Christmas. Sure you have your buffets of food but your holiday will not be complete without  some yummy baked goods. 

So you can go out an check out and support your local bake shops because usually they have the good stuff. Or checkout Pinterest because there are so many really good and healthy dishes and recipes but the search will be unlimited! Best believe Pinterest has millions of recipes and more more are added everyday and since the holidays are here, you are boundto find the perfect recipe.

 

3. Facebook events

If you are looking to save money this year because you blew it all on decorations or presents but still want something to do then this is for you. Around this time of year, your town or city have many events happening pertaining to the holiday or celebrations. There are dance events, events for family and children,concerts, special mall parties, whatever it may be you are bound to something really fun and worth the experience. A lot of the events depending on the area will be free and also depending on the area or event in general there are fees but nothing too crazy. Definitely doable. Facebook events are easily accessible in the app and on desktop. Give it a whirl and see what you find.

4. Decorate!

This is the simplest and easiest way to truly get festive and feel one with the spirit! Decorating is like the soul or the door to feeling happy and good spirited with the harsh winter fall and winter weather. It keeps you sain, and you don’t have to leave your house if you don’t want after you make your place a living museum of decorative vibes. And every year you get to spend time in looking for MORE decor to compliment what you already have. It is the truest form of satisfaction.

5. You’re the Grinch

If none of these are tickling you yet, I fear that it is too late for you! YOU GRINCH! Or possibly scrooge? You simply cannot be entertained! Getting festive and feeling the holiday is also wanting to really feel something else other than moping around and feeling unhappy. My advice? Go to that neighborhood where every house and lawn is decked out head-to-toe in decorations. Appreciate all the pretty lights and the effort that goes into that maintenance and dedication it took to get all that out. You know what I am talking about! When you were younger your family would drive around looking at all the homes that were bright and colorful SCREAMING for attention! If that STILL doesn’t get your blood flowing well, Netflix your problems until you feel better.

Well that is all I have for this year guys! I hope you guys enjoyed this read as much as I did but really, all seriousness aside you should really some of these out if you haven’t already, could make a difference, who knows. I’d like to thank Koral, for giving me the opportunity to reach out to you guys and give you some ideas and hopefully a laugh! She is a great person and I love her work as you do too! Thank you for having me, again my name is Briana and I hope you have the BEST Thanksgiving and Christmas and a Happy New year!

What Am I Anxious About? – by Kanzu and Kimchi Blog

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Hello Unsanity readers! It’s time for a guest blog post this week! Bloggers come from all over the world, and Kristie was so excited to write as a guest for me regarding her anxiousness relating to my current theme. She’s nearly 12 hours ahead of me in the world of time believe it or not. My morning is her late night and I think it’s amazing how networking and blogging can bring us all together from different ends of the earth. Check out her story below and give her blog some love (linked below in the paragraphs) and thanks so much for writing your story!

My name is Kristie, I recently started my own blog, Kanzu and Kimchi, where I talk about my expat life, travelling the world and shamelessly pinning and posting anything pretty I can photograph.  I’m 35 years old. I’m married, am a mother of two boys, have a Cavapoo/Cavoodle named Winston and currently live in Muscat, Oman. I love to travel, hate to fly and worry I’ll never have time to experience everything the world has to offer. I am obsessed with CrossFit, love to read and write and dream of being inspiring and creative enough to make a difference in the world. I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. It has been tolerable, intolerable and at times downright debilitating. What am I anxious about? Everything and yet nothing at the same time.

I have nothing to be anxious about. I had an amazing childhood, came from a stable, loving household, went to University, earned lots of money, have beautiful perfect children and a perfect husband who supports every stupid, ridiculous thing I do… but it’s still there. It holds my hand and accompanies me to public events, keeps me awake at night with its incessant chatter and envelopes me in its suffocating embrace every time I board an aircraft. It makes me question and loathe myself as much as it propels me forward in a desperate attempt for perfection and success.

I remember starting to feel anxious about ‘everything’ the first time my mother was late collecting me from school. By late I mean, 5mins outside of her normal, ridiculously punctual routine. I envisaged she had been maimed in a horrific car accident, the victim of a reckless driver taken from my life forever.  My chest felt heavy, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt like I needed to flick my foot, shake my hand or walk around in circles to somehow abate the nervous energy that had started to take hold of my entire being. My world felt like it was spinning, and no words of comfort could pull me back from the abyss. It just grew from there, a constant sense of impending doom. I was afraid to fail, feared I would never be good enough, afraid that a thunderstorm would turn into a hurricane or that the Gulf War would somehow find its way to my front doorstep.

By the time I got to my early twenties my anxiety had become debilitating. I was afraid to drive my car fearing death by motor accident, I stopped leaving the house, I struggled to sleep and started to convince myself I had a million health issues. To fight the exhaustion, I lived on sugar and made frequent visits to my doctor, worried I was dying a slow death. After my 1001th visit my doctor sent me off for tests. He knew that because my anxiety had become so bad that his words alone would never placate my obsessive thoughts, I would need to see it all, written down in black and white. Once I was convinced it wasn’t coming to an end we decided on a course of action that still serves me well today.

Sugar, as most of you probably know can be a trigger for anxiety. It messes with your gut, which messes with your mind. It had to go from my life. It’s hard to say no to all that delicious, sugary, sweet food, believe me, I know. When I would get anxious I would devour an entire bag of candy. The more I ate the more I wanted, so the more anxious I became. I could never break the cycle. Removing sugar had a profound effect on my overall wellbeing. Most of us Anxious types produce a lot of negative energy, that horrible titchy feeling when you need to move or feel like something is coming? It needs to be re-directed and expelled so it doesn’t consume you. My doctor said to me some people need to exercise every single day. I am one of those people. I do CrossFit five days a week. It refocuses the negative thoughts and those feelings of impending doom on something that is far better for me than obsessive worry. By the end I feel exhausted, but content. If I can’t get to CrossFit I try and go for a run or walk the dog. I’ve always been active but having a consistent routine really helps keep the anxiety at bay.

Today I feel like me and anxiety live together in sweet harmony. With the help of a super rational husband, changes to my diet and frequent exercise I’m able to keep my anxiety in a tolerable state.

“We must suffer alone. But we can at least hold out our arms to our similarly tortured, fractured, and above all else anxious neighbours, as if to say in the kindest way possible, I know.” (Sarah Wilson, Author of New York Times bestselling book: First we make the beast beautiful).

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Five Tips for Creating Clickable Posts Your Audience Will Want to Share

Hi everyone and welcome to the new renovated Unsanity Blog. I’ve changed a few things you might want to check out on the site, including the layout and URL – I have my own domain again! It’s been awhile and now that I have a bit more time to dedicate to my blog, I’m going to be updating regularly, scheduling posts and posting as much as I can, when I can. I’ve added some new widgets at the bottom, including a countdown and a link to my Facebook Page where you can find additional content and graphics I make for you to love and share.

Here, I wanted to highlight five tips for creating clickable posts your audience will want to share. This list is (or should be at least) known by all, but in case you don’t know this, feel free to share away! (Yes they still have my old website on them, since these were created awhile ago, and I am aware of that, but the website still works!) Each tip features a cute yet strong animal everyone can relate to in their own way.

  1. Be Relevant
  2. Use A Strong CTA (Call to Action)
  3. Use Smart Design Strategies
  4. Remember Each Platform is Different
  5. BE ORIGINAL (most important!)
  • GUEST BLOGGER: My Darkest Hour: Helping Others Find the Light – by Finding Inspiration in the Chaos

    A huge thank you to Lana for sharing this with all my readers and especially me. You go girl; you’re better than you know. I respect and love that people are sharing their stories with me and being 100% honest and true about them, even if they have never told another soul. You can find her blog here for more information and storytelling. 
    TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks about the attempted suicide of a teenager. Please be aware and choose wisely before you continue.
     National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

    “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    “When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind.” -Jeannette Walls

    “The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.” -Juliette Lewis

    **I want to start by saying this post is not easy for me to write. My anxiety was triggered by this post multiple times while writing, but I kept coming back around to the feeling that it needs to be shared. Honestly, some of my friends and family are unaware of this and it has been 17 years, but I guess they will find out now. But this post is not just about me. It is so much bigger than me. I pray this reaches someone and makes them, at the very least, reconsider or reach out for help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

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    It was September 7, 2001, I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was 15 years old and I felt like my life was over. I look back now and I can see that my life was not horrible. I was blessed more than some kids my age. I had a roof over my head, lots of people that loved me, a good relationship with my mom and dad, and I wasn’t being abused in any way. However, we had just moved and my world felt like it had been twisted upside down. I had to quit Varsity cheerleading and leave all my friends behind. We were only moving about an hour away, but I wasn’t driving yet so it wasn’t going to be easy to see my friends on a regular basis. The new school I was attending didn’t have cheerleading and I just felt like an outsider. I never felt like I fit in there.

    Like I said it was September 7, 2001, and my family and I had just gotten back from a football game in the town we had just moved from. I was so excited to get to see some of my friends and a friend of my moms even offered to let me move in with her to finish school, but my parents said no. I think seeing everyone that night actually made it harder. I still missed everyone there, but at the same time, I felt like I didn’t fit in there anymore either. I felt lost and defeated. I felt completely alone. I’m a believer in Christ, and with that belief comes the belief in evil. I believe that Satan took advantage of my loneliness and tried to steal me away from God and my family that night. I remember getting back to the house that night, after crying the entire way home, and I went up to my room and I literally hit my knees and prayed, “LORD, take me home. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

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    Later that night, my mom asked me if I was going to bed and I told her that I was going to stay up a little while and watch TV downstairs in the living room. She has since told me that she wished she would have followed her “mom gut” that night and stayed up with me. She just felt wrong about me staying up alone that night.

    After my parents went to bed, I went to the kitchen and got 3 water bottles out of the refrigerator and I climbed on top of the counter and proceeded to pull the Zoloft, Tylenol, and IBProfen out of the medicine cabinet. I remember this night in detail, but it was almost like an out of body experience. It was like I was watching myself from above doing all this and part of me wanted to scream out, “NO! NO! What are you doing?!?! STOP!” I felt robotic. I felt numb. I had made my decision and I was going forward with it. Let me just state, I had not been planning this. This was a split decision that came from a very dark, dark night of loneliness. I went back to the couch in our living room and as I watched Three’s Company on TVLand, I began to take one pill at a time. From there, it begins to get a little foggy, but I remember something very, very clearly. God was watching out for me that night. I remember looking over to the other side of the room, and leaning up against the wall was my grandmother, my step mom’s mother that had recently passed away. She looked at me and shook her finger, almost like she was telling me, “no, Lana. It is not your time yet.”

    The next morning, I vaguely remember my mom coming down the stairs, seeing me, and then yelling up the stairs to my dad, “Lana tried to kill herself. Call 911.” I was in and out of consciousness at this point. My dad carried me to the car and we drove to meet the ambulance on the main road because we lived about 10 minutes out of town. Come to find out later on, I must have thrown up during the night at some point, and that was the only thing that saved my life. The doctors said I took enough medicine that I shouldn’t have survived. I do remember getting a tummy ache and feeling very full. I think it was because I drank so much water to get all the pills down, but whatever it was it saved my life.

    I won’t go into detail about the next few days. I was in the ICU in San Antonio for a few nights. I will say this, I am loved. I had grandparents from all over Texas drive all night to get to me. I even had a grandpa from Louisiana drive 10 hours to get to the hospital to see me. No one made me feel like I had failed. No one made me feel like I was a disappointment. They slept in chairs in the ICU waiting room and took turns coming in to sit with me through the night because only one person was allowed in at a time. I was reminded that I wasn’t alone, that I was loved, and that no matter what I had a family that would love me unconditionally.

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    How did I heal? Well, strangely enough, my little brother, who was 9 at the time, had a lot to do with my healing process. He and I had always been close growing up and I took solace in that. I slept in his room for the first two or three months after I got out of the hospital. We would stay up and watch movies on nights that he didn’t have to go to school, I would read to him, and we would play make-believe with his cars and horses. I will never forget how my little brother would watch over me, even when I moved back to my room, I would wake up some mornings and he would be curled up at the foot of my bed or on a blanket on the floor next to my bed. To this day we have never talked about my attempted suicide, but he did tell my mom a few weeks after it happened, “Mom, I am so glad my sister didn’t die.” Love really can heal all wounds, especially love from your little brother.

    I stayed home from school for a couple of months, taking part in a home-bound program. I had a teacher come to my house daily and we did my lessons. My mom and I got to spend a lot of time together during those days before I started back to school. We made a point to laugh every day. I started seeing a counselor and open-communication became even more mandatory in our house.

    I lived that night because God wasn’t finished with me on earth. A few days after my attempt, my mom told me that her sister and my grandmother had woken up that night and felt like something was wrong and they felt an urgency to say a prayer for me. I truly believe that Satan reached into my darkness and whispered in my ear “this is the only way.” But Satan is a liar and I am here to tell you that God still has the ability to perform miracles and spit in the face of Satan because I am still here today. I vowed from that day forward to do something with my second chance. That is why I am writing this blog. I hope that I can change the life of some lonely child or adult out there that is contemplating taking their own life. Stop for just one moment. Breathe. Ask for help.

    There is light at the end of the dark tunnel. You can make it through this. You can fight out the darkness. As a parent of two boys, I also want to speak to the parents out there. I can’t imagine losing a child. I asked my parents if I had given any signs. They both, sadly, said I didn’t. I was still smiling. My teachers were shocked because I was “always smiling” at school. My dad did say that you need to remain connected with your children. That sometimes we get caught up in the day to day of trying to provide for our families that we forget to check in with them. Be vigilant of your children if they are dealing with huge changes, like a move. My mom said, “trust your gut.” She felt like something was off that night and she didn’t feel comfortable about me staying up alone to watch TV, even though I did it all the time.

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    According to the CDC website, ” Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24 and results in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year.” Here are some things to look for in your children:

    • Thinking or talking about or threatening suicide
    • Feelings of purposelessness, anxiety, being trapped, or hopeless
    • Withdrawing from people and activities
    • Expressing unusual anger, recklessness, or mood changes

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This to shall pass. Have faith that you are stronger than the situation you are currently in.

    YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    Send me a message if you ever feel like talking to someone. I will always answer.

    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

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    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255   https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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    Lessons From Anxiety – Marvelously Miranda

    It’s Wednesday! And you know what that means – guest blogger number one!

    I want to give a big thanks to Miranda for being the first person to get a blog over to me and so quickly.

    Check out her story in my previous post and her Lessons From Anxiety.

    Despite having symptoms years earlier, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at the age of 20.  I am now 24 and I can tell you that I have learned a lot by living with anxiety.  I would like to share with you 5 things living with anxiety has taught me in the hopes that they will help you as you strive to be victorious in the battlefield of your mind.

    1. THE VOICE INSIDE MY MIND, lies.  I am sure you know the voice I am talking about….it tells you that you’re worthless, that you are a failure, that you have let everyone down.  The voice that’s heard desires to haunt during the night and remind of every little mistake made.  That voice that speaks so harshly to me, he is full of lies.  Anxiety will make everything bigger than it is.  I may read a text and forget to respond for a while.  Suddenly, I’m hearing I’m a failure, I’m proving how unworthy of love and devotion I am.  I know that this is not true, this is anxiety speaking to me and I just have to remember the voice I hear, lies.
    2. BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT: If you have anxiety, then you know how easy it can be to worry about everyone around you.  Sometimes, we can worry about someone so much, we make ourselves sick (oh dear, ask me how I know…).  Unfortunately, there are people in the world who prey on those with anxiety and who like to “befriend” those of us with anxiety because our fear of conflict can be a reason to avoid saying “no” at all cost.  One thing I’ve learned is that setting boundaries are important both for my mental health and my overall safety and well-being.  Does setting a boundary and sticking to it make me nervous? You bet! but it’s something I have got to do even if it costs me some relationships.
    3. ANXIETY CAN BE USED AS MOTIVATION:This post is proof.  If I didn’t have anxiety myself, I wouldn’t be as motivated to write about my experience and try to help someone else in the same predicament. I try to let anxiety fuel my fire and passion for mental health.
    4. IF YOU HAVE TO DO THINGS AFRAID, THAT’S OK!: As mentioned above, anxiety can be a good tool to motivate an individual.  But, if you’re like me you may decide to allow the anxiety to motivate you to do something and then once you begin the process of doing what it is you’ve set your mind to, you become more anxious and begin to doubt whether or not you’re capable of what you’re trying to accomplish.  Sometimes, venturing out of your comfort zone can fill you with fear and dread but that’s ok.  If you’re afraid to write, write anyway.  If you’re afraid to change careers but have always had a burning desire to do so, then change.  You may still feel the fear while you’re working on your goals but that’s ok.  You can do whatever it is you desire to do even if you’re afraid.
    5. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT: I suffered with anxiety for years before finally seeking help.  Waiting to reach out cost me relationships with friends, family, and quality of life.  I was so sure that I could overcome anxiety on my own if I just kept exercising, eating right, and spending time doing activities I enjoyed.  My biggest regret about getting help is the fact that I did not do it sooner.  If you are struggling with anxiety and are desperate for relief, reach out.  Talk to a trusted friend, family member, etc…it may be that you need to access your support system more.  It may even be that you could benefit from medication (please talk with your doctor before trying any supplement or prescription).  If you do find that you need medication (as I do), there is no shame in utilizing it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Anxiety can be difficult to manage but one thing I know is this, overcoming the challenges that come with living with anxiety is possible.  You have a talent that you need to show the world so do what you can to overcome the anxiety, ignore the voice in your head that lies to you, and do whatever it is you are motivated to do.  Even if you have to do it afraid.
    Thanks for reading and head on over to Marvelously Miranda for more!

    Liebster Awards!

    I was nominated many eons ago by Debs The Ninja on her blog. I’m super grateful, and never realized what it was until I read more up on it not too long ago (meaning like 3 months ago now, but still this was from back years ago… lol.) Since this is so old, I’m going to still answer the questions I was given by Debs, but I’m hoping this will translate into the 2018 version. The rules are simple and not hard to follow!

    These are the rules: 

    Thank the nominator and post a link to his/her blog
    Display the award on your blog
    Answer the questions provided by the nominator
    Include some random facts about yourself
    Nominate 5-11 blogs which have less than 1000 followers
    Prepare more questions

    The questions given to me go as follows:

    If you could visit any five countries in the world with no time or money constraints, where would you go and why?

    Wow, any 5? I’m not honestly sure. I know one would have to be Hungary because I’m Hungarian and Budapest is gorgeous in photos I see on the web. I know someone who lives there, and she’s a fellow Etsy seller (you can check out her stuff here!) My next would have to be Iceland. I’ve always wanted to head there and see the hot springs and mountains that I see so many photos of online and on Instagram. I was thinking possibly a honeymoon destination…. but I’d need to get the fiance on board first to go there, haha. Third would have to be Finland. My mom went some many years ago, and said it was gorgeous. Not to mention that the fact so much amazing music comes out of there… mainly Poets of the Fall which happens to be my favorite band. I have never seen them because they don’t have a presence over here in the states, sadly. But one day I hope to see them live. Also, northern lights, DUH! My last two would have to be Japan and Scotland. No real reason except that photos that I’ve seen are amazing. As someone who has an interest in photography and different food sometimes, I’d say it would be well worth it for me to explore more options. A lot of other countries are over played.. and make them more crowded. I’d like to go off the beaten path a bit and stay in locations that aren’t popular at these.

    What inspires or motivates you?

    Before my fiance… not much motivated me. I was in a crappy hole from break up after break up and didn’t want to do anything or be with anyone. Now, I like to think we inspire each other with ideas and we mesh well, making us both better people. I love nature and the organic shapes of flowers, leaves, and trees. In order to be surrounded by inspiration and find new inspiration, I think it’s important to get out of your office every day to take a short walk or find a new hiking path. I want to start to do this more, since the weather is starting to get amazing here in WA.

    How would you describe yourself in ten words?

    1. Outgoing 2. Loving 3. Crazy 4. Wine-Drinker 5. Passionate 6. Short-Tempered 7. Motivational 8. Understanding 9. SocialButterfly 10. Weird

    What is the craziest or awesomest thing you’ve ever done?

    Packed up and moved to the West Coast. No, seriously. I was living in PA and previously NJ, and was like you know what, I need a change. So I found a job out here and well, here I am! I decided that I wasn’t getting any younger and if I wanted to do something I had to do it. And thankfully my fiance came with me (LOL) or he’d be pretty sad back there without me.

    What is your spirit animal and why?

    The Wolf: A power animal symbolic of freedom

    The power of the wolf brings forth instinct, intelligence, appetite for freedom, and awareness of the importance of social connections. This animal can also symbolize fear of being threatened and lack of trust. When the wolf shows up in your life, pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. Wolf power or spirit animals point to an appetite for freedom and living life powerfully, guided by instincts. When a wolf manifests its presence as a guide in your life, it could be a call to live your life more freely, to bring the intensity of passion in your everyday endeavors. Wolves are wild animals that are not easily domesticated and when they appear as spirit guides, they could be an invitation to look at what supports your authentic self and the true expression of yourself. The wolf totem is a reminder to keep your spirit alive and trust your instincts to find the way that will best suit you. (Excerpt taken from here.)

    Do you remember your dreams? If so, what was your weirdest dream?

    Sometimes I do. That’s something I’ve always wanted to keep track of at least for a little while. I haven’t been dreaming lately though, since moving to Washington. Which I find a little odd. Back in PA I was always dreaming and I’ve had a few strange ones, but none that I can remember vividly to be honest. I’d like to keep a dream journal by my bed to start tracking those, if I ever have another dream.

    What is your favorite band/song/genre of music?

    I like to say I don’t have a favorite band or genre at all. I listen to anything from Pop to Rock to Death Metal to Opera so I don’t think I can give myself a category specifically. I feel like there are a lot of people like this in today’s day and age, along with this being perfectly normal.

    How would you describe a perfect day?

    If you want to check out my previous blog I wrote about this you can – it’s too long to write in here!

    Do you prefer cold weather or hot weather? 

    Cold! Well, sometimes. You can always put on more layers to get warm, but you can’t take off anymore layers without going past naked. At least, that’s how I view it… I’m not sure how the rest of you do. I’d much rather pile on the blankets to be comfortable than dripping sweat when you need electricity for a fan or something to help that out.

    What are you most afraid of?

    Existential Anxiety: According to existential theorists, a universal fear of the limits and responsibilities of one’s existence.

    What do you love more than anything else and why?

    1. Learning. Learning is not necessarily about knowledge per se but it is also about developing the ability to think critically, about using one’s imagination and many more things. Ghandi once declared that “the future depends on what we do in the present.” If we are to have a future, we need to evolve.
    2. Nature. “We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau
    3. 27752368_1624846487622569_4065434429084898169_n
      Need I say more?

    Nominated Blogs:

    1. Delux Does Life
    2. Discovering Life with Appie
    3. Sweet Lemons
    4. Anna Merissa
    5. Bay Area Beauty Blogger
    6. 4 Little Fergusons
    7. Butterfly Samurai
    8. A Guy’s Guide to Wedding Planning

    Here are my new questions to answer:

    1. What is your favorite quote?
    2. If you could go anywhere in the world for 3 months, where would you go and why?
    3. What are some things you’re passionate about and why?
    4. That’s the weirdest thing you’ve done so far?
    5. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
    6. What makes you feel accomplished?
    7. If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?
    8. Do you believe in second chances?
    9. What’s on your bucket list this year?
    10. What’s your biggest regret in life?

    Random Facts

    1. I’ve been to 26 states so far and hoping to do all 50 before 35.
    2. I have 21 tattoos.
    3. I’ve had my blog for 7+ years.
    4. If I go to a brewery, and they don’t have a pretzel and beer cheese sauce, they are immediately judged. It’s my go to.
    5. I drink wine like water sometimes.
    6. I’ve lived on both coasts now, and the weather on the West Coast is so far the winner even though I’ve only been here for 5 months.
    7. I hate flying.
    8. I work for the government.
    9. I’m marrying my best friend – someone who’s tried to get me for 4 years.
    10. I procrastinate everything in life … Except work most times.

    I’d Like a Drink

    Sunday evening and I’ve spent about an hour and a half in the bath enjoying my “me” time making some designs. I remember today was Victor Hugo day and I chose something from Les Misérables because it’s my favorite movie.

    I’d like to watch it sometime here soon. I haven’t in about a year and a half, and that’s something I’d like to do usually once every few months. I’ve done it every year now for quite some time.

    We’ve been working on wedding stuff and it’s stressing me out, so I came up with this one for today! Enjoy.

    xoxoxo

    Koral Dawn

    Off to New Heights

    About 2 weeks ago we had a pretty epic drive towards Mount Rainier. We didn’t hit it, but we got so close we couldn’t even see it anymore. It was a good winding drive from our home in Lacey, back roads meant for race cars and going fast .. as long as there’s not a motorcyclist in your way going half the actual speed limit and doesn’t know how to bike. Yes, we came across this as we turned around from the actual mountain to head to the lookout not far back towards home to take these shots. He was quite possibly the worst bike rider I’ve ever been behind, however, at least he was careful with the twisting turning roads.

    Anyway, you can see a bit of history with the first photo and amount Rainier. Definitely excited to call this place home once we actually get more settled, he has a job, and we can do way more that we want to. I’d like to buy a house within the next two years. By then we’ll be married and his credit score will be on its way up up up and for he better. Mines pretty decent right now, and I’m pretty excited for it. I hope it can stay that way and keep going up.

    The second photo is of the Hasselblad camera I actually grew quite fond of quickly. Seems though it was dirty and needs some cleaning in which we tried to do ourselves, but turns out the person before us had it taken apart and never put it back together correctly and we need to send it out for cleaning, fixing and new screws. There’s others like it that he has I can use, but this was my favorite.

    Enjoy the photos and gaze upon the beauty that is Rainier. I can’t wait for summer to go into the park! 🗻❤️🌷

    xoxox

    Koral Dawn