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Purpose In the Present

It is always at this point in the year, that transition between summer and fall, in which I find myself reflecting on all that has happened and dreaming about what is yet to come. I was re-reading a post written around this time last year on seasons of life, and I think it is relevant (for me at least) once again. You see, there's often this desire to be farther ahead--to wish for what is to come, whether that's an exciting event, a holiday, a special age, or even just the weekend. I think about the dreams, goals, and great plans of all the things I want to do and realize it's easy to miss what's happening in the now. It is important to plan ahead and to set goals. I'm reminded, however, that it is in the present--the current season--that there are still lessons to learn, moments to celebrate and enjoy, and space to grow. Perhaps you find yourself in that same place, ready to leap into a new season or wanting to know what comes next, but may this reminder be one for you as well:

There is purpose in the present. 

Don't rush through life, so focused on what's to come, that you miss what's happening right now. Every season of life has value, has a purpose, and is brimming with potential. We must choose to embrace it, learn from it, and decide to be present. Be open, be teachable, be content (and not complacent), for there are things that you must learn now that will be of value you to you in the seasons to come. I am reminded of Jim Elliot's wise words, "Wherever you are, be all there."

Color Crush: Emerald Spruce

Jewel tones are the perfect way to embrace fall style without diving headfirst into sweaters and coats. Each season has its own color palette, and this season, emerald spruce is definitely a current favorite from autumn's hues. The delicate leaf motif hidden among the lace is such a pretty detail, and this dress would be perfect for evening events or the start of fall wedding season. Pieces like this exude classic elegance, with a simple, flattering silhouette and feminine touches like bows on the shoulders. What colors are you drawn to this season?  

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September Inspiration

Here we are at the beginning of a new month and a new season! It's time to refresh that inspiration and pick up a few new thoughts to carry us toward our goals and dreams. One thing that I always enjoy about the start of a new month is that we get the chance to create things as we wish. Our actions determine the course of our lives, but before there are actions, there are thoughts. What kinds of things are you allowing in your mind? Do your thoughts bring you to places of possibility, peace, potential, and positivity? I hope they do. If not, today is a great time to start. Challenge yourself to be mindful of the thoughts you entertain...for they create actions which in turn create the life you lead. 

Awaiting Autumn

This may be a little bit early, especially for this area, but I'm starting to entertain the idea of fall and cooler weather. I know, I know, it's not even September, but it's not too far off! It's certainly too warm for sweaters and jackets at this point, but I've been starting to pull a couple autumn-inspired accessories to incorporate into my wardrobe. Floppy hats always remind me of fall and it's simple to add to any look without adding extra warmth (important for this time of year!). Also, animal print always seems to make a cameo appearance during the fall/winter season, and I love to add a pop of it here and there for a dash of whimsy. Is anyone else ready for some cooler temperatures?

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How To Get Organized For A New Season

It's that time of year when we begin to see the late afternoon light of summer shift into the cooler nights of early fall. Before we head for all things pumpkin spice and cozy sweaters, I am reminded that it is a good time to get organized for the coming season. It's always a good idea to plan before the hustle and bustle of new schedules, routines, and activities start up. Whether you're headed back to school, back to work, or simply beginning a new week, here's a few things that I've found to be a big help in getting it together before the busyness begins!

1. Schedule out your time.
It's amazing how quickly my time can get filled if I'm not careful about where I invest it. In order to stay organized and not waste time when working on multiple projects (because I like to do all the things!), I use a calendar that breaks my day into hourly sections. I love and use this particular one. Seeing my day visually helps me to assign my time according to the task, and throughout the day, I am able to keep track of what project or task comes next. This helps me to avoid procrastinating on projects or simply doing tasks in the wrong order...which leads me to the next point.

2. Know when your most productive times are.
Are you a morning person? Night owl? Somewhere in between? Once you know when you are able to be most productive, assign your most challenging or involved tasks for that time slot on your calendar. For me, mornings are great and I'm able to work and think creatively when I'm feeling fresh after a good night's sleep. Instead of scrolling on Pinterest or Instagram, checking emails, or any other mindless task first thing, I start with working on the most important task of the day. Once I have completed the task or the portion of that project allotted for the time slot, I move on to address the rest of the items on my list. Doing this creates momentum that is necessary for getting more things accomplished instead of wasting precious time and brain power on something that's not totally important.

3. Make a list.
Have you ever been working on something important and been interrupted by a random thought regarding something you wanted to do, an errand you need to run at some point, or a fleeting idea? You're not alone! I've definitely experienced this, and when that happens, I jot it down on a notepad or put it in the notes app on my phone. Instead of allowing it to totally derail my progress, or forgetting about it altogether, I write it down and will come back to it later. What I've discovered is that many things are often ideas for projects, random activities I would like to schedule at some point, or a task that needs to be completed (just not right away). At the beginning of each month, I'll make a list next to the monthly overview with the activities, main projects, or important events that I need to accomplish, attend, or complete. Knowing that these are part of the monthly plan, I'm able to then schedule my time accordingly in order to ensure that I accomplish or attend them.

How do you stay organized? Tell me below!

5 Things...

Here's a quick roundup of a few things I've been enjoying lately!

1. This message from Matthew Barnett is AMAZING. You'll be shocked, inspired, and challenged listening to his seven lessons he learned from running the 7-7-7 world marathon challenge! (Message begins at 28:01)

2. These white wide-leg trousers (pictured above) are chic, super comfortable and the perfect transitional item from summer to fall. Pair them with a button down, tshirt, or silky top. (p.s. they are currently on sale for under $15, you're welcome!)

3. My latest go-to drink at Starbucks is their Shaken Peach Citrus White Tea. It's so light and refreshing for these warm summer days, and it's under 100 calories.

4. Investing time with inspiring people.
Lately, I've made it a priority to invest time with people who inspire and challenge me to be better. The people we surround ourselves with have a major impact on the person we become, so if you want to get better, evaluate your close relationships and invest more time with people who will help you become the person you want to be.

5. This quote: "Challenges are a part of a purpose-filled journey. Challenges should not be a deterrent, challenges should spur us on." -- Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete
I am reminded that whatever we choose to achieve or pursue, if it is of great importance or reward, it will often come with challenges along the way. Instead of shrinking back in fear, we should continue to charge forward in faith. No matter what you may be facing today, choose to stay the course and don't give up. Your dream is worth it.

August Inspiration

Happy August! How did we get here already?! Can you believe how quickly time has flown? I love the warmth of summer days, and I'm enjoying the moments by the ocean or a afternoon dip in the pool to cool off. I don't know about you, but as I look ahead to the upcoming months, my schedule seems to get increasingly busy with new schedules, projects, and events. Even though I am tempted to focus on what's coming, I am also reminded to stay present and not wish away the current moments. I'm encouraged to enjoy the season I'm in while I prepare for what's to come! It's an interesting balance at times, but it is valuable to both prepare and enjoy. I hope that if you're in a similar place, you'll continue to plan for the next season, but you'll be present and embrace the season that you're in. As always, here's a few thoughts that are on my mind this month!

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