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Moodboard / Edgy + Feminine

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March 30, 2015
I'm unofficially making Mondays my day to collect and share inspiration. I've been doing that for a few weeks now, with the color palettes and affirmations and music and I think it's a great way to start off the week. It's also been a little while since I shared a moodboard just for fun, so I thought I'd make one for today! 

I first found this letter A and thought it was so gorgeous--how it looks like someone just splattered paint and it spontaneously formed a letter. That and the pink chiffon inspired me the most in this moodboard, but the more I worked on it, the more I absolutely love it! I tried to take the messiness of the letter A and the edge of the makeup and combine them with the softness of the pink colors. 

What do you think? What's been inspiring you lately? Don't forget to share Pinterest links with me!

5 Steps to Your Best Morning Ever

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March 27, 2015

Get to bed early enough the night before! The best mornings start the night before. Try to plan for at least seven hours of sleep per night and plan your bedtime accordingly. I turn off all electronics 30 minutes before I want to be asleep just to allow plenty of time to get relaxed.

Practice getting up with your alarm. I'm reeeeally bad about pressing snooze three or four times before I actually get out of bed which probably annoys my roommate to no end (sorryyy Liv). But I've noticed that if I hop out of bed on the first buzz, I have more energy and motivation for the next couple hours. It definitely takes practice--I know I'm working on it myself!

Eat a healthy, rounded breakfast. Most importantly in my opinion, try to eat a good serving of protein in the form of lean sausage or peanut butter or greek yogurt. 

Do something difficult. This one's kind of crazy, but I'm serious! Researchers at the University of Nottingham found that our willpower is greatest in the morning. Think about what you could accomplish if you put that to good use! 

Start your morning with some stretches! I enjoy doing a couple yoga-inspired stretches in the morning to get my muscles warmed up for a long day. Keep reading for my 10-minute yoga routine to kickstart your day!
    First off, make sure you have a high-quality mat. I absolutely love this beautiful mat from Optimistic Elephant. It's super high-quality and really thick. This is really helpful if you ever have wrist pain doing yoga, like I do. Plus, the beautiful design makes me happy and that's always helpful in making my morning better.

    1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and reach above your head, leaning back.
    2. Swoop forward and hold opposite elbows allowing your jaw to slack and your head to hang.
    3. Walk your hands out to a plank position, keeping your body as straight as possible.
    4. Keeping your elbows as close to your sides as you can, bend at the elbows and come down to the ground, or hover if you can to complete the chaturanga.
    5. Swing your body forward into a cobra or upward facing dog pose, with your thighs on or off the ground, looking to the sky.

    6. Come back into plank and slide back into child's pose. Feel free to bring arms around to your feet.
    7. From plank, lift your hips into the air and come into downward dog, bending the legs one at a time for a stretch. Complete poses 3-7 as many times through as you'd like, flowing through at your own pace.
    8. From down dog, lift on leg into the air, keeping a straight line through the body and hips in line.
    9. Pull that leg forward and into your chest for a lunge.
    10. Step forward with the other leg and stand straight.

    Do you practice yoga? What does your morning routine look like?

    This post was brought to you by Optimistic Elephant, an etsy store full of inspiring yoga mats and accessories. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Call Me Sassafras!

    A Note of Hope

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    March 24, 2015

    Life is so dang tough sometimes. 

    I'm writing this post to check in, get back into the swing of things + remind myself that blogging is a thing that I do.

    Lately, I've been feeling so far down that it's hard to get up for much. Today was my birthday but I couldn't get up the energy to get out of bed for long today. Sometimes we just have days like that. Weeks. Months. 

    It's easy in hard times to be overdramatic. To tell yourself that this is the way things are from now on. That they will always be this way. That you will always be alone. 

    But life right now, is not any indicator of what life will be tomorrow, or next week, or next year. 

    So this is my short and sweet reminder to you: no matter where you are, and especially if you are feeling low, things can always change.

    *If you'd like to download that image as a desktop background, click through on the picture for a larger version. 

    Color Palette / Forest Explorer

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    March 23, 2015
    This color palette comes from a photo by the lovely instagrammer @ladycascades. I first saw this photo a month or two ago and it immediately made me think of my trip last summer traveling through the National Parks and Forests of California. Doesn't a photo like this make you want to go hike or sit under a tree for awhile?!

    I could see this color palette being great for (naturally) any sort of outdoor goods company or goods from natural materials. These greens and browns give it such an earthy vibe!

    Have you seen any gorgeous color pairings lately? Where?!

    It's Not Bad to Be Busy

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    March 19, 2015

    I feel like it's become very trendy for bloggers or writers to write on and on about how we need to stop glorifying "busy" and how we would enjoy our lives if we weren't constantly doing so much. But you know what? I think that's crap. So now I'm going to rant about it. 

    I'm convinced that it's not "busy" that is at fault for dissatisfaction and empty living; it's screwed up priorities. In a typical day, I go to class, I exercise, I go to church or spend time reading my Bible. I meet up with friends. I study. I go to club meetings or sports events. I go to work. I blog. I'm busy, that's for sure. But that doesn't keep me from doing what I want to do with my life. I always have time to do what I really want to do and you do too. 

    Of course, sometimes I have to do things that I don't feel like doing and those things take up my time. We all have to work in some form of another and we're not all lucky enough to have jobs that we love. But in that case, wouldn't adding something extra to our plates be a good thing, if it is something we enjoy? I could just do the bare minimum--study, go to class, go to work. I wouldn't be busy, but I know I wouldn't be as happy.

    So what's really wrong with being busy? A lot of times, I'm not home between when I leave for my first class around 7:30 and when I come back at night. And that's for someone who is always within a couple blocks of where they live! Maybe I have a different perspective as a college student, not someone who's working full-time. But I can't help but thinking that the same principle should apply all-around. If you're busy and you're unhappy, you're busy with the wrong things. 

    It doesn't make sense to me why people try to convince busy people that they need to stop being busy in order to be happy, when they very well might already be!

    Instead of glorifying busyness, let's start praising when people have built happy lives, in their own way. 

    What do you think? Don't forget to take my one question survey, please and thank you! 

    Affirmation #1

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    March 16, 2015
    Here's a new idea for a series that I had, revolving around mantras and positive affirmations and some short thoughts on them. I'm experimenting with some new content for blog posts...let me know what you think!


    I am already successful and I will continue to be.

    This week, I've been preparing for a big exam in chemistry, a class that doesn't come very naturally to me. I've been working hard and doing well but after a lower grade on a quiz, my confidence in my chemistry skills was shattered. I was convinced that I would never get the grade I needed on this exam and that I should just give up. 

    But for some reason, I was able to convince myself that positivity was a better approach. I took a short break from studying and meditated for not even fifteen minutes, using this affirmation, repeating it to myself. (P.S. Meditation tip: I love this background music.) 

    Afterwards, I reminded myself that I had succeeded in the class early on and that my hard work and determination when I wasn't confident in myself were success enough and will continue to bring me more success. It might be in the form of an might be in the form of knowledge that I tried my hardest.

    Do you ever meditate or use affirmations? How do you remind yourself of your successes?

    Curated Weekly / 16

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    March 13, 2015

    Helloooo friends! As you may know, I'm just messing around and trying some new things for the blog (I'd love if you'd take the one-question survey!!) and so I thought I'd spend a little bit more time recapping my week, in the form of a list.

    1. On Saturday, after H and I had a nice visit at his school, we drove home to our hometown and had some time with our families. Sometimes I don't realize how much I miss my family until I'm back with them.

    2. Sunday night (late) I had to fly back to Florida for school. I personally don't mind airports and flying but it really took it out of me to have my flight so late and that's really thrown my sleep schedule off all week. That and stupid daylight savings!

    3. This week, I've been busting my booty to study for my chemistry exam on Wednesday that I honestly should have started studying for before spring break. But it's over and done. Just gotta wait for the grade now. 

    4. Last night, I taught almost a full kickboxing class on my own! That was way exciting. I seriously never realized how hard it was to teach group fitness classes until I had to put on the mic and do it myself! You have to know all the moves, do them well and with good form, while teaching and motivating and encouraging your class and while listening to the music to know what comes next. AND the mic picks it up when I'm all out-of-breath so there's that. But it's really fun and I know I'm getting better at it.

    5. I'm feeling a little bit of a burn out with this blog, which naturally comes every once in awhile. I'm not sure if I'll plan a short little break or try something else. If you're a blogger, how do you deal with burnout?

    6. I started watching a new show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I can't quite decide, but I think I really like it. It's so odd! It's a comedy about a woman who gets rescued from an underground apocalype cult and has to figure out life in New York. Let me know what you think!

    And I'll leave you with a couple links to read this weekend...

    What have you been up to this week? Thoughts on this format of the Curated posts?

    Take my one-question survey, please and thank you!

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    March 12, 2015
    Hi friends! I'm doing a little bit of adjustment to my posts here on the blog and I would LOVE if you would weigh in. I care about your opinion! I've created this (cell phone friendly!) survey--which is only two questions long (and the second question is totally optional). You can take two minutes to take it right?! :) 


    10 Activities to Do By Yourself

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    March 10, 2015

    I've always liked being by myself--I'm a textbook introvert. I love being with friends but I loooveee soaking in some good Allie time. I've always been like that. When I was younger, growing up in Minnesota, I spent most of my days playing in the forest where we lived--cutting down small trees to build forts or teepees or collecting leaves to press. I never realized it so much at the time, but I really liked the alone time as much as I liked being outdoors.

    Last week, I was alone at my house for spring break. None of my friends were in town for the week so literally, I was alone. After a day or so, it felt surprisingly uncomfortable. It felt weird not even having the option of being with a friend. 

    To combat this weird lonely feeling and get back to that Allie time that I love, I made a list of activities that are super fun to do by yourself.

    • Learn a new hobby or practice an old one. I practiced lots of calligraphy and hand-lettering this weekend!
    • Visit a tourist attraction in your town.
    • Go to the library or a bookstore and peruse books.
    • Play around with your makeup! There's no one to stumble in and be weirded out by your attempt at a smokey eye that makes you look more like a human raccoon.
    • Drive somewhere in town, and just walk, observing where you are.
    • Exercise, in whatever way you like! (I may or may not have danced around the house a bit...)
    • Treat yourself to lunch at a nice restaurant! Bring a book or something to do so you're not just on your phone.
    • Have a spa day, either at home or out at a spa. Treat yo self. I like doing those little face mask packets because it's always awkward to have to talk to roommates or family with blue gunk all over your face.
    • Go thrifting or to a consignment shop.
    • And of course, binge-watch Netflix. It's okay. I give you permission just this once.
    What do you like to do by yourself?

    Color Palette / Antarctica Blues

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    March 09, 2015
    This photo is from one of my all-time favorite photography duos, Caroline and Jayde from Woodnote Photography. They do a lot of really interesting engagement and wedding shoots, but I really love following them on instagram for shots like this. Last year, they went to all seven continents. Can you believe that? I've just been aching to go to Antarctica ever since I saw these shots. 

    Know of any other awesome photographers/instagrammers? Do share!

    Curated Weekly / 15

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    March 06, 2015

    Oops! I just realized I missed the curated post last week because I was too busy packing up to come home to NC for spring break. Well I'm here and my spring break is just about over (cue sad face). I've spent the week with my brother, but mostly by myself since he's been in school. I am definitely an introvert but it's been really weird to have this much time to myself! Right now, I'm visiting H at his school. Yay!

    ALSO. I chopped off my hair. Check it.

    In case you missed them...

    I love this super fancy 'ooh la la' print from The And So Collection.

    OohLaLa - 5x7 Typography Print

    Next week is H's and my anniversary and so I thought I'd get a little mushy and share some songs that make me think of our love. Listen here.
    • First Day of My Life / Bright Eyes
    • You Belong to Me / Carla Bruni
    • World Spins Madly On / The Weepies
    • You Remind Me Of Home / Ben Gibbard
    • I Won't Give Up / Jason Mraz
    • These Arms of Mine / Otis Redding
    • Just You and Me / Zee Avi
    • Free Bird / Lynyrd Skynyrd
    • Wanted / Hunter Hayes
    • You Are The Best Thing / Ray LaMontagne
    • Anyone Else But You / The Moldy Peaches
    • Do You Remember / Jack Johnson
    • At Last / Leftover Cuties
    • Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly) / Phosphorescent

    This week, I'm heading back to school, back to work, back to life (ewwwww). I have a big chemistry exam on Tuesday and my big goal is to study hard and ace it. Unfortunately, I'm gonna have to take a little break while I'm with H this weekend to study + then study again Sunday afternoon and pretty much all afternoon Monday. This is seriously my top priority because I'm not the best at chemistry. 

    Other than that, in the next few weeks, I want to make a point to have lunch with someone I don't know well/haven't ever hung out with. 

    What's going on in your world this weekend?

    Can You Choose to Be Confident? (Yes! Here's How.)

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    March 05, 2015

    For the longest time, I thought confidence was just something that happened naturally when you were good at things or pretty or well-liked. I thought it was a feeling that sometimes you had, and sometimes you didn't, and that's all there is to it.

    The older I get, the more I am starting to think that yes, confidence comes naturally sometimes, and other times it just doesn't...but that maybe we can choose to be confident. I read something the other day that said that our confidence is also our "self-efficacy" which is just a fancy sounding phrase for how strongly we believe we are capable of achieving things--whether that's in work, relationships or anything else.

    Choosing to be confident isn't just telling ourselves to buck up every morning and be self-assured. But there are certain things in our life that affect our confidence. According to this article, there are four different places that we get our confidence. The first one is one that we can't control--it's how often other people tell us that we are succeeding. But the other three, we totally can control:

    1. "Developing mastery experiences"--which means experience working hard at things and seeing a good result.
    2. "Vicarious experiences"--this is when we see other 'normal' people like us succeeding at things.
    3. "Emotional status"--how well we manage negative self-talk, stress, etc.

    According to this article, we can seriously change these three things and our life--and so we can change how confident we are. I'm not sold on it for sure, but I think it's such an interesting concept that we may be able to choose to be more confident people.

    What do you think?

    March Goals

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    March 03, 2015

    Hello lovelies! I've missed you! I know it's only been a couple of days, but it's weird for me not to sit down and interact with y'all in the comments or on Twitter for more than a day or two. I was finishing up life at school and coming home for my spring break (YES). I don't have much planned for this week, so I hope to talk with y'all some! (Tweet at me or leave a comment!)

    Semi-related, before we get onto the whole goal part of this post: I'm looking to get a bit more involved in the blog community and part of that is I'd love to switch blogs with one of you for a day. If you blog about positivity, productivity, wellness, design or anything like that, talk to me and we can maybe swap guest posts. Sound good?

    Last Month's Goals:

    1. Take a 3-day TV fast. Done. I'm not sure I really learned much from this, as much as I wish I could say it transformed my life or something equally inspiring. I just enjoy TV and I think in balance, it's totally fine! That said--I am focusing on balance! There's no need to watch more TV if I haven't done my schoolwork or exercised enough.

    2. Go to office hours. Maybe I should just admit that this is never going to happen? 

    3. Form a workout routine. Somewhat done! I did sort of get into a routine outside of my regular fitness classes but now I'm home so it's not quite the same. Still a success.

    This Month's Goals:

    1. Explore Secret Project #1. I'm so sorry to be that annoying blogger who talks about a secret project without saying what it is. Honestly, it doesn't even have much to do with this blog, but I'm keeping it a little bit private because I have no idea if it's an idea that's really going to stick. 

    2. Find my methods and motivations for healthy eating. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's motivating myself to exercise regularly. But I'm not so great at eating well. Part of this just naturally comes with being on a meal plan--sometimes I walk into the dining hall and the only veggies are the same ones on the salad bar that I've eaten for the last five lunches. Sooo I eat pizza. Help a girl out--how do you make sure to eat healthy (especially if you don't naturally enjoy healthy food)?

    3. Continue reading (at least 1-2 books a month). I'm currently on Book #3 of 2015 (The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule) and I think that The Good Nurse is next. If you're interested, you can keep up with my booklist on Goodreads or give me recommendations!

    What are your goals for the month of March?

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