My 2020 Resolutions


Ahhh 2020 is here. A fresh new start to enjoy whatever comes my way. I've always loved resolutions but this year is a little different for me. There is a lot of pressure I put on myself to become better than ever in everything. But, I'm trying to put that thought behind me and focus on letting this year be whatever it will be for me. I don't have any plans or big dreams to chase, other than some goals I'm excited to tackle. I learned a lot during this last decade as it held my high school and college days. I just think it's so neat to be entering the 20's in my twenties, lol. Anyways, here are my resolutions.

1. Learn embroidery // For Christmas, I received a lot of the materials needed to start new projects. I have experience with cross-stitch, but it will be fun to learn new types of stitches.

2. Speak more kindly to myself // I've said it before, but I can be very hard on myself. Well, that is why last year my word was grace. Words have a lot of power, and the ones that run through my head every single day need to be more uplifting and full of gratitude this new year.

3. Have more faith // I hope to grow in the word and trust God more deeply.

4. Explore new places // California is so beautiful and I've lived here my whole life with so many more places to experience. I hope to do a lot more day trips to LA and San Diego!

5. Focus on my health // Physically and mentally my health needs to become more of a priority.

6. Maintain my bullet journal // Ahh, I'm so excited to have found such a neat community of fellow bullet journal enthusiasts. The concept of keeping a journal full of stationery and personal thoughts is just right up my alley. I hope to share a few entries soon this year!

My word for 2020 is grow. To grow in all areas of my life. I hope to plant my roots deeply in my faith, shed sunlight on my creative hobbies, water my friendships, and bloom into a more self-confident, independent, and strong version of who I am today. My desire is to grow tall no matter the seasons my anxiety brings. To grow in the freedom of saying no to certain expectations. To grow through my fears. To grow during the joyful moments. To grow in writing and poetry. I'm so excited to see where this year takes me, as I hold onto this word tightly. The words I chose to live by every year are the ones I silently repeat over and over in my mind and heart, as a reminder that everything is going to be okay.

"If you are outgrowing who you've been, you are right on schedule. Keep evolving." 

Taking Time To Reflect: Little Lessons of 2019


How do I even begin to sum up 2019? It's been a long year for me. Saying goodbye to the world I have poured every ounce of myself into was definitely a new challenge. I earned my degree in English and I couldn't be more proud of accomplishing my life long dream. Yet, it was hard to let it go and enter the unknown. Summer felt long this year, but our family vacation in Ventura felt refreshing. I quit my job in retail (woohoo) and took a full-time position at a consulting firm. It feels amazing to be able to begin paying off my student loans. This year I honestly felt so creative and I hope to explore new avenues next year.

Well, I truly don't know what 2020 will have in store for me. It's the first time in my entire life where I don't have any plans. I am just going to take life in short moments and enjoy what comes my way. Before I share my new year's resolutions, let's recap this past year.

1. // You can do anything you put your mind to, even if it takes time. If you forget, just think back to May when you received your degree.

2. // This year I found a love for poetry. I can't wait to slowly begin sharing them on the blog.

3. // I started an art travel journal. I just love using photographs, paint, washi tape, and paper to keep create such a memorial page of my adventures. It's so much more enjoyable when I print out my photos and do something special with them (unlike posting them on Instagram).

4. When I was young I use to cross stitch all the time. I would make tiny little cats or dogs. Somehow I lost the hobby all together come Jr. High. But, this year I began learning the craft all over again and it is my favorite past-time yet.

5. I met my celebrity crush, Jesse McCartney. I think our selfie turned out pretty cute.

6. Back in May, I was a bridesmaid for the second time for my best friend since second grade, Emily. I just love weddings.

7. Going to the Mission Inn Hotel with my mom to celebrate my graduation was just the best.

8. And I ended the year with my sister at Disneyland!

Best Of 2019


hhhh! You guys, 2019 has almost come to an end. I just wanted to take a minute and reflect back on the blog, because it has morphed into many forms for me this year. It truly serves as my milestone and every emotion in between type of space. I have barely blogged this year, and yet I've managed to grow a lot on Bloglovin', bringing my readers to 416! So, thank you! I love seeing new faces around my site. But, with that being said, this post was easy to create due to only publishing 24 posts. Back in the day, I was pushing out triple that amount.

I believe 2019 served as my year for simplicity and quality over quantity. I truly look back on my posts and love what I wrote, how I laid out the content, and the photography style I tried. I hope you have too! :) Let's dive in, here are the top five most-read posts of the year, along with my top four new places I traveled to!!


This year I wasn't heavy in travel, but I ventured back to some of my favorite places. To kick off the year my mom and I celebrated my graduation at the Mission Inn Hotel. It was so relaxing, and so needed after the stress of my capstone course. In July, all of my friends and I bought annual passes to Seaworld and that was a blast in the summertime. For my family vacation, we went back to Ventura Harbor, Santa Barbara, and Carpeteria (all the places I grew up). Oh to be back on the sand with a book in my hand. It's literally all I did, it was awesome. And towards the end of the summer, I went to Balboa Park for the first time ever in San Diego and it was beautiful. You can read all about it here.

Self Development | The Heart Of It


I believe the most beautiful gift we can give ourselves is time. Time to heal, time to learn, time to grow, time to believe, time to trust, and time to discovery. Well, 2019 will be one for the books as it truly opened a new chapter in my life. It has been dedicated to self-development. That word holds so much significance, and rightfully so, but it works very slowly. I have found that self-development takes more time than anything in this world to unfold itself properly. Perhaps, we will never see it do so. It is part of being human. We always have room for improvement. Nevertheless, it is a fundamental concept that I must practice.

I know that right now society loves this concept as it encourages self-help books or teaching. But there is so much more to this practice than speaking little mantras to ourselves. 'I am brave,' 'I am enough,' or 'I can do this,' are sayings that help, yes, but I find them hard to believe. Well, at least enough to actually transform my life.

Self-discovery is challenging because it makes us step out of our comfort zone. Some days I crawl out of my turtle shell and crave more new experiences, then other times I happily stay bundled in my happy place of comfort. It's scary and needed all at the same time. To let walls come down or place new ones in a space we never wanted. It's very personal and looks different for everyone.

My early twenties have shown me something very significant that I'm sure will only become more so the older I become, which is to be okay with not being who I use to be. That transition into adulthood or post-college life is real, rough, and amazing. I find that a lot of time is spent asking questions like 'do I still enjoy this?' or 'will I be good at that?' These questions are the constant thread in my thought process daily as I explore different avenues in my career, friendships, and personal interests. It can be as simple as taking a bite of a seafood dish or entering a new career position.

Something I must say about self-development is that I find it to be a little bit of a taboo subject. Of course not in the positive good for you for taking up Zumba kind of way. It's more in those moments when you realize how ready you are to see more of the world, excited to leave behind your childhood hometown. When you've outgrown an old friend. When you suddenly stop saying yes to everything and put yourself first. It's when others say 'oh she has changed, she's no longer the same.' I say, well, isn't that the point? 

Aren't we supposed to evolve with the life experiences we are given? Time never allows us to stand still. So why should our interests, principals, or personality? One quote that I just love SO much says this; "stop shrinking yourself to fit into places you've outgrown." I love looking back on my life to see that fifteen-year-old girl, so confident and carefree, and still see those qualities shining brightly inside of the twenty-two-year-old I am today. Perhaps, now they are just a little bit more polished, matured, or developed. Who I was in high-school or even college is not the same version I am today. Thankfully, that is due to embracing self-development, which strives me to become a better version of who I was yesterday, last month, or four years ago. What a beautiful thing it is to be constantly discovering new things about myself. After all, that is when I learn the most about growth and grace.
© A Beautiful Heart. Design by FCD.