Monthly Archives: September 2016

my 20s

location does not determine success

September 7, 2016

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i am a dreamer. i seriously have it in my head that if you put your mind to something, it’s possible. but this summer i realized i was holding myself back from reaching any dream, big or small, in a real way. and i actually have been for the last 23 years of my life.

i have been praying and thinking about this idea that location does not determine success for a couple of weeks. right now it’s 9:12 p.m. and i am scratching my other post for tomorrow to make way for this one because i just really need to tell you all what’s been on my heart, mainly because i have a feeling many of you might be limiting yourself in the same way.

i want this to be clear so here’s the bottom line: i have been looking for a ‘place’ that will give me the red, sparkly shoes for my dreams to come true. as i look for a job, i have a bit of a tunnel vision on big cities like LA, San Francisco, New York. i dream about spending my mid-twenties in some high-rise apartment, paying my dues by drinking tap water and eating ramen while working 70 hour weeks. i don’t see any other way to get to where i want to go other than this path.

it was the same when i was looking at colleges. when i chose slu, i chose it over a school in sunny california. i think i always thought that since i didn’t go to school in california, i shouldn’t even try the fashion or blogging side of me because i thought it would only reach dead ends in a city like st louis. to be honest, that’s not the most fun realization to have.

then the other day i started thinking about what i want. like seriously what do i want from life? i think this started as a result of my mom’s scare with cancer and resulted in me giving serious thought to where i want to live, how close i want to be to my family + friends and what i just couldn’t live without.

i started to think about all the flashy cities i had been so set on living in and why i was clinging to that idea. and this was what i realized: i thought that my location would determine my success. i thought that if i ‘settled’ and lived in a smaller city, that i wouldn’t find any creative outlets, that i wouldn’t be successful and that i wouldn’t be as happy.

and i think that’s a big load of baloney.

as i mentioned above, my happiness doesn’t honestly come from my career. it comes from my relationships, from my ability to find beauty anywhere i live, from the joy i feel in building genuine community.

so what if i was actually closing the door on a great plan He has for my life by not considering anything but what i thought was ‘right’ for me? what if that was actually me saying no to my greatest happiness? that’s a pretty crazy thought, that i could be saying no to a family He has dreamed out for me (that i really want), a dreamy future hubs, a big backyard for hosting get togethers.

maybe god knows my heart and is trying to lead more towards it. but what if i miss it because i was set on living where it all happens?

what i realized this summer is that ‘it’ happens everywhere. people create businesses out of their garage on an online shop. bloggers become famous because of their passion and ability to create good content. and what about non-career success? what if my greatest success in life is that god leads me to a smaller city but a dreamy husband that also wants a gajillion kids? because that would make me the happiest of all and i don’t think being a mom would make me any less successful than a killer career.

does this mean that i wouldn’t accept a job in new york? not at all. it means i am now trying to be more open to His plan because i just want to be happy and He knows my heart better than anyone. i don’t want to limit His plans for my life because of my need for control. i want to be as open as i can but truthfully? it’s scaring the heebie jeebies out of me.

i like to think i know the path to my happiness. but it has given me such a genuine relief that i don’t have to have this white-knuckled grasp on my life. knowing that He has a wonderful plan for my life as long as i am willing takes so much pressure off of me and my location. that means i can be happy and successful anywhere He places me.

i guess what i am trying to say is that you can have success anywhere and in any form. i have met amazing creatives where i work at anthropologie, met christian women who i know i’ll be friends with forever and have found places to photograph in fresno, ca which is not a super hip, glam town by any means. it’s normal. it’s the suburbs. but now that i am open to its opportunities, i see them. now that i have let go of the thought that this farm town could never bring me happiness, it’s bringing me just that.

so if you’re a mom in one bedroom house nursing a baby or a college grad who landed a job in your dream city or you’re picking herbs from your garden at 7 am like me: we can all pursue our dreams because your location does not determine your success.

He does.


vibed to a mix of head + the heart while writing.


instafollow : smile, snap, flash

September 5, 2016

any idea what the insta follows are this week…?????





okay so i understand that many of you are not as fascinated and interested in photography as i am. however, i would be remiss (props to my vocab right there) if i didn’t include insta follows for photography because they make my feed prettier, inspire me to be bold + creative, and renew my awe of the beautiful world He created for us.

this was V E R Y hard for me. i have sososososo many i love. but if i HAD to narrow it down to 10, this would be it (ps this includes wedding photographers!):

1 | india earl: she is amazing. honestly unreal. like i have subscribed to her photography blog to be updated continuously. her use of contrast and the moodiness of the photos is actually quite hard to achieve because you have to have a way of making people feel comfortable enough to be intimately close while you’re behind the camera. also she’s just a rad human. and young. and bold. #bosslady


2 & 3 | lauren wells & cambria grace: i feel like i could be friends with lauren and cambria on the realz. they have a similar eye for small details as i do, have similar style and love good food + travel. they just seem so normal and i love them for it! also they’re friends in real life and do branding together for companies which HELLO DREAM JOB.



4 | heather goodman: she lives in hawaii. end of claim to follow her.


5 | jaci carlson smith: this is actually her personal account, not her photography account, but it’s just beautiful so what the hoot. she has a really beautiful aesthetic and is constantly pumping out really creative material. alsooooo she just went to Bali. brb crying.


6 | tessa barton: she slays. her personal account LITERALLY IS LIT but this is photog account. she is tremendously talented. she does a lot of collabs with free people and urban outfitters while i look on with heart eyes.


7 | jenna kutcher: if you need someone who is just a real, genuine human – follow jenna. she loves to empower women, is SO kind and does AMAZING wedding photography. she started from the bottom and worked her way to one of the best.


8 | lauren scotti: she has this really beautiful editing technique that’s full of warm colors, browns, whites and greens. her feed is gorgeous and she seems so nice!!!


9 | elise trattner: this is actually one of my sister’s friends from college and i just really love her work (and her, of couuuurssseeeee). she has such clear photos and lives in the PNW which makes me miss + love that area of the country so much. she deserves recognition because she’s super gucci.


10 | lucy rose laucht: i am annoyed that lucy is at the bottom of this list on accident because i am so obsessed with her. (yes, i realize i could just copy and paste but #lazy 😉 her account makes me want to be a better photographer. she has epic style and travels all over and just seems like this fun, kind, adventurous soul GAHHHH I WANT TO BE HER PROTEGÉ.



hope you find some beauty and inspiration in these accounts!:)

vibed to there’s a girl by trent harmon while writing.


the fri-yay ten: anthro sale style

September 2, 2016

first things first: kombucha. i tried it for the first time this week. it was bogo at sprouts (a grocery store for all you crazies who don’t know what that is) so i said sure, why not be a part of the cliche? and it was good! i wouldn’t pay more than $1.50 like it ended up being but it was quite refreshing.

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also i am saying ‘quite’ all the time lately. i think the british baking show kasia has me hooked on is starting to rub off. it’s bloody great.

anywhozzle, here’s a little one of ania’s shopping secrets: i buy most of my summer sandals and clothes at the end of summer.

let’s back dat up.

at. the. end. of. summer.

so here’s the dealio: i can’t get over how expensive sandals are. like why are you $70? that’s half a watch. three-fourths of a pair of glasses. three of my fav mascaras.

or swim suits. YOU WANT ME TO PAY $50 FOR BASICALLY A PAIR OF WATERPROOF UNDERWEAR? i cannot justify that.

so i just chill and wait till the end of summer to buy all my summer shoes and fun n flirty pieces! if it’s something that’s trendy and i want it at the beginning, i’ll head to h&m or forever 21. but if it’s something i will wear again the following summer and many after that, than i’m in.

like the red shorts from wednesday’s style post! now they’re less than $30 doll hairs on sale. heck to the yes.

true story: one time i bought the same steve madden sandals in three colors (i used to have an impulse shopping problem, more on that later) for under $45. THREE WHOPPING PAIRS. when did i buy them, you ask? october.

so here’s how you do it: you stalk the items you like at the beginning of summer. hang out on the ‘new arrivals’ page on your fav sites. stick ’em in your shopping bag. THEN WAIT.

and wait.

then you pop a bottle of champagne because you’re ballin’ on a budget in september/october and then when may comes it’s like christmas because you have so many fun things to wear! also i am all about little tanks under chunky sweaters.

labor day sales are GREAT for this. or, if you can hold on longer, stores will be literally (ok, not literally, but close) hand you their summer clothes even later into fall.

lesson is over, young grasshoppers.

on to the fri-yay ten of this week which is…TEN ANTHRO FAVS ON SALE! the store is having an extra 40% off sale right now, but i don’t know how long it’ll last, and it’s bumpin’.

so i went through all million pages and pick out my top ten. get out yo wallets ladies.

1 | this casual skirt is the perfect alternative for someone who wants to have comfort while running errands or grabbing lunch with a friend. it’s REALLY cute. like i might now order it. the green is everything you need. AND it has awesome reviews and pockets. ugh maybe this fri-yay ten isn’t the best idea for my wallet….

2 | i almost bought this tank in blue but bought another denim tank so having two blue tanks of the same cut was not on my shopping list. it’s reallyyyyyy soft with kind of an urban outfitters vibe going on and would even be cute with jeans! blue on blue. do it. i have faith in you.

3 | this pink and yellow floral tank would be perf even under a sweater or jean jacket/chambray shirt as fall weather approaches! if you’re looking for a sweet date night top or looking for a top that will make someone want to take you on a date, this is it.;) i am eyeing this one as well – i mean the price of it for the quality of the top? #winning

4 | this tie-in-front top is perfect for the fall or to wear again next spring and summer! i would choose the green. a mom tried it on in anthro today and i was really impressed because i wouldn’t have picked it off the rack but now i might try it on…. It would be really darling with jeans and booties or (again) under a chambray shirt!

5 | i have loved this simple blue and white tank since it’s been in the store. so crisp with a pair of blue jeans. also, the fabric is a little more straight and form-holding (making that a thing) so it’s really flattering!

6 | changing it up a bit with these wooden vanity table items. the detailing is so gorgeous. i am on a mission to buy a pair of glasses + clogs soon so my budget is a bit taut otherwise i would have gotten the jewelry box and toothbrush holder a week ago.

7 | my mom got this t-shirt with lemons on it and i just want to squeeze her (pardon the pun) every time she wears it it also has 44 reviews and 5 stars…so yes, it’s perfectly soft, fits like a dream and makes me smile just thinking about it. when life hands you lemons, put them on a t shirt and wear it.;)

8 | i am going to keep bugging you about these embroidered shorts i bought until you get them. they are so great. seriously feels like i am wearing nike shorts (mas o menos). they run like half a size big i’d say so order your normal size, and they’ll fit like that easy, breezy pair of shorts you never knew you needed.

9 | i am a firm believer that a simple sun dress is worth it to buy or (GASP) even spend a pretty penny on. i have a sunflower dress from urban outfitters that i splurged on two summers ago and i have probably worn it more than anything else it my closet. make this simple blue dress your version of my sunflower dress. so easy to layer over and you’ll stay comfy!

10 | anddddd these sandals. i just want someone to buy these floral, birkenstock-like sandals and love them forever. aren’t they the happiest shoes you’ve ever seen?!


happy shopping!!! this is such a fun gig for me. i genuinely love shopping around the net for you all so thanks for following along.:)

vibed to the commercials of ‘so you think you can dance’ while writing. fun fact: i am obsessed with dancing. i really genuinely am. i could (and sometimes do) watch dance shows and youtube clips for hours.