5 Big Changes I'm Making in 2018 to Improve My Blog

Hey, friends! Happy New Year! (It's okay to say that 19 days late, right? ๐Ÿ™ƒ)

I feel like the whole of January is my "New Years Day." It's the fresh start that most of us are so desperately needing by the time December rolls around. It's the month where we refresh, set goals, and say, "20__ is going to be the best year EVER!"

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7 Life-Changing Quotes from The Greatest Showman

There are very few movies that I feel the need to cry and clap with happiness during the whole thing, but The Greatest Showman definitely made the list. Not only was it full of inspiring messages of chasing dreams and accepting people for who they are, it was also so incredibly well done that I felt the need to watch it AGAIN right after I left the theatre. Listening to the soundtrack on repeat will have to do for now, since I can't afford to go see it 10 times in the theaters like I've heard some people are doing ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I Took Five Different MBTI Personality Tests and the Results are Surprising

I wholeheartedly believe in the MBTI. I've heard the criticism, but I just don't buy into it. I've seen so many people take this test and they're all incredibly surprised by how accurate the results are- even down to the most detailed things, like the way they plan a trip and how they behaved in school. The only criticism I've heard for the MBTI is that it's easy to answer in the way you want to be perceived instead of the way you actually are (which would obviously throw off your results)...and that people can't be defined by 4 little letters.

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The Determined Dreamer's Best of 2017 Review and Link Party

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of each year is recap. I used to recap in my journal because my journal used to be my place of refuge (aka: my best friend) until I realized that I prefer typing to handwriting and I love sharing my story and my passions with others. 

It can be scary to be transparent, but it's good for me to step out of my comfort zone. So this year I'll be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with all of you. I'll be kicking off this recap by really stepping out of my comfort zone with a recap video of the past year.

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Happy New Year + 5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS! Can you believe that last year, on this exact day, Connor asked me to marry him!? That feels like an eternity ago because SO much has happened since January 1, 2017. We got engaged and married, moved twice, traveled to Oregon, California, and Colorado, and I started my blogging career. That's a whole lot of fun packed into one year! If you want to hear about my year in more detail, you can find an overview of the past year and my goals for the next year over here.

2017 was a year full of wonderful memories, but I'm so thrilled to start this new year! There's something about new years, Mondays, blank planners, and mornings that get me riled up for what's to come. They all give the opportunity for a fresh start and the chance to improve and change old habits!

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Are Essential Oils Right for You? (+ a Free Essential Oils Gift Guide)

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a bit of a skeptic. About everything...literally...everything. You could tell me it's snowing outside in December when I already know it's -10 degrees out and I'll still have to go check for myself before I believe you. When it comes to religion, medicines, theories, and health methods, I like to know things for myself. I'm not one to just "take your word for it." 

So, when 2 of my roommates my freshman year in college turned out to be crazy about essential oils, I was a little perturbed. I didn't want people lathering oils all over me and trying to sell me on the idea that they actually worked.

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8 Things I've Learned in My First 8 Months of Marriage

1| I need to chill out. Being an only child for the first 11 years of my life (and therefore not having to share with siblings or vie for my parents attention for a long while) may have contributed to me not being the most flexible person. I'm a little stubborn and definitely not someone you'd consider "go with the flow". I just like things a certain way, which I don't think is always a bad thing (it makes it easier to choose a place to eat when my husbands not sure where we should go...because I know what I want), but it can also cause some issues in marriage and life in general.

Marriage has been a HUGE wake up call for me because I've had to realize that I can't always get my way and that I need to take my husbands wants and needs into consideration. I've also realized that it's not the end of the world if something isn't done exactly the way I want it done or if plans are changed unexpectedly because my husband needs something. Basically, I've had to realize that life isn't all about me! I'm sure I'll get an even larger wake up call when I have kids. Oh, boy!

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The Ultimate Last Minute Gift Guide for Stressed Out Women

We've all been there...hurriedly purchasing last minute gifts a couple weeks (or even a week or few days) before Christmas. A couple years ago I had an especially busy season and had to buy most of my gifts on CHRISTMAS EVE. So, don't feel bad if you're a little behind!

Amazon Prime has been my saving grace this season (and always) because I've been able to pick out amazing gifts for people and send them on their way, knowing they'll be delivered within 2 days. It also decreases my stress knowing that I can order gifts last-minute for those hard-to-shop for people. You know the ones I'm talking about!

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12 Things the INFJ Can Do to Heal Their Broken Heart

Because INFJ's are highly sensitive, future-oriented, empathetic, and stimulated easily, breakups can be a bit of a train wreck for them! You can read all about why exactly that is in one of my recent posts, 5 Reasons the INFJ Has Such a Hard Time Coping With Heartbreak

That's why I decided to write up a post on exactly what the INFJ can do to start healing their broken heart. The reason I want to help you is because Iโ€™ve been there! Oh boy, have I been there. Iโ€™ve had several breakups, each so different from the rest. Iโ€™ve had some that were painful, but that I was able to move on from fairly quickly. Iโ€™ve had others that were so excruciatingly miserable that I literally thought I might die. Iโ€™m not exaggerating. I even distinctly remember Googling, โ€œCan you die from a broken heart?โ€ 

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Start Your Freshman Year Off Strong With a "Home Away From Home"

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for PayPerPost. All opinions are 100% mine.

There's nothing quite as exciting, or as scary, as leaving home for the first time to attend college. As thrilling as roommate sleepovers every night and a steady diet of ramen are, the first few weeks of being on your own can feel rather daunting. There's no one to hold your hand as you accomplish regular adult activities, like paying bills, moving into your apartment, and renting textbooks. 

As scary as it's all going to be, there are a few things you can do to minimize the unease and jitters. The first and most important thing to do is to make a "home away from home." When you're having to make all new friends, navigate adult waters, and tackle schoolwork, it's crucial to have a space to call your own- a space that feels like home. 

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9 Fiction Books That You Won't Be Able to Put Down (+ a Free Reading Bucket List Printable)

To be completely honest, I don't think I've read a full book in over a year. My 5-22 year old self would be ashamed to hear that! In fact, my now 24-year-old self is ashamed to say that! I've just been so incredibly busy that reading hasn't been a priority but I definitely want to make it one again because reading relaxes me and excites me like nothing else can. It's practically a form of meditation to me. It allows me to be more present and to forget about my worries. It's the perfect break that I need in the middle or at the end of a chaotic and stress-filled day.

Fortunately, I've recently gotten back into reading full force and it's all thanks to hearing about Book of the Month. I promise I'm not being paid to advertise for them. I've just literally been obsessed with them ever since I found out about them! I

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Birthday Goals + Year in Review

I've had such a great birthday today! I'm just full of so much joy for everyone in my life and for every part of my life! I woke up and was treated to a special breakfast of sausage, egg, and spicy cream cheese on cheese/jalapenyo bagels (yum!), cuddled in bed with Connor while watching Daddy's Home (yeah, we couldn't really find anything better to watch haha) and then Connor forbade me from coming in our room while he decorated it. 

He finally let me in once he was done transforming our room and he'd put up streamers, lit a candle, and created the most adorable sun on the wall out of streamers. Oh, AND he found a palm tree at Partyland to put up on our door ๐Ÿ˜… That might not sound super "fancy" or anything, but it meant a lot to me because I've been missing the warm California weather, so Connor created a little sunny oasis for me in our room! How cute! Now he's making me dinner while I'm relaxing in our room. 

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8 "No BS" Ways to Start Earning Money From Your Blog

There are a million gazillion trillion articles on Pinterest all stating that they have the one and only way for you to earn money from your blog...and here I am writing yet another one of them! How silly of me (but not really). Because here's the difference between mine and theirs. I'm going to be COMPLETELY honest about what's actually worked for me. I'm not going to share resources with you that I'll earn a commission from or that I'll get $5 from for referring you. I'm just gonna be 100% truthful. Cool? Okay, cool. Then let's get started! 

First, I just want to go over a few ways you can improve your blog in order to be able to earn money from the resources that I'll share with you later in this post. If you want to earn money from your blog, you're going to need to take an honest look at your blog and see what you could improve. 

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Why I'm Making It a Goal to Create More

Why I'm Making It a Goal to Create More

Since I was young, creating has been my "go-to" activity when I need to calm down, think straight, or refresh my mindset. My grandparents always tell me about the time that I excitedly showed them some disfigured project and exclaimed that "I made it out of trash!" I guess I've always loved piecing things together to create something beautiful. But as the years have gone by, I've definitely lost touch with my creative side. Not when it comes to writing. That's always stayed. But I'm not prone to pick up a paintbrush or create something new and crafty. Whenever I do decide to sit down and be crafty, my happy childhood nature comes back- the one that found joy in the simple things, like putting together trash or making a collage. 

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The Instant Mood Boost Playlist for Highly Sensitive People

I'll be honest. There'll be nothing but Christmas tunes on until the week after Christmas! Why the week after? Because I'm always deep in denial about Christmas ending for around a week (sometimes two) after December 25th. The struggle is real. Buuuuuut one thing that the seasons end brings back is my "Instant Mood Boost" playlist, which I've carefully curated to promote optimal happiness! It's the second best thing to Christmas music, so it makes the holidays ending a little more bearable.

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5 Odd & Contradictory Things You Do If You're an INFJ

You hardly ever get bored (if ever at all) because you're always thinking about life, the future, why certain things happen the way they do, what you can do to help others, what you wish you would have done differently, how you want to improve your life, etc. You have big goals and dreams that you want to accomplish and sometimes it just feels like there's not enough time for all of the thoughts and goals you have. You like creating your own structure, giving yourself deadlines and planning out your day. You're very self-motivated but sometimes get caught up in the "thinking" more than "doing," because your thinking often feels productive to you. Sometimes you need to force yourself to "do" so that you don't get stuck not taking action to make your dreams become a reality.

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