5 real ways to spread love every day this week

5 real ways to spread love every day this week

My ED by Ellen shoes

This week we have Valentine’s Day, a day both observed and rejected by many. For me, Valentine’s Day has always been about feeling gratitude for the love in my life. Not just romantic love, but all kinds of love. Love for friends, family, pets; love for the ocean, the grass, the sunshine; love for moments in time. I spin this so-called “Hallmark holiday” (although it is actually based on history, and it has a pretty dark origin) into a celebration of all love.

And so, instead of just placing emphasis on cards and chocolates, here are 5 ways to really spread love every day this week:


Monday: Think good thoughts about others.

Wish everyone well who crosses your path. Just in your head, think something like, “I hope something really awesome happens to you today.” It will make you feel more positive and spread good vibes to those around you. What you give is what you get. It was Roald Dahl who said, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Tuesday: Write a note.

Write a letter to someone who needs to feel loved. Maybe it is a thank you note (even just a “thank you for being you”) or something you love about them. It might even be a sticky note that you place on a co-worker’s desk with something funny that will make them smile.

Wednesday: Call your parents.

On Valentine’s Day itself, call your parents (and your grandparents if they are around) and tell them you love them and appreciate them.

Thursday: Give flowers to a friend.

I have a friend who gardens, and she often surprises me with a little cup of flowers that she grew. It always brightens my day. Flowers and plants are wonderful mood lifters.

Friday: Do something kind for a stranger.

Buy their coffee. Pick up something they dropped. Smile at them. We know that the tiniest things brighten the days of others, but often we are too absorbed in our own thoughts (or our phones) to pay attention to strangers around us. Notice them.


This week, I encourage you to go about your week by intentionally spreading love through thinking, writing, calling, giving, and doing. Show others that you care. Be aware.

Happy week of love, y’all!



20 things to do on a snow day

20 things to do on a snow day

Last month, Nashville schools were hit with a week’s worth of snow days. If you live in the South, you know that snow days get real. Everyone rushes to the grocery the night before and takes all the bread and milk. With the slightest layer, schools cancel. Get a genuine snow, and no one goes to work.

I know I can struggle on snow days with figuring out what to do with myself. If you find yourself in the midst of another snow day (or series of snow days) where you are this winter, here’s a list of 20 ways to spend your time! I have divided this list into three categories – productive, active, & chill – so you can pick based on your mood.


1. Clean the whole house.

2. Do all the laundry.

4. Clear out/organize emails/computer files/phone data.

5. Start a donation pile.

6. Get ahead on work things.

7. Clean out/organize your pantry/fridge.


8. Bake something sweet.

9. Play board games/card games.

10. Have an indoor dance party.

11. Do an indoor workout (try Pop Sugar Fitness).

12. Bundle up & take a snowy walk.

13. Walk to an open business to get out for a bit.

14. If driving is possible, invite friends over for a snow day party.


15. Read an entire book, cup of tea in hand.

16. Netflix/movies in cozy socks.

17. Start a puzzle.

18. Write something (journal, poem, blog post).

19. Seize this free day & take a nap.

20. Meditate (maybe while watching the snow).


Hope this helps! How do you prefer to spend your snow days?

Love, Bee

5 ways to make life a little sweeter this january

5 ways to make life a little sweeter this january

Most years, I do not enjoy wintertime. I am usually partial to warm weather, sunshine, and beaches. However, this year I have been enjoying winter way more than usual! Maybe it is just getting older, but I have been relishing the cold and the coziness. If you are someone who counts down the days until spring, I would encourage you to try embracing this chilly month and making the most if it. Here are 5 ways I am making life a little sweeter this January:

1. Listen to feel good music while you work.

One of the ways I put a little pep in my step is to listen to upbeat music while I write lesson plans (I’m a teacher), especially when it looks extra dreary outside. Whenever I am on my planning period, I typically pop in my headphones and give myself a burst of energy with happy tunes while I work. This makes me feel motivated and alert.

2. Wear comfortable shoes.

I am just a happier person when I wear comfortable shoes. When I am in my ED by Ellen DeGeneres sneakers (best shoes in the world y’all) I am 20x more likely to have an awesome day. I can bounce around, light on my feet, and feel free and flexible.

3. Start an at-home yoga practice.

Yoga with Adriene keeps me moving through my days with intentionality and awareness. Each January she guides viewers through a free 30-day yoga practice. It’s not too late to begin TRUE, her latest yoga journey! It is for all levels and free on YouTube. Give it a go!

4. Add more fruits and veggies to your diet.

It can be so easy to coast through January on indulgences. But you will feel so much better adding in an extra serving of fruit and veggies in your day, especially if you are less active than you would be in the warmer months.

5. Go for a brisk walk.

Sometimes, there is nothing more refreshing than crisp winter air in your body. Even if it is cold out, getting outside for even 10 minutes each day will enliven your spirits! Just this morning I took a short, bitter stroll in the snow in Centennial Park, but it was totally worth it just to leave the house for a bit.

How are you feeling this winter?! Tell me how your January is going in the comments!

Love, Bee

8 Ways to Alter Your Life in 2018

8 Ways to Alter Your Life in 2018

Pictured Above: Parnassus Books

For the most part, New Year’s Resolutions can be unrealistic. They are often lofty goals such as “eat healthier” or “work out every day” without a plan and can easily lead to nothing. I have been thinking often about how to take resolutions and actually start fresh and plan to be my best self in the new year. Here’s what I’ve come up with:


1. Create a Habit.

It isn’t enough to say you’ll work out 5 times a week. How are you going to do it? Habits are created by performing the same task when something triggers you. For instance, maybe you’ll exercise as soon as you get home from work. To form a habit, you need to consistently exercise at that precise moment. It helps to have some sort of closure after completing the task, like a reward. Perhaps as soon as you finish exercising, you have a snack. Thus, the task is bookended – it begins with a trigger and ends with a reward. And the task becomes a habit.

2. Be Intentional.

Once you’ve set a goal, avoid going through your new task (like exercising) with the mindset of, “I need to get through this.” If you force it and complete it mechanically, you won’t feel positive or excited about it. Notice what you’re doing. Be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions while you are exercising (or eating healthy, or meditating, or anything else). This is something I’ve learned through yoga – not to go through the motions, but to be intentional with every move I make.

3. Treat Yourself with Kindness.

Being kind to yourself is just as important to being kind to others. If you slip up, simply be aware of it. Acknowledge that you slipped up, and try to create a new habit. Maybe change the time of day if it wasn’t work for you. Alter what you need to. Self-love, y’all.

4. Eliminate Distractions.

It is so easy to go down the technological rabbit hole – whether it be Instagram or Buzzfeed or Internet browsing. I have started setting a timer on my phone for the length of time that I am allowed to browse, like, and comment on Instagram. As a blogger, I could spend all the time in the world on that app. While it’s important to make connections and expand your network, it can easily creep into most of your day and eliminate extra time when you could be completing that yoga video or writing that novel you’ve been dreaming about.

Try timing yourself for any number of minutes that suits you and when the timer goes off, force yourself to close the app and move on with your day. If you erase even 20 minutes of every day that you spend on social media, that 20 minutes becomes 140 minutes per week and 7,300 minutes (over 121 hours) per year.

Time is precious. Be aware of how you spend it and with whom you spend it. Which brings me to…

5. Be Present.

When loved ones are in the room, and they’re talking to you, put your phone down. Look them in the eye. Your phone is not your priority. People are. You’ll regret the time you wasted on your phone instead of being present with the people around you.

6. Read More.

Reading books opens the world for us. Whenever I get into a groove of reading a lot, I feel like a better person. I feel as though my perspective has expanded. I feel more empathetic, more caring, and more aware of the world around me. Reading is one of the most valuable and important ways that you can enrich your life.

7. Immerse Yourself in Nature.

You know the benefits of spending time in nature. Taking a walk outdoors is one of the best ways to refresh your body and mind. It’s also an opportunity to meditate – Did you know you can meditate even when you’re walking?

8. Give to the Universe.

You get out what you put in. Wish everyone well who you meet. Seize opportunities to make others feel good. If anything or anyone is bringing you down, let it go.


2018 is here. And I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Love, Bee

5 Ways to Find Your Holiday Spirit

5 Ways to Find Your Holiday Spirit

I love the holiday season, but as an adult with a full-time job and responsibilities, I feel unable to naturally unleash my Christmas cheer like I did as a child. I have to try harder to be aware of and fully experience this time of year.

In order words, I have to be intentional about feeling festive, which is unlike Christmastime during childhood. This is probably due to the stress and busyness that can come at this time of year. And so, I think now is one of the best times to practice being present in activities that can bring joy.

Children are experts at being in the moment and exuding merriment. Here are 5 suggestions I have to seize and embrace the holiday spirit with the gusto of a child:

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Decorate like Buddy the Elf

It is impossible not to feel a touch of glee when you come home and plug in strands of string lights. If you’re feeling particularly grinchy this year, don’t be afraid to go over the top. I live in a studio apartment and have 7 strands of lights lining the walls, 3 mini Christmas trees, plus lights and a tree on my balcony. When I come home from work, I don’t need any lights on except my Christmas lights. The vibes are warm and cozy. Next step: paper snowflakes.

Watch Your Favorite Holiday Flick

If you haven’t watched any holiday movies yet, it’s time. Turn one on, and turn your phone off. Dedicate your night to the viewing and focus on the film. Suggestions: Elf, Christmas Vacation, Holiday Inn, Meet Me in St. Louis, White Christmas, Love Actually, Christmas in Connecticut, Charlie Brown Christmas. I would say It’s a Wonderful Life, but I save that one for Christmas Eve. Preferably watch your choice with a cup of hot cocoa or cider in hand.

Indulge in a Christmas Activity

If you’re in Nashville, go to Cheekwood Holiday Lights where you can stay warm with a festive cocktail and stroll through their gorgeous display. Or perhaps their Holiday Afternoon Tea suits you, in which you can sip wintertime teas and munch on tasty treats provided by Crumb de la Crumb Bakery.

Go to a Festive Show

My three top picks are the It’s a Wonderful Life viewings at the BelcourtHome Alone in concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and Nashville’s Nutcracker at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. Get your tickets for these shows now because they are all likely to sell out! Each one is sure to get you in the Christmas mood.

Take a Drive

When I was little, my dad used to drive me around to look at Christmas lights. These days, I forget to do this – I never just “go for a drive,” but am always driving from point A to point B. Go out one night with the simple goal of viewing holiday decorations. It’s an experience that’s sure to stir up some childhood memories and Christmas nostalgia.


How’s your holiday spirit? Hopefully these tips get you feeling a little more like post-Clarence George Bailey. And if you didn’t catch that reference, go watch It’s a Wonderful Life right now.

Love, Bee


For the Joy Guest Post

For the Joy Guest Post

I’m so excited to have written a guest post on For the Joy! If you’re a teacher, mama, or full-time employee with a side hustle, you’ll love her blog. I wrote about balancing teaching with a creative pursuit. But honestly, it’s for anyone who works full-time and also pursues something on the side, or just who wants a better work/life balance.

Read all about it now on For the Joy. I’d love to know if you find it helpful in the comments!

Love, Bee

5 Ways to Hang with Friends on Week Nights

5 Ways to Hang with Friends on Week Nights

As a full-time teacher, I am exhausted by the end of the school day. Often, I just want to curl up in my pajamas right away and enter a TV coma until I fall asleep.

But usually, I feel better if I do something first. I walk every day after school if the weather is nice, and if it’s not, I do a Yoga with Adriene video. This helps. However, I live alone, and some weeks I go every night without doing anything social.

If you, too, are introverted and/or tend to struggle with doing much or seeing people after a long work day, I’ve compiled a list of some easy, relaxing ways to see your friends on week nights. Even if you’re a little sleepy, spending time with loved ones is good for your health! (Tip: Go straight from work so you can’t bail!)

Monday: A Movie at the Belcourt

The Belcourt is a perfect, chill place to spend a Monday evening. They often show some great, shorter films at an after-work hour. The best part? You can get some actually tasty wine or beer! I don’t have a problem with wine and popcorn for dinner from time-to-time, but you could also grab a quick and easy bite at Fido.

Tuesday: A Walk at Centennial Park

As I mentioned, I love walking after work. Centennial Park is the perfect place to meet a friend because it’s in a central location and generally fairly easy to meet there (depending on where you work). They have a short loop you can do as many times as you have time for, and you’ll be sure to catch the sun as it sets over the duck-filled pond.

Wednesday: Invite Them For a Night In

Invite a friend over! If the weather is nice, sit on your balcony/patio/porch if you have one. Or curl up and watch one of your favorite shows together. Maybe you cook dinner together, or order take-out. Whatever you do, you get to be in your pajamas and be social at the same time.

Thursday: Yoga at a Community Center

Check out your local community center for yoga classes, and try one for just $3 per class at most centers! I recommend the Candlelight Restorative Yoga class at Centennial Sportsplex at 6:15 or the Power Vinyasa class at Sevier Park Community Center at 6:30.

Friday: Happy Hour

Happy hour is a classic Friday choice. You get to wind down, treat yourself to a cocktail, split an appetizer, and share all of your funny stories or your drama from the week. A few of my favorite places to do happy hour are Burger Up (12th South or East Nashville), Rosemary & Beauty Queen (East Nashville – love the backyard patio), Neighbors (Sylvan Park), and the Sutler (8th Ave. S).

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What are some of your favorite things to do on week nights? Tell me in the comments!

Love, Bee