New Year's Eve Reflections
I can't believe that this is officially the last day of the year! 2016 has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and as I look back over everything, I can't help but feel a sense of joy and accomplishment. I can definitely say that this year has allowed me, as well as Dannie, to grow in more ways than one. This year was truly a a year of progression and self-discovery. One of our major goals for 2016 was to get out of our comfort zones and truly live life. I won't lie, beginning was a bit difficult considering the fact that anyone who has ever been held back by constant routine and the opinions of others knows the challenges with fear, comparison, and self-doubt that come about. But once we decided that enough was enough and took that first step anyway, the feeling was so amazing.
The saying that life begins at the end of your comfort zone could not be any more truer--because that's exactly what happens when you decide to let go and go for the things you want...life and everything it has to offer truly begins. Dannie and I experienced a lot by choosing to break routine and getting out there. Everything from reconnecting with old friends and going to places we've never been, all the way to sharing new experiences, like going to our very first bachata congress and traveling solo for the first time...all of these chances we took created memories that we will never forget and changed us for the better.
2016 has shown us that living our lives for ourselves and doing more of what makes us happy only allows us to continue to grow and discover more about ourselves, the things we want out of life, and learn more about the things around us. Most of all, it has shown us all of the wonderful blessings and experiences we can have just by choosing to let go and take a chance. This has given us the confidence to get out there and pursue our goals and dreams wholeheartedly and to take more chances without self-imposed limits or the worry of appeasing others. I say all of that to say this: if there is anything that you have always wanted to do, anything that you don't like and wish to change, any dream or goal that you want to pursue, or any leap that you want to take, DO IT. No restrictions, no worrying about what others think, no self-doubting, no limitations. You'll be amazed at just how much your life can change for the better. This is the #1 goal we are taking into 2017. Remember, a new year = a new beginning, another chance to get it right. There's a whole world out there waiting for you. Happy New Year, loves!
25 Things We've Learned Before Turning 25
With our 25th birthday being tomorrow (November 28th), we've definitely been having some moments of self-reflection over these last few weeks. To us, turning 25 is a milestone--not only does it mean we'll be a quarter of a century old and half way to 30, but it also means that enough time has gone by where we've learned many life lessons and are still discovering ourselves as well. Below are 25 things we've learned before turning 25 :)
1. Life truly begins when you step outside of your comfort zone
2. Trust your instincts
3. People make time for the ones they truly want to make time for in their lives--the ones who truly want to be in your life will make the effort to be in it and stay
4. You can't make everyone happy--sometimes you have to put yourself first
5.Always work hard and remain humble
6. Give yourself a break--don't be so hard on yourself
7. Embrace your flaws inside and out
8. Happiness starts with YOU
9. Don't let one person's thoughts or opinions define who you are--only YOU define who you are
10. It's okay to not be okay
11. Don't let others make you feel bad for doing what you love
12. A positive mind = a positive life
13. Never be afraid to speak your mind (appropriately and maturely, of course)
14. RESPECT yourself
15. Know your WORTH
16. Never settle for less than what you deserve
17. A man who is truly interested in you will let it be known--he will make the effort
18. Open your arms, mind, and heart to new experiences
19. Different is beautiful
20. FAITH makes everything possible
21. Always follow your dreams
22. If you have to force it, it's never worth it
23. Not everyone is going to like you. Invest your time, love, and energy into those who are worthy
24. It's normal to not have it all together in your 20's
25. Always BELIEVE in yourself--no one else will unless you do
New Goals, New Horizons, New Beginnings
Now that we're into the third month of the New Year, we've had some time to reflect about many of the things we've learned from the previous year, and how we want to better our lives going forward. Yes, we know many of you all would have done this at the start of the New Year, but, hey, we figured it's never too late! We've been feeling really inspired to start living the lives of our dreams, so to make things more concrete, we created our own personal lists of all of the things we look forward to accomplishing this year and moving forward.
- Continue to do well with my job
- Blog more often; growth of the blog and readership
- Gain more opportunities from our blog and in following our dreams with Fashion/Fashion Marketing
- Do more of the things that I love; don't let others make me feel bad for doing the things that I love
- Truly live life
- Continue to pick up my Spanish because I used to speak it really well
- Get out and have fun MORE OFTEN
- Do more/new things (sightseeing, new restaurants, festivals, etc.)
- Take Latin dance classes (Bachata is one of my absolute faves!)
- Travel more often, whether it's locally or out of state
- Meet new people and make new friends
- Have true love/meet the man of my dreams
- More positive self-talk
- Realize that there is life outside of work and the day-to-day busyness; I need to focus on other aspects of my life more often and LIVE
- Continue to exercise
- Learn to take everything one day at a time and one thing at a time
- Make new, positive memories and experiences
- Continue to be humble
- Be happy
- Gaining more blogging opportunities
- Expanding the blog into something bigger and AMAZING
- Continuing to do well with my job
- Trying new restaurants
- Going to the beach more often (I'm such a beach bunny)
- Watching the sunrise/sunset more often
- Taking Latin dance classes (Bachata, Salsa, Kizomba)
- Reading more interesting books
- Traveling a lot more
- Meeting new people/making new friends :)
- Remaining POSITIVE and open-minded
- Finding the right man for me ♥
- Pick up new hobbies
- Taking on new exercise regimens
- Continuing to eat healthy/incorporating healthy foods in my diet
- Following our dreams in Fashion Marketing
- Continuing to TRUST IN MYSELF
- Understanding that life isn't supposed to be serious...relax and enjoy the ride :)
- Taking more risks!
- Doing what TRULY MAKES ME HAPPY!
Do you all have things that you would like to do to improve your life or to make life more fulfilling? We'd love to know :)
We hope you guys are having a great start to the new year! To us, a new year means new beginnings, a chance to start fresh, and most of all, a time to reflect! As we brought in 2015, we were thinking about the past couple of years, and one thing that stuck out to us was how much we were merely existing and not actually living. After graduating college, we quickly fell into a vigorous job hunt. Every day was the same monotonous routine--wake up, shower, eat, job hunt (for HOURS), and, of course, blog. As much as we wanted to get out, our car troubles didn't make things any easier. We did this routine so much to the point where we became numb to our repetitious ways, and one day we were called out about it by our own family. They expressed just how much we stayed indoors and their desire for us to get out and experience life. Low and behold, they were right.
In turn, this made us have our own major epiphany. We didn't want to look back on our lives years from now and not have amazing memories to smile about. We always talked about doing new and exciting things, but with the routine we fell into, that was quickly placed on the back burner. It wasn't long until we realized that if there is a time to truly experience life and all that it has to offer, the time is now! At the age of 24, we feel there's no better time to find yourself. Make mistakes, fall in love, follow your dreams, do all of the things you've always wanted to do--live life fully! With the new year kicking into high gear, we've decided to make it all about action...taking all of those things that we've always talked about--experiencing new places, meeting new people, trying new things, traveling more often--and going for it! You can have all of the ideas, wishes, and dreams in the world, but without action, they're just that--ideas, wishes, and dreams. It is only when you stop sitting in front of the television or doing the same things every day and gain the courage to go out and express yourself that you begin to live--and not only live, but to grow.
Life is about creating your own happiness. Don't wait for the opportunity to present itself--make it happen! Re-do your space. Seek out things to do in your hometown (if traveling isn't an option at the moment). Watch the sunrise/sunset. Take that class you've always wanted to take. That dream career you've always wanted? Pursue it! Living life fully is all about striving for deeper, life-changing experiences. It's about stepping outside of your comfort zone and expressing yourself. It's all about personal growth. And you never know, the things you do can motivate and inspire others to do something great and inspiring in their own lives!
-Channy & Dannie
I’ve come to realize that the older you get, the more you come to understand who/what is really important in life. I’ve noticed that as life truly begins (after your school years), your circle may change. The same friends you had last year may change, and ultimately, your circle can get smaller and smaller. But, besides meeting new people, you could possibly have a few good friends left if you’re lucky (and by few, I mean like one or two). At the end of the day, though, as you go through the ins and outs of life, the only person that you truly have to depend on is yourself. Every choice you make, move you make…everything ultimately boils down to you. This brings me to a recent encounter I had in my life. As of lately, I’ve had quite a few experiences where people have questioned the things I choose to do with my life (career-wise) and the steps I’m taking to get there. They’ve questioned and judged the choices I’ve made, as well as the timing as to when they feel everything should be happening. To be honest, when someone does this, of course one of the first things you do is second-guess yourself. Sometimes you over-think everything, and then your doubts set in. This is what happened to me. But the more I thought about things, I said to myself, “Who are you to tell me how I should be living my life?”…I mean, if you sit and think about it, no one can tell you when a certain accomplishment or endeavor should’ve taken place or where you should’ve been in your life X amount of years ago. No one can judge you because guess what? Life isn’t a race. No one’s path is the same. Isn’t that the beauty of it all? I’ve come to realize that every decision you make or whatever path you choose to take isn’t going to make everyone happy…but it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, no one can live your life but you, and you should live your life happy, knowing you’re doing what you love. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there. Whether it’s 1 year or even 5…what’s most important is the hard work, dedication, and consistency (and of course, the journey itself) along the way.
I’ve learned to not live to please other people, or to do things just to satisfy others, because in the end, you’ll only disappoint yourself—and c’mon, with the way society’s expectations are, no one is ever truly satisfied! The most important thing is to have a great support system on top of a strong will to succeed. Never let negative energy or nay-sayers hold you back from the things you want/are striving for in life (sad to say, but yes, there are people who want to see you fail). You may get the pessimistic comments, stupid judgments, and even a ton of no’s, but with a strong focus on your goals and dreams, you WILL get there! Never rush your life/change it for others if there’s something you stand for/strive for. Always stay dedicated, consistent, and most of all, positive! Just like 5+5=10, so does 3+7, 2+8, and even 4+6…meaning there is NO one way to succeed. Always do what makes you happy and live the life you love!
Those who truly know me know that I’m a complete and utter sweetheart. I have a very big heart for others’ feelings, I go out of my way to make others happy, and overall…I’m just a selfless person. But lately, through many of my past and current experiences, I’ve come to the realization that being the sweetheart I am can be a gift and a curse. What I mean by this is that it’s cool to be able to do things for others in my life and go out of my way to make everyone happy, but on the flip side, I wonder, “Where is my true happiness?” Sometimes I spend so much time trying to put good out into the universe, hoping and praying that I can only receive good in return. It may sound crazy, but I’m a huge believer in karma. Sometimes I feel that if I don’t go out of my way to please others or make them happy before myself, that, in a way, I’m the one who’s wrong. Sometimes I become so consumed in how other people will feel toward me if I choose to put myself first. I become afraid that I will be labeled as selfish. But throughout these last few months, I’ve come to realize that you can’t make everyone happy in this life. No matter how much of a sweetheart you can be to someone, or how generous or selfless of a person you are, there will always be someone who isn’t going to be satisfied with the things you do, whether it’s for them or for yourself.
Being a nice person can sometimes be a curse because people will take you for granted…they know you will always be there…so much to the point where you get walked over, manipulated, and taken advantage of. This is where I feel that it’s okay to be selfish. Put yourself first. It’s taken me quite some time to realize this, simply because of the person I know that I am, but guess what? It’s okay. Better late than never. It doesn’t matter what others will think of you simply because you put yourself first…because at the end of the day, the only person that is responsible for your own happiness is you. It’s perfectly fine to be selfless every now and then, but it’s also okay to be selfish. Put yourself first. Always remember that you are just as important as anyone else, because when it’s all said and done, there’s no better person that can really look out for you than YOU. This is where I feel that true happiness begins. Always stay true to yourself <3
Over the last year or so, I’ve been going through a rediscovery phase. I’ve been realizing more and more the kind of life that I want for myself and that life includes actually living life fully. More than ever now I feel eager to learn more, try new things, travel to new places, meet new people, take more chances, and just soak up all of the wonderful experiences that life has to offer. But I didn’t always have this mindset.
Many of my closest friends and family know that growing up I was always a shy person, especially when it came to meeting new people. That shyness affected me as I grew older. I always cared about what others said or thought about me, and I was always worried about appearing awkward. All of this led to me being so nervous and scared of new experiences. In the end, I would hold myself back from taking advantage of opportunities and I ultimately missed out on a lot.
As I grow older, I realize more and more that this mindset has only held me back from living a truly happy and fulfilling life. One of my main goals for this year is to get out of my comfort zone and strive to become a better me. I want to learn to embrace change, explore new things, pursue my dreams, and live the life that I have always imagined. And the only way to do that is to let go of all of the negative things that have held me back for so long—the insecurities, the fears, and playing it safe all the time. They say that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I definitely agree with every last word of that statement! I’ve learned that when I stop letting these things control me, that’s when life’s blessings start to flow. I’m proud that I’ve finally started taking the steps toward being more confident and embracing all that life has to offer, and I know that it will only get better from here on. Does the improvement happen over night? No. Do I find myself repeating some of my habits sometimes? Of course. But when I do I automatically think of my dreams, goals, and the life that I want for myself, and that definitely helps put me back on track.
For those of you who are experiencing or have experienced the same thing, I hope that this inspires you. Don’t let your fears, nervousness, or insecurities stop you from taking chances and going after the things you want in life. The only way to get what you want is to not hold back…and that is when the magic truly happens!
Things I Wish I Could Wake Up To
One of our favorite things to do in our spare time is to read other blogs. Whether it's fashion, beauty, health, or lifestyle, we just can't get enough! This week we were surfing the web and discovered an amazing blog called Stay Super, written by Sofia Cope. Many of the topics she writes on include self-help, motivation, and self-love. After going through her blog, it left us feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to step out of our comfort zones and do the things that we have always wanted to do! One of her posts that truly stuck out to us is called "Things I Wish I Could Wake Up To". This post got us thinking about all of the things that we want to accomplish in life, so we figured why not create our own lists. She said not to censor ourselves, so we just went for it!
In the end, these aren't just "lists".These are the things that really matter a great deal in our lives and are goals that we strive for every day. We hope that this post inpsires you all to think about the things that you truly want out of life. Whether you're someone who is stuck in a rut, holding back due to fear, or simply someone who is longing to try something new, this post is great for putting yourself in the right mindset to finally go for it!
- A road trip with my best friends
- A day filled with loads of adventures & fun; things that make me excited to start the day
- Meeting new & interesting people
- Riding bikes on the boardwalk
- All of my bills paid in full
- Intern for a fashion magazine/brand
- Meeting the man of my dreams/love of my life
- A plane ticket to Dominican Republic/Spain/Greece
- A clear & open mind
- A full-time job doing what I love most (Fashion)
- A career in Fashion Marketing: as a fashion editor for a major fashion magazine or as a fashion stylist
- Traveling the world
- More blogging opportunities
- To live in New York/New Jersey
- Positive thinking
- No more stress/worrying
- My own chic little apartment with cute DIY decor and positive sayings
- A cool shade of lipstick
- A brand new wardrobe
- More open-minded people
- '80's films (especially those with Molly Ringwald)
- Inspiring others
- Taking Latin dance classes
- More creativity
- Calla lilies for my room
- More selfless people
- A good morning text/kiss from the love of my life
- A strawberry-banana smoothie (I LOVE strawberries!)
- A day filled with exciting & spontaneous things to do
- Meeting new people
- Maintaining a positive circle of friends
- A clear & open mind
- ALL of my bills paid
- A career in Fashion Marketing: as a fashion editor for a major fashion magazine OR as a fashion stylist/consultant
- Major fashion blogging opportunities
- A full-time job doing what I love (Fashion)
- A plane ticket to Spain, Dominican Republic, Greece, or Italy
- A vacation in Miami
- My own apartment with my sister
- Traveling the world
- New shades of nail polish
- New shades of lipstick
- Thinking POSITIVELY
- Continuing to seek inspiration in the things around me
- A road trip with my sister and closest friends
- Watching the sunrise on the beach (I'm a bit of a beach bunny)
- Living in New Jersey/New York
- More people encouraging & supporting each other instead of wanting to see one another fail
- Fashion/life-related/inspirational decor
- Pink and white roses & peonies for my room
- A new wardrobe (with more white pieces...I've been feeling the color white lately)
- Taking Latin dance classes
- More positive people
- More selfless people
- A pair of heels with a strong arch (I LOVE a sassy shoe)
- Fashion internship
- Inspiring others
The funny thing is that we wrote these lists separately and ended up having so many of the same wants in life (I guess we truly are twins after all haha)! We encourage you to try this out and share it with us or on your own blog!