Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Favorite Influencers

Hi friends!
I still can't believe we're over two weeks into the new year! It already feels like it's flying and I am so not ready for that! But back to the point, like most people, I see the new year as a time to be refreshed and get inspired. I also think it's really easy to fall into the trap of comparison and beat yourself up because your new year isn't as perfect or polished as everyone else's. That's why this year, I'm making a point to follow accounts and people that inspire and motivate me. 

These are some of my favorite accounts to follow. Some I've followed for years, others I've recently discovered, some are big time bloggers, others are boss ladies, all are great. 

Dani Austin || Dani is awesome! I've followed her on Instagram for a while, but only recently really started paying attention. Do you ever mindlessly scroll through insta and just double tap the pretty pictures without really reading the captions? I do! Well Dani is someone whose captions you'll want to pay attention to. She is so inspiring and down-to-earth. She's made it her mission to be authentic online, which I think these days is so rare! Dani is goofy and silly, but also has awesome style and so many great words of wisdom to share. She also fearlessly shares her faith, which I really admire.

Stephanie May Wilson || Stephanie is someone I've recently started to follow, and let me just say, I'm obsessed with her, like I want her to be my best friend or mentor. I first found out about Stephanie by seeing her book The Lipstick Gospel recommended on Instagram. The e-book is available for free on her website, so I highly recommend checking it out! After reading her book, I followed her on Instagram, listened to episodes of her podcast, and ordered her devotional and prayer journal. Totally normal. Stephanie is just so relatable! She comes from a place of understanding and encouragement, not judgement which I think isn't totally common when it comes to Christian books. Half the time, I think her words were written just for me. 

Krista Robertson || I don't think there is anyone who blogs who doesn't know who Krista of Covering the Bases is, or at least I hope not. What I really appreciate about Krista is that she's real. No offense to other bloggers, but so many of them are toothpick thin and always look absolutely perfect with their flawless makeup, eyelash extensions, and fabulous outfits. Krista isn't an XS, she posts her comfy outfits and gets on insta stories without a stitch of makeup, and I think she rocks! The other day, she shared on insta stories during her workout how posing can completely transform the look of someone's body. We seem to think that blogs are more real than magazines and aren't photoshopped, but posing can do just as much as photoshop. I love that Krista wasn't afraid to show the reality of this. I think there need to be more bloggers who are transparent online (noticing a trend?).

Emily Ley || I could sing the praises of Emily Ley all day long. I'm obsessed with her Simplified Planner and loved her book, Grace Not Perfection. I am so inspired by how she has built her business and the message she shares through her work. She's not selling the idea of a perfectly organized life equals happiness, rather that a little organization can help make room in your life for what matters most. Pretty powerful stuff. 

Kristen Shane || I've followed Kristen on Instagram for a while and recently started keeping up with her blog. My goodness does this girl have a lot of wisdom to share, she's also still in college. Her blog is more on the lifestyle side, but she mixes in a fair bit of fashion and faith as well. I loved her post on who God is calling her to be, it really resonated with me. She also shared a great post on improving blog photography. Kristen is also rocking her insta game. Definitely check her out!

These are some of my favorite people to follow online. I love discovering inspiring women online, who are some of your favorite people to follow?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Colorful 2018!

Hi friends! Welcome to a new year. 
I can't even wrap my head around the fact that this is the year I graduate from college and enter a new, undetermined chapter of my life. 2017 was a wild ride and if I'm being entirely honest, it just wasn't my year. I have some great memories from the year, but I didn't grow or change or do anything really big this past year.
But that will NOT be the case for 2018. I am so determined to make this a great year, because there is so much I want to do before I finish college and begin my next chapter. Lots of people have a "word" for each year and I have never done that before but I want to give it a try. I didn't really have any idea what I wanted my word to be - there are SO many different directions I could have taken my word considering how big this year is going to be. As I processed a few different ideas, one word kept coming to the forefront of my brain, and it didn't really make sense.


What? You're probably thinking, Ashley you're silly, colorful is not a word to live by for an entire year. That's what I kept thinking too. But it just kept coming back up. The more I thought about it though, the more it made sense. I want a colorful year, a colorful life!

Now colorful doesn't mean perfect, or pretty, or perfectly curated in order to share on Instagram. To me, colorful is messy and real, and just plain happy, joyful even. To say I want my life to be filled with color means I want it to be filled with new experiences and new, interesting people. I want to say yes to the things that make me smile and spend a lot of time laughing and enjoying this last bit of college. I want to make new friends, because you can never have too many. I want to pursue whatever it is that sets my soul on fire. I plan to really dive into areas of my life that I've been holding back on and figure out what's next. I plan to cherish and appreciate this last semester in my perfect college town and love the people that have been a part of my college journey. I could probably keep going about everything colorful means for me in 2018, but I think some things are better kept to oneself when it comes to dreams, goals, and resolutions.

Have you ever picked out a word for your year? I would love to hear it!

Happy New Year, may your 2018 be beautiful and COLORFUL!!!