July Wrap-Up

B L O G  P O S T S

I'm proud because I managed to post twice a week this month, except for the week I was on vacation in which I only posted once which I think is acceptable because hey, I was on vacation.

I wrote about a rough weekend I had where I spent an entire day on the couch, reminding myself that life's about balance. I complimented myself, because doing that is important. I wrote a few Internet-related posts: giving tips on how I run my blog alongside a full-time job and how I edit my Instagram photos, as well as talking about why who you follow/unfollow on social media matters so much. The latest (and very exciting) "Finding Your Spark" interview went up with wife, mother, author Rachel Del on writing, reading, and investing in yourself. Lastly, I hit my reading goal for the year already! Here are books 30 through 32.

July Reads

Book 30:
"The Girls" by Emma Cline
Plot: Set in 1969, "The Girls" tells the story of Evie Boyd, a lonely and curious teenager. One day while at the park, Evie sees a group of girls for whom she immediately feels a sense of admiration and envy. They're different, carefree, wild. Evie is drawn into their friend circle, which she soon discovers is actually a cult. As the summer progresses, Evie spends more and more time in this new world, oblivious to the dangers and violence to come.

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

Of all the social media outlets, Instagram might be my favorite. I like documenting my day with a single photo, and I like seeing how others capture theirs. It's a virtual scrapbook where we can express ourselves visually or in writing, or both.

I'm not gonna pretend I don't edit my Instagram pictures. I do. We all probably do, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I don't think adjusting a picture so it's more clean, vibrant, or eye-catching is dishonest.

Finding Your Spark: Writing, Reading, And Investing In Yourself

I decided to start the "Finding Your Spark" series to shine a light on different types of people who are following various paths – their OWN paths, whatever those may be. The whole idea is that there's no single way to live life and a person doesn't have to be "famous" to inspire others. These individuals have found what inspires them, motivates them, makes them happy. And they've run with it. Read all posts in this series here.

Why Who You (Un)Follow Matters

I've heard that the five people you spend the most time with influence you the most. I've seen it on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, worded different ways and attributed to a few different people, but the idea is always the same: We become similar to the people we spend a lot of time with. And it's true. We start to pick up some of their habits or quirks, use the same expressions, absorb their energies, whether we realize we're doing it or not. We can't help it. It's natural.

Because of this, it's important that we're careful about who we surround ourselves with. It's important that our friends are good, driven people with big hearts and a sense of humor, so we can be good, driven people with big hearts and a sense of humor.

We know this.

I think what we forget is that the people we follow on social media are "people we surround ourselves with" too.

How I Balance Blogging With A Full-Time Job

During the two years I've had this blog, I've also had a full-time job. It can definitely be hard to find the time or energy (or inspiration) to write. Most days I'm spending 9+ hours at work and then hitting the gym. By the time I get home, I'm too drained, and I probably don't want to look at a computer anymore anyway.

Still – I enjoy writing and blogging, so I haven't let it stop me. Some weeks are better than others, but I've kept my blog alive and well for two years. Here are a few ways how:


Earlier this week, I read a post about the importance of complimenting ourselves.

We want other people to feel good. We highlight their achievements and express our admiration, but rarely do we give this sort of kindness to ourselves. We are much quicker to tear ourselves down rather than build ourselves up. (And we should be gentle, kind, and fair to ourselves, remember?)

In her post, Fern listed out a handful of things she likes about herself. It was heart-warming to read. Genuine love for oneself is precious. So today I'm going to follow her lead. It was awkward and honestly pretty difficult to focus on my good things, but I did it. I nailed down a solid five. And I encourage you to take some time to do the same.

On Balance

We've all heard it before, but this is a reminder, to you and to myself, that life is all about balance.