Moving Forward By Looking Back

    Home. That is a complicated concept for me. I’ve lived in quite a few states/cities and home can be defined many ways. Home is where I had some of my more formative years during high school (Texas). Home is where my mom is (Virginia). Home is the last placed I lived (Charlottesville). In Virginia, home for me is Charlottesville. I moved to Virginia right after graduating high school and after a quick summer spent at my mom’s new house I was off to The University of Virginia for undergrad.

    I made it a goal when I first got to grounds that I was going to engage with the actual Charlottesville community. Not to be confused with the UVA community. I volunteered in various public schools. Went to church, babysat, played recreational sports with people who had zero connection to the University. In addition, a lot of the classes I chose to take required us to go out into the community. Learn about the different neighborhoods, the history that happened in them, and how the city has changed due to that history. Events like Vinegar Hill, and Massive Resistance are two historical events that come to mind. To me, it was incredibly important to understand the space I was living in. And I wanted to try to understand it from the perspective of those native to the city, not from the perspective of those from the “Master’s House” like some of the native Charlottesville residents refer to the University as.  Continue reading


    4 Ways to Use Picture Prints to Make a Space Your Own

    Settling In

    I have been living in my new place in D.C for a little over two weeks now. The first week I had five storage bins, my work clothes, and bins of beauty products that I had with me in the dorm. Last weekend I returned to my mother’s house to pack up my high school bedroom set that would soon become my adult bedroom set. And this weekend I have pretty much finished unpacking all my boxes and finding a new home for all my knick-knacks. Unfortunately, due to the height of staircase ceiling, my box spring could not complete the journey to my new room, and thanks to the inconsistency of Walmart, the foldable box spring I ordered has also not made it here yet. So yay for week two of sleeping with my mattress on the floor!

    Despite my mattress being on the floor, I am feeling more and more settled each day. With all my boxes unpacked, I have began thinking and pinteresting about how I want to decorate my new space. Yesterday I bought two new plants that have made me ridiculously giddy, I’ve been on the hunt for a new white or off-white comforter, and I would love a rug as well.

    In my room in Charlottesville, I had a corner of my room that was a gallery wall of such with picture prints of my friends from Texas, college friends, the boy and I, and Christmas cards from the families I babysat for. While I loved it in my previous room, I’m looking to use picture prints in a different way this time around.

    Picture prints

    Continue reading


    Money Money Money Monayyyyy

    So i’m living the adult life now. For real this time. While i’m making more money that I ever had before, in reality, I’m living on a very small stipend this year…like i’m eligible for food stamps. With the cost of living here in Washington D.C. budgeting and knowing where my money goes is at the utmost importance. Before the move I was doing a good job of recording my expenses by hand in my bullet journal, but now I need something more automated and sophisticated. I’ve been doing research on some of the best money management apps, and utilizing my new DC library card to check out books all about money, so here is a quick list of the resources i’m using to track my spending and learn more about the financial world.  Continue reading

    fitness, Lifestyle

    Running to Challenge What I Tell Myself to be True


    I’ve felt in a little bit of a slump concerning blog ideas but I’m really excited to share this with you all.

    During my first class of “Numbers, Operations, and Algebraic Thinking” aka how to teach math to kindergartners through 2nd graders, our professor told us: “You are no longer allowed to say that you are not a math person” Raise, your hand if you’ve ever uttered those words. Yup, I assume it’s a lot of us. She continued to impress on us the importance of having full confidence in the content we are teaching because our students deserve that. Math may not have come easy for you, you may not have always liked it, and you may have to put in some extra work to improve, but from here on out you have to set an example for your students and you will be a math person.

    Continue reading


    Independence Day in D.C

    This week I spent my first 4th of July in my new city, Washington D.C! In the midst of the craziness that is student teaching, and taking 9 hours of credit, I was excited to have a day off to see a little more of the city. Some new friends and I made plans for the afternoon but intentionally left the morning open so we could just chill. I used that free time to lay in bed and watch West Wing (#patriotic).

    Continue reading


    I’m Not in Charge

    I’ve definitely written about this before. I had a picture book with this verse as a child, and as an adult, this truth continues to resonate and breathe life into me, so here it is again. When times are smooth sailing remember the Lord is in charge, when times are tough, the Lord is still in charge.

    Continue reading


    5 Things to Do After Moving to a New City

    Since graduation, I have been working really hard to go through all my belongings, finish up paperwork for my new program, and really get a grip on all the logistical things I need for the move. I know when I get there I will be thrown right into 10 hour days so I want to prepare my list now for all the things that need to get done after moving to a new city!

    Continue reading


    Summer Reading To Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

    Summer Beach Reading


    It’s the summer time and I know for a lot of college students and recent college grads, pleasure reading hasn’t been a possibility since this time last year…or maybe this time 4 years ago. During the school year reading for pleasure is just out of the question. But it doesn’t have to stay that way!

    Continue reading


    10 Minute Salsa Recipe

    Salsa Recipe


    For those who don’t know I used to live in Texas, so I take salsa and all chip-dipping foods very seriously. In my pursuit to get in the kitchen more, I decided to try my hand at making my own. Who knew it was so easy?! Here is the quick 10-minute salsa recipe, originally from this article but altered to my own taste.

    Continue reading

    Shine Theory

    Best Life Livin’

    Hi there ‘Lysse on Life readers,

    I’m so glad my pal, Alysse, has given me some space to scribble a few things down. This is an affirmation, a reminder, and a declaration to live my best life. I’m writing it for myself but hope that you can take something away from it too.

    The concept of living my “best life” popped up on my radar within the last year. Since then, I have asked and been asked by peers and friends countless times, “are you living your best life?” The question is typically posed as a wake up call, when it is very clear that some aspect of my life is not together. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what living my best life looked like for me. It was easy for me to evaluate my life using the standards of best life livin’ I thought society expected of me. Continue reading