3.31.2014

On Breathe Again

Why yes, I did change the cover. I definitely will not be doing this often (like I change my blog design), but I've been contemplating and working on it for a few weeks now. It'll stay this way, I promise!

A little over a month ago, I hit publish on my book. It's still so strange to think that it's out there in the universe; that people are actually reading it. In fact, over 4,000 people have downloaded it as of today. Crazy. Holy crazy. 

I knew that I might get some slack over it because I knew it needed some editing. But when your eyeballs start to bleed from reading it over and over again, and then you really start to cry wondering if you'll ever just get there, sometimes you do crazy things. Like hit publish. 

I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to promote my book. I suppose I could have gone the traditional route and try to find a publisher, but that's not me. I read a lot of indie self-published fiction, and I know how big the market for books that are self-published is. There are people out there willing to read my book, even if I did publish it myself. Some of my favorite books were, at one point or another, self-published by the author. And if you're aware of the indie niche that is book publishing, you know how vocal some established authors are about the merits of doing it yourself. I figured, why not?

Another reason I may have done this prematurely or even...spontaneously (did I just admit to that?) is because, well, I'm not a writer. I like to think of myself as a writer in the same sense that I'm an artist or creator or designer. I write, therefore I am a writer, correct? I blog, which is a form of writing. I suppose I am an author, since I have a Goodreads author account now (weird), but I don't know that I would ever consider myself legitimate at writing.

Hitting publish on that book was more for me than anything else. I wrote that book for myself because I had a story in my head, and I hit publish on that book because it's always been a goal of mine. It's a bucket list thing, not really a I know what the hell I'm doing thing. Because I don't. 

To everyone who has already purchased my book, I want to say thank you. It's still weird for me to think that there are people out there, you guys, who support me and my work from afar. I feel very alone sometimes in this world, but then I remember that just because I haven't met you doesn't mean you aren't there. So thanks for that. 

In case you're wondering, I have updated the book with a newer, more polished version. If you downloaded Breathe Again when I first released it but haven't read it yet, be sure to get the newest version before you do. And, if you feel so inclined, I would appreciate it more than you know if you would leave me a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Though I never really expected anything to come of this adventure, I can at least see where it goes from here, right?

3.30.2014

Currently Coveting v.2

Maybe it's because it's spring, but I'm in a shopping mood lately. Probably not the best idea right now, but I have been treating myself to a few things. I've been really wanting to change things up in my apartment too, but I'm going to refrain for now since we'll be moving later this year (more on that this week, promise). 

Anyway, I've been finding myself drawn to a lot of floral pattern lately. In everything - my clothes, my home, my weddings. It's funny how trends repeat themselves, isn't it? I sometimes laugh at how my grandmother probably would have loved my style now, but we used to make fun of her all the time for her eccentric prints and costume jewelry! She was all about the florals too, which makes me smile. 
1 :: Dress via Modcloth // 2 :: Wallpaper via Anthropologie // 3 :: Shoes via Miu Miu // 4 :: Watch via Asos

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases made via these links. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!

3.27.2014

The Gap

I know what I'm about to share has been seen a lot in the blogging world, but it's still one of my favorite quotes ever. It's always an amazing feeling when someone else can put exactly what you're feeling into words. This is for those of you attempting to find your creative potential, for those of you who want to quit. Believe me, I've definitely considered quitting in the past. But I didn't.
It's not word-for-word, but you can see Ira Glass give this interview here.

3.25.2014

The Realities of Being a Wedding Planner

Without fail, the response I get most often once people realize that I'm a wedding planner is along the lines of that's my dream job! I don't know why I get so irked about this, but I have to admit that I do. Now, let me give a few disclaimers before I get started on this post. 

1 // Wedding planning was my dream job at one point in my life, and still is, to an extent

2 // I love my job. I am thankful each and every day that I get to work for myself making pretty things and creating events that my clients love. 

3 // I am NOT planning on giving up on wedding planning. Not any time soon, at least.

4 // That being said, I never intended for wedding planning to be my life career. I do have a business plan laying around here somewhere, and it includes a lot of lofty ambitions and goals for both myself and my business that go beyond wedding planning. 
I love every one of my weddings, truly I do. This wedding party, photo by Jess Roy Photography, was SO much fun. Every time I look at this picture, I'm reminded of why I do what I do.

I've told my story a few times in the past, but I'll give you an abbreviated version, for the sake of context. 

In 2010, I was a newlywed and completely miserable at my traditional nine-to-five. I was a technical writer for a software development company and needed a creative outlet. That's when I started my blog, Where We Love is Home. All of the sudden, I was exposed to this community of bloggers. Too often, the conversation is focused on people who want to be professional bloggers, but I see something beyond that. I've always seen blogging as a method to figure out what it is exactly that you want to do. For me, blogging has never been, and never will be, an end all.

My blog was a form of therapy for me, and in the process I discovered a world of young women who realized their creative potential because of their blogs. I'm talking about graphic designers, interior designers, and photographers who started their own businesses, and other women who have found their perfect jobs, because of their blogs. 

My story is kind of like every other wedding planner's story - I've always loved weddings and I just thought it would be a fun industry to get into. I had event planning experience in college, and I did work for others in the industry before starting my business. But if you want the truth - I had no idea what the hell I was doing at the time. 

I think maybe that's why it rubs me the wrong way when I see people attempting to start their own wedding planning business when they have absolutely no idea what they're getting themselves into, or why I cringe a little when people gush over my job when I tell them.

I have no doubt now that I'm good at what I do. I feel odd saying it, but I can be really good at what I do. But I never, ever, thought that I would get to where I am. And at one point, I was actually pretty terrible.

I once asked a planner and designer that I've always really admired what her advice would be to an aspiring planner. Her response? Blood, sweat, and tears. 

I get it now. 

If you want to know the truth...planning and design is not all sunshine and rainbows. I may love parts of my job, but believe me when I say that it's not nearly as glamorous as it sounds.

As the planner and coordinator, it's always our fault. I hate saying it because I have a feeling I'll get slack on that point, but it's true. It doesn't matter what vendor screwed up - if your photographer didn't get an important shot or the rental company didn't bring enough chairs or the fire alarm goes off because the band brought a smoke machine you didn't know about. It's always going to be the planner's fault. Actually, let me rephrase that - a good planner will more than likely take responsibility for it.

We're the ones who have to know every single detail about your wedding day. Your vendors will know bits and pieces, but we have to know everything. If something falls through the cracks, it's because we didn't realize it. It doesn't really matter if it was a last minute change or something that we didn't know was going to happen in the first place - we should have known. And unfortunately, for us, the client usually thinks that too. 

We are the catch all. I've cleaned toilets (true story - my assistant once had to pull a dead rat out of a toilet). I've had to singlehandedly set up a hundred chairs in fifteen minutes. I've cleaned up after guests, gotten on my hands and knees so I could fix dance floors, and gotten in some seriously sketchy (if not dangerous) situations, all for my brides and grooms. I'm usually on my feet for twelve to fourteen hours on a wedding day, and I'm lucky if I get a break at all. 

I don't mind it. Really. But here's the thing...in an effort to give our clients their perfect day, they rarely know those sordid details. A good planner doesn't brag to their clients about the things they did to make their day amazing. All that matters is that they did. But if something goes wrong and they notice? Well, that's when it's our fault - because they noticed. Because we couldn't fix it before it became a problem. 

We're dealing with people on what's probably the most emotional day of their lives. It's an honor to be able to celebrate with them, truly, but it doesn't mean that people are always the kindest when it comes to their wedding. They want their perfect day, and I get it! I do, which is why I've learned to just let things go. If you want to get far in this business, you have to learn how to let things go. You can't take everything personally - it's just the nature of people in general.
Recognize that beautiful blogger there? That would be the amazing Lauren of Pink on the Cheek, photo by Anna Delores Photography. It's that look, right there, that makes it all worth it for me.

I think the number one indicator of a successful small business would be the work that you're willing to put it. This is true for any small business, especially a creative small business, and it's very, very true in the world of wedding planning and design.

The thing that we don't tell you, however, is how creatively exhausted we are. Think about it this way -in a world where there are blogs constantly bombarding you with ideas and trends, we have to be one step ahead. The status quo is never going to be good enough for us. The second we see a trend on a blog or on social media, its over for us. We don't get to use that idea again. We're constantly trying to think of the next best thing, and half the time we don't even know if its even going to look good! We have to trust ourselves that what we're designing is going to be amazing, but it isn't always. 

I think that's why I kind of hole myself up sometimes, why there will be days that I'm completely MIA from social media. Partially so that I can find my energy again, and partially so that I can find my inspiration within myself. I love designing, more than I like planning, but it's infinitely more tiring than planning too. It makes you second guess yourself constantly. And you never know if you're even going to be relevant next week. 

I have a thousand more thoughts on what it's like to be a wedding planner, but I think I'll leave it at that. For now. I love my job, more than I ever thought I would love my job, but it's still a job. 

3.24.2014

What I'm Reading :: Maybe Someday

It's been a while since I've written a What I'm Reading post because, well, it's been a while since I've read a book worth writing about. I figured it's about time, especially I've been looking for Colleen Hoover to put out a new book for quite a few months now. I absolutely LOVED Slammed, though the Hopeless series has to be one of my favorites. Ever. As soon as I read the summary for Maybe Someday, I knew it was going to be another one that I liked.
About Maybe Someday...

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next. 

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

I had really, really high hopes for this book, probably because her other two series were just...beyond. It's not that I didn't like this book, it's just that my expectations really were that high. I mean, if you've read Hopeless, you know how intense her books can be and I guess I was just hoping for the same type of emotional roller coaster. 

Now, if you don't know what type of book I typically read, know that I read a lot of what's called New Adult. It's just now starting to be recognized in the mainstream, and I'm kind of used to most people being unfamiliar with this type of genre. Some of my favorites are Beautiful Disaster (duh), Sea of Tranquility (times a thousand - might be my favorite book ever), and Thoughtless (SO GOOD). A common thread for all these books is the age of the protagonists (typically later high school to mid-twenties), steamy sex (I admit it - not as explicit as Fifty Shades, though that series tends to be considered New Adult as well), and a really, really emotional story-line. 

As much as I love these types of books, however, there are a few things that I tend to dislike. As much as I love a good love story, it needs to be part of a bigger story line. I prefer a couple that has to overcome an obstacle together, one that isn't just their relationship. Think a traumatic childhood or adolescence (probably the most common) or outside forces attempting to alter one or both of their lives outside of their relationship. 

Once a couple gets together, I tend to prefer that their relationship move on from that. The exception to this might be Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless, though if you've read these books, you understand why everyone obsesses over them. 

Anyway, that might be why Maybe Someday didn't hit as much of a chord with me. Colleen Hoover's most recent work, Hopeless, was an emotional roller coaster to the extreme - sure their relationship had it's ups and downs, but it was their personal stories intertwined that really made you cry. It was them trying to fix her life, and their realization of their past, that hit home. That story was so incredibly written that I think I just had high hopes. 

Maybe Someday was a powerful, unique story. Colleen Hoover really is amazing at creating a heartwrenching storyline, beautiful dialogue, and, in this book, one of the most compelling and sensual scenes I've ever read. But it was their story - the problem being in their relationship at its core - that made me skeptical. 

I loved the book, don't get me wrong. I gave it four stars on Goodreads because she's an amazing author and comes up with the most creative stories. But in the end, I have to say that it just didn't meet the expectations that I established after reading Hopeless

3.21.2014

Happy Hour :: Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my audacious announcement that I may have found the best margarita of my life. That's saying something - margaritas are hands down my favorite mixed drink, and I love love love discovering new recipes to try. We've made blood orange margaritas and sparkling margaritas and grapefruit margaritas, and now we've made a cucumber jalapeño margarita. 

I always thought that spicy drinks were somehow...weird. Until I tried one, at least. Give me a menu full of cocktails and I will almost always choose the jalapeño margarita, especially if it has cucumber in it. I absolutely love cucumber in my drinks too (especially gin drinks), so this might just be the best combination ever. Yes, it's that good.
Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita
3 slices of cucumber
Small slice of jalapeño without seeds
Dash of sugar or agave syrup
1 oz. lime juice
2 oz. jalapeño infused tequila
1 oz. of orange liqueur, such as Cointreau

To infuse tequila, just add sliced jalapeños (two to three for an entire bottle) and let it sit for a few hours, probably no more than six or so. Test it after a few hours to see how it tastes to you; obviously letting it sit longer gives it a spicier flavor. 

To make the margarita itself, cut the cucumber into small chunks and add to a glass with a small slice of jalapeño (without seeds). Muddle them together with the sugar or syrup and the lime juice. Add the tequila, orange liqueur, and ice. Shake together and strain through a fine mesh strainer over fresh ice. Serve with a cucumber slice and enjoy! 

P.S. Can anyone tell me why some of my pictures are so blurry on Blogger? It's really frustrating, and I've tried so hard to figure it out! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

3.19.2014

Try the World :: Paris

Have you all heard of Try the World yet? Because I'm slightly obsessed with this subscription box. They sent my husband a box, and I just knew that I had to share it with all of you too! 

The concept is pretty simple: you sign up and they send you a box inspired by a different part of the world every other month. This month was Paris, so I obviously loved it. There were so many goodies inside that we're still working our way through it all, but I have a feeling there won't be much left soon!

This box had the best caramels, some delicious nougat, fancy tea, fancy salt, two little jam samples, some hot chocolate, and this chestnut spread that Robert absolutely LOVED. Not only that, but the package itself was just too pretty, and it included these fun cards with a description of everything and even some tips what to do when visiting Paris. They obviously put a ton of thought into the box, which we definitely appreciated.
I have to say that getting a sweet little box like this reminded me of my time studying abroad in Paris, which was almost seven years ago. Crazy. I'm feeling nostalgic those delicious days of crepes and patisseries, and this helped a bit. I'll get back there someday, hopefully with my husband this time!

This box was sent to my home in exchange for a review and write up, though my opinions are completely my own. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!

3.17.2014

Signature Style :: Au Naturale

I'm not one of those girls that has to always wear makeup. I'm actually pretty comfortable and confident going au naturale, and I could even say that I spend the majority of my days without any makeup on at all. When I do wear it, however, it's simple: foundation, powder, blush, and mascara. That's it. To be honest, I feel kind of sad for girls that feel the need to pile it on day after day. You're all beautiful! I promise!

Still, when I scheduled to take some photos with Brooke and realized that my makeup bag was in limbo (really, just in Emily's car), I had half a mind to cancel. But then I though what the hell. If I can go out in public without makeup on, why not do an outfit post without wearing it. It definitely helps that Brooke is pretty awesome behind the camera, and I'm pretty sure it's impossible to look bad when she's taking your picture
Photography by Project Poeima

Top :: New York and Company // Skirt :: Nordstrom Rack // Shoes :: Target // Necklace :: Francesca's

Can you believe that this shoot was the FIRST time I wore that skirt, and I've had it for nearly six months now? I always feel so self-conscious in clothing, which is odd since I'm okay going out with a bare face. After seeing this photos, however, I have a feeling I'll be wearing it all the time...

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases made via these links. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!

3.16.2014

Monday's Mantra

I've been feeling weird all weekend and it sucks. I was supposed to spend some time with my girlfriends on Saturday night, but then I got a migraine and just started feeling sucky. I figured I probably wasn't the best company, so I ended up on my couch watching Hoarders and Gossip Girl. What can I say; I have eclectic taste in TV shows. 

Our second wedding of the year is this weekend and I can't wait! For a few reasons, but mainly because I get to work with all three of my ladies and I know we're going to kill it. So the week is going to be spent on prep for that one, and a few other small projects I've been working on. 

I saw this quote earlier, and I just knew that I needed to share it. I'm starting to reevaluate my Monday's Mantras, and I figured I don't really need to post one every week. When I saw this one, however, I couldn't help myself. It's pretty much the story of my life these days, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Happy Monday friends!

3.13.2014

Best Ever Snickerdoodles

I don't know when it happened, but at some point in the past few years I went from being a chocoholic to someone who complains when dessert is too sweet. I mean, what is that? I never, ever thought I'd become one of those people. But I am. 

Anyway, give me a choice and I'll choose a cookie over cake any day, though it can't just be any cookie; there can't be too much chocolate, and it preferably needs to be fluffy and soft and slightly undercooked. Maybe that's why I love snickerdoodles so much. 

I've been searching for the perfect snickerdoodle recipe for years now. Sometimes they end up too dense or too round or too sweet. This recipe, however, might just make for the perfect snickerdoodle. 
Best Ever Snickerdoodles
2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a salt bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs slowly, then vanilla extract. Gradually add dry ingredients until just blended. 

You can chill the dough, but I didn't do this for the first batch and they turned out perfectly. When you're ready to bake the cookies, just mix together the additional sugar and cinnamon. Roll out small balls of dough, about one inch in diameter, and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet, about two inches apart, and bake at 350 for ten minutes. Don't overbake! Sometimes they taste better if they're slightly undercooked.

Recipe via Brown Eyed Baker

3.11.2014

The Problem with a "Beautiful Life"

Okay, warning: this a brain dump post. Sometimes I just need to put it all out on the table, you know? I have this problem of constantly wanting to create this beautiful life. I think we all do; it's one of the perils of participating in this blogging community (or just being human). There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of posts on how we, as bloggers, curate the lives we present to the world. It's not all sunshine and rainbows and butterflies coming out of our butts; we're real people. We have real flaws and real hardships, but the beauty is that we get to choose what we present to the world. 

The thing is, I still want that beautiful life, whatever that may be. I have this vision in my head of always looking perfect and having a perfectly simple home, full of white walls and little-to-no technology. This whole notion of a life, styled is so...abstract. Because really, what is it that I want? Do I really want minimal living, while simultaneously spending hours upon hours getting ready in the morning (I typically spend less than ten minutes doing my hair and makeup on any given day)?

Confession time: I read a lot of femininity blogs; you know, ones that tell me how to be more beautiful and ladylike and classy. That in itself is such a subjective concept, not to mention a controversial one (though don't worry - I do believe there's a way to balance femininity and feminism). 

I keep going back to some of these websites and blogs (honestly - don't ask me to give you any links or names because I'm slightly ashamed at this tendency), thinking but if only...the thing is, half the time I don't even READ the content. I'm just flipping through the pictures, looking at the post titles and quotes that they share. I can't help but wonder what exactly it is that I want.

What is it that I want? Do I want that perfect, beautiful life because I want to share it with the world, or do I want that perfect life because of how it would make me feel? There's really no such thing as a perfect life, so is what I want really just a beautiful life? I could probably create a beautiful life on the outside, but what constitutes a beautiful life on the inside?

I told you, brain dump in this post. I think it's these conundrums that honestly contribute a lot to my anxiety - this process of wanting something, researching it, but never really living it out, either because I don't know what I want or because I don't care as much as I thought I did. It's terrible, I tell you. Just terrible.

I'm starting to journal again (it's been a long time since I've journaled, and I've never been very good at it), so maybe I can flush through it all in my mind. You know, come up with the specifics things that I want in my life, but can never seem to realize. Hopefully, then, it all won't feel so overwhelming. 

3.06.2014

Five Things

I am beyond excited for this weekend you guys. If you don't follow me on social media, you may not know that I'm participating in the Cream on Sunday! I've been going to this industry event for the past few years, and it's been one of my goals to collaborate with the incredible ladies that put on this integrated wedding show. Seriously, I came home last year from the Cream and wrote down as one of my goals "Be invited to the Cream 2014." Needless to say I'm really excited, not to mention slightly terrified. Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to experience the event with us while it happens!

Anyway, it's been SO long since I've had a Five Things post! I don't always have a lot of time to read all my favorite blogs and go on Pinterest, which means that I don't always have a lot of good links to share with all of you. Thankfully I did have a chance to do some reading this week, so here are some of my favorite finds from the past few days!
I got to collaborate with some of my favorite ladies, Amy from Stella Bloom Designs and Emily from Anna Delores Photography, on a beach shoot last week! Here's a little sneak peek - you'll see more of this pretty shoot next month!

1 // This party planner isn't a new resource, but I just discovered it the other day. Oh, and isn't Ashlee's blog just the prettiest? I may or may not be slightly obsessed right now. 

2 // If you're a blogger yourself, check out this post on Fabulous K on getting your blogging mojo back. Such simple tips, but it's always nice to be reminded (and to remember that blogging ruts happen to the best of us)!

3 // Love love love this post on ten things to stop doing right now. I am most definitely guilty of doing a lot of the things on that list, so I needed that kick-in-the-butt from Kelly. 

4 // How did I not know that Kate Spade Saturday has a home line? Robert and I are moving soon, and I'm trying to convince him that we should just get rid of everything and start over. I have a feeling that I'm going to be getting a new set of dishes soon...

5 // Such a great post on things that highly creative people do differently. I obviously don't think that everything on the list applies to me, but it does give me a lot to think about!

Oh! And before you leave, you should really check out the AMAZING ladies I have up on my sidebar this month! Definitely take a look if you're trying to find some new awesome blogs to follow.

Have a great weekend friends!

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases made via these links. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!

3.05.2014

Updates + Announcements

It's been a while since I've had announcements post, so here you go! Just some fun little projects and news that I'd like to share with all of you, if that's alright.
1 // ASK ME ANYTHING. I know, such an original name. I just wanted to let you all know that I'm starting a new series on the blog here where I answer reader questions. They can be about anything from wedding planning to small business ownership to blogging to just, life. If you're interested in submitting a question, feel free to email me and I'll choose a question every few weeks to answer on the blog!

2 // ADVERTISING SPECIAL. It's almost spring guys! And to celebrate, I'm offering 25% off any ad spot when you enter the code "LUCKY" at checkout. You can see all of my advertising options and purchase ad spots on my Advertising page!

3 // PEOPLE ARE BUYING MY BOOK! What the what? It's true, and I am BEYOND humbled (not to mention at little terrified) at the thought that people are buying and enjoying my book. As of now I have seven reviews on Amazon and a few on Goodreads. Thank you! Thank you to anyone taking the time to read and review my very first novel, Breathe Again. It means more to me than you know!

I think that's it for now friends! Thanks for being awesome, and I'm excited to write my first AMA post soon!

3.04.2014

On Anxiety :: An Update

It was July of last year that I first admitted to my anxiety here on the blog. It's strange to think that it was so long ago, but if I'm honest, my anxiety has been building for years and years now. It still makes me sad to think that it's such a taboo topic, but I'm going to bring it up anyway.

For me, my anxiety is more of a daily battle than a situational one. I can function more than fine at my weddings and during stressful situations; my anxiety tends to manifest itself as a dull ache, one that likes to infiltrate every crevice of my life, even when it isn't warranted. Things can be going amazingly well, and still I find myself up at night, worrying about the details that I really shouldn't be worried about.

I guess that was why I put up yesterday's mantra when I did. It's actually easy to hit publish on a blog post or my book; it's the aftermath that's the hard part. It's when I'm sitting at the dinner table, away from my phone, thinking about all those people who are now privy to my thoughts and hopes and fears and writing. That's when I feel the all-too-familiar shortness of breath and migraines that tend to accompany my anxiety.

My doctor prescribed me anti-anxiety medication last year, but I decided to stop at the beginning of the year, for various reasons. Overall I've been doing really well! But every once in a while (like last night) I find it a little hard to handle. That's when I take a Benadryl and just give myself a night of uninterrupted sleep.

So, how am I dealing this days, now that I don't have drugs to fall back on? That isn't to say that medication isn't good for everyone; it helped me exactly when I needed it, and I can't say that I won't ever take it again (let's just say I wanted to give my body some time to detox so I can let it focus on other important things...).

I'm one of those people that needs to get things done when I'm stressed. One of my favorite exercises is my worry chart; basically I write down all the things I'm worrying about and what I can do about it. If there's solution, well then I go do that. And if not? I should probably stop worrying about it. So easy, but realizing that there are things that I can fix and things that I can't has changed my entire perception on life. I'm much, much happier with that mindset.

And then there's just focusing on what really matters. You know, my marriage, my home, my family. It's these things that get me through the day-to-day; it's the texts and messages from my friends, away from my blog, that keep me going. Of course there's you all too! Knowing that there are a thousand people out there who love me for every negative comment really makes all the difference. It's a combination of all these things that make life good; that make me able to push through the anxiety of knowing that putting myself out there is a terrifying endeavor. So thanks.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts about my anxiety, but that's where I'm at for now. Have you ever dealt with anxiety? How do you deal with it?