9 Ways to Make Space in Your Life

It’s no secret that life has a way of testing you to see exactly what you can handle. After moments of feeling completely overwhelmed with my career, relationships, what I should be doing, what I’d like to be doing instead… I decided it was time to get reorganized. For me, that started with getting rid of all of the clutter that doesn’t serve a purpose. Making space in your life tells the universe that you are done with the old and ready for the new. Things you don’t use, people who use you, or thoughts that make noise in your head are all taking up valuable real estate in your life. To help get you going, here are my 9 ways to make space in your life. Better late than never for a little spring-cleaning!

This whole kick started by cleaning out my closet. I felt like I couldn’t even get started on the bigger, more important things until I got rid of the physical clutter. Whatever that first step is for you, here are my suggestions for making room in your physical life:

  1. Where you live. It’s important to make your space your Somewhere where you feel comfortable, experience no stress, and know where everything is. Ever have a closet full of clothes but nothing (I mean, nothing) to wear? Yeah. It’s hard to see the pieces you love when all the stuff that doesn’t even fit is in the way. If you’re like me and have 80,000 t-shirts because they’re sentimental, I recommend recruiting someone you trust to help you go hanger by hanger eliminating everything you do not need. (Thanks for hanging in there, Tricia!) It’s easy to convince yourself to hold on to certain things, but if you haven’t worn it in the past 6-12 months (weather permitting) – hasta la vista, baby! Side note: I sold what I could, donated the rest. Win, win! 
  2. Where you work. Clutter is distracting! Increase your efficiency by simplifying your workspace. Organize your papers. Shred what you don’t need. Create an environment that allows you to be productive and then move on with your day. You don’t need 73 writing utensils.
  3. Digital life. Cleaning up your computer files, social media accounts, and email inbox will be a huge weight off your shoulders. Invest in an external hard drive and keep only the files you need immediately on your computer (that includes pictures!). Not only will your computer run faster, but it will also be so much easier to navigate.

According to some random article (which was supported by some other random article) on Google, we have anywhere between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. I know what you’re thinking – that’s almost as many t-shirts as you have! But with all of these ideas floating around, we need to make space in the ol’ noggin for the thoughts that actually matter.

  1. Meditate/Yoga. When I first began my yoga practice, I found Savasana, or Corpse Pose, to be the most challenging –  and all you have to do is lie on your back. It’s easy to allow thoughts to circle around while staying still. Being present is essential for making space for what’s happening right now. Incorporating some type of meditation into your daily life is the most scientifically proven way to create space in your mind, inspire creativity, and help you relax.
  2. Exercise. You don’t need me to tell you the benefits of working out. The hardest part is making the time to do it. Make it a priority. Run, dance, do yoga again – whatever is fun for you! 
  3. Write! Whether it’s to-do lists, your schedule, or any ideas you may have – free up some of the space in your mind by writing everything Especially if you sometimes struggle to fall asleep because your brain won’t turn off, try typing all of those thoughts into the notes on your phone. That’ll help you tackle everything the next day.
  4. Creating time for yourself. This might be the most important one. When we get crazy busy, we forget to take care of ourselves. Read, nap, or do absolutely nothing. Whatever it is, schedule a specific time in your day to regroup and have some alone time.

The people we interact with personally and professionally take up a lot of space in our lives. Not in a bad way – people are awesome! But you need to figure out who supports you and is willing to meet you half way.

  1. Let go. Any relationship is a two-way street. It’s exhausting to be the only person making an effort. Break free of anyone who only brings negative energy to the table. Bye, Felicia(s)! 
  2. Learn to say “no.” Say “yes” to anything and everything you want to do. But don’t be nervous to turn down an event because you feel obligated to go. See #7. Your time is precious, bb!

Once you make the decision to get organized, the most important part is sticking to it. What are some other ways you make space in your life? Keep me updated below!

xx

Resistance & Accountability

I want to start off by pointing out that it’s been almost an entire year since the last time I posted on this blog. Now, that isn’t to say I haven’t written anything, but certainly not anything worth sharing with all of you (hey, mom!). Since then, I’ve had countless conversations with close friends about our goals, things we each want to accomplish individually, things we want to accomplish together, and so on. During every one of these discussions I always say, “I need to write more. Not for money or a job, not for a class, not because I have to, but just to write.” And I never seem to do it. As difficult as that is for me to admit to myself, it’s true. During a phone call with my bestie Kirstie (rhymes way cuter in my head) who lives ~3000 miles too far away, I found myself once again telling her, “I need to write more.” Annoying, right? Like, do it already Sterling, GEEZ. I’m busy, okay? The next day I get a text from Kirst… “Did you write for your blog today?” We all know the answer: “Not yet.”

All of a sudden, the world started shaking. And not in a “I live in SoCal now” kind of way. But rather – Oh no, I can’t remember my WordPress password. Maybe in the morning, today is the only day I can go to the gym, ever. My room really needs vacuuming. I should really cut up all of my junk mail so no one steals my identity. I think there’s some laundry I could do. These are actual thoughts I had. You know it’s bad when I’m considering cleaning and exercising as potential alternatives.

Sound familiar?

If you haven’t read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I highly suggest you do. With that said, there are times I wanted to throw it across the room. There is something so frustrating about recognizing your weaknesses, knowing you can overcome them, and then not changing. The first section of the book talks about our greatest enemy – Resistance. For me, the term ‘Resistance’ is best defined by this excerpt: “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”

If you don’t care to read the book (but care to read this really awesome blog!!) – the greatest takeaway for me was to learn to use whatever resistance I feel as a guide toward the things I should be doing. Because the things we feel the most resistance toward are the things we know we can do, but we just don’t.

Guess what the first step of overcoming resistance is?

Sitting down and starting. Stop making excuses, and just getting to work. BOOM. Is your mind blown yet? And just look at me go…typing away on my laptop… and I’m still alive! Yes, I’m missing the season premiere of Pretty Little Liars. Yes, I still watch that show (#TeamHanna). But I’m okay! I made it! Crazy how that works.

If you’re still with me after my PLL confession, consider this last little nugget: everything you do should be moving you closer to your goals. One of the most important parts of that is building your team. Don’t have people in your life that are going to distract you, bring you down, or add to that resistance you already feel. Find the people that will remember to text you “Did you [insert goal] today?” Find the people that care if you succeed. Find the people that you care if they succeed, too. Although how you spend your time is 100% your responsibility, it doesn’t hurt to not only do life with people, but to succeed in life with people.

The 7 Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduating College

It’s been just over a year since I left the familiarity of not only college, but of home. And it’s honestly been one of the most rewarding and challenging years of my life. Believe it or not, you keep learning after you graduate. I’ve acquired countless tips and tricks for navigating the real world, but here are the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned beyond textbooks:

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on a bigger goal. There’s something indescribable about feeling so lost but knowing you are headed in exactly the right direction. Feeling overwhelmed by a chaotic schedule, the choices you need to make, and the opportunities you should (or shouldn’t) take is a BEAUTIFUL thing! Focus on your dreams, not your worries.
  2. Spend money on experiences, not things. The determination to follow your dreams doesn’t always come with a consistent paycheck. Be okay with that, do what you need to do, and always remember your end goal. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for couponing. Saving money and budgeting is so essential in these first few years post-grad. With that said, choose the skydiving trip instead of the new pair of shoes.
  3. Keep in touch. Distance reveals who cares and who doesn’t, who is important and who used to be. And that goes both ways. Don’t be lazy when it comes to those you love, especially with your family. Call your mother! Related: snail mail matters! Getting a letter in the mail that isn’t a credit card statement is one of the greatest feelings. Who knew? Also, who needs a pen pal?
  4. Take better care of yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m not as young as I once was! Hangovers are worse, injuries take longer to heal, and sleep is more important than ever. Just when I thought I was invincible. Ladies (& gents, if you’re into that sort of thing), take your makeup off every night before bed. Wear sunscreen and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize – especially if you’re in Southern California.
  5. Be honest. Not only with yourself, but also with others. Frankly, nobody’s got time for BS. Don’t hesitate to express yourself. And as the late, great Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” If you think this is about you, it probably is. 😉
  6. Explore. These are the years of discovery! Whether it’s finding your faith, finding yourself, finding others, or even finding your favorite coffee shop – what better time than now? Just because you are in the real world doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Refer back to Tip #2. Travel. See something you’ve never seen before.
  7. Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will be faced with thousands of decisions, some big and some small. Whether it’s your job, relationships, or if you want to dye your hair pink – do what makes you happy. Related: MOVE ON. Stop dwelling and holding on to something that isn’t making you better. You’re too awesome for that.

 

The 13 Most Memorable Things that Happened at the Oscars

Anyone else have an Oscars hangover this morning? As the biggest night in Hollywood was going down just blocks away from our apartment, my roommate and I hosted a viewing party complete with friends (yes, we have some!), Oscar ballots, and tons of food (duh). Cherry on top of an ideal Sunday evening: TRUE DETECTIVE. In case you missed it, here are some of my favorite moments from last night’s Academy Awards:

1. First thing’s first, I correctly predicted 20 out of 24 possible awards, winning the ballot competition. Can I put that on my resume? No prize, just pride and the realization that I’m way too competitive for friendly games.

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2. J.Law takes a tumble – again. It wouldn’t be an awards show without Jennifer falling and, unfortunately, this was probably the most exciting moment from the red carpet.

3. DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU’RE MY HEROOOOO? Bette Midler performed ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ after the In Memoriam. So many tears.

4. Discovering p!nk has a real name. Did anyone else not realize that she has a government name? And that government name is Alecia Moore? Mind Blown. Still love her.

5. FASHION. We saw TONS of embellished nude dresses on the ladies and several gents sporting white tuxes. I loved seeing the men experimenting outside of the traditional black ensemble.

My best dressed picks:

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada.

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Giuliana Rancic in Adelaide label Paolo Sebastian.

Camila Alves in Gabriela Cadena. Not to mention her pretty dapper arm candy.

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Kate Hudson inAtelier Versace.

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6. Jared Leto. Because he has better hair than I’ll ever have. Not to mention his amazing acceptance speech for his much-deserved Best Supporting Actor win for Dallas Buyers Club.

7. Lupita Nyong’o. Not only was she my Best Dressed pick, but her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress was perfect. “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” PREACH, girl.

8. ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT. I am so, so happy Matthew McConaughey got the recognition he deserves for Dallas Buyers Club. That was by far my favorite movie and performance of the year. He’s certainly come a long way since How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Not that I don’t love that movie. ‘Cause I do.

9. Cate Blanchett tells fellow nominee Julia Roberts to #suckit in her acceptance speech.  Enough said.

10. Go home, John Travolta, you’re drunk. Well maybe not, but he completely butchered Idina Menzel’s name. Yolo.

11. Pharrell. And he got to dance with Meryl Streep. He certainly has a lot of reasons to be ‘happy’.

12. Khloe Kardashian. OK – maybe she wasn’t AT the actual Oscars, and say what you will about the Kardashians, but you gotta admit she was looking #flawless.

13. Ellen’s most retweeted tweet of one of the greatest pictures of all time. Best part: Lupita’s brother.

Spoiler Alert: Here are the Official 2014 Oscar Winners

There are three specific things I live for: Beyoncé, elephants, and Awards Season. As the latter comes to a close, the clock is ticking to get in your final predictions for the 2014 Academy Awards. Only 2 days, 1 hour, and 18 minutes (17, 16, 15…) to decide who’s gonna take home the gold. Speaking of gold, if your faves don’t win – you’re not intellectually movie-challenged, blame the Winter Olympics! The broadcast pushed the Oscars back a week, which gave voters extra time to make (or break!) your predictions.

I have to say, this was one of my favorite years in the movies. The top categories are super competitive, and I’m really hoping for some upsets *cough* Dallas Buyers Club *cough*.

Without further ado, here are the winners for the 2014 Academy Awards – according to me, anyway…

BEST PICTURE: I’ll admit, I’d be perfectly fine with Dallas Buyers Club winning every single category. But alas, it’s not one of the top 3 frontrunners which are: Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and American Hustle.

  • Who Will Win: 12 Years A Slave
  • Who Should Win: Dallas Buyers Club

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: See above.

  • Who Will Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Who Should Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Cate, Amy, Sandra, Judi and MERYL? Are you kidding me? All amazing performances, but somebody’s gotta win…

  • Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Who Should Win: Any of them. But – Amy Adams, American Hustle.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Barkhad, amazing performance. Bradley, love him. Michael, excellent. Jonah, wow incredible. Jared, DUH.

  • Who Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Who Should Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

I chose a picture with his real face in there, just cause he’s so ~dreamy~

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Tough choice for me between Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita, and Julia Roberts.

  • Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Who Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Her in this dress is EVERYTHING.

OTHER CATEGORIES:

  • ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Frozen
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gravity
  • COSTUME DESIGN: American Hustle
  • DIRECTING: Gravity
  • DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: The Square
  • MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • MUSIC ORIGINAL SCORE: Gravity
  • MUSIC ORIGINAL SONG: Let it Go, Frozen
  • SOUND EDITING/MIXING/VISUAL: Gravity
  • ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Her, Spike Jonze

The Oscars are this Sunday, March 2nd @ 8:30EST/5:30PST, just blocks away from my apartment at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. If you’re like me, the real show starts hours before on the Red Carpet. Tune into Oscars Red Carpet live  at 4pm PST on ABC and Countdown to the Red Carpet at 1:30pm on E!, followed by E!’s live red carpet coverage.

What are your predictions for this Sunday? Who are you most excited to see on the Red Carpet?

My 10 Day Body Transformation

I’m excited to share that I just recently completed my first 10 Day Celebrity Transformation and lost over 10lbs during that time! I have continued to see amazing changes and weight loss, just by becoming educated, eating healthy, and continuing Purium. It’s not only good for people who want to lose weight but it’s also good for those interested in breaking an addiction to processed food, kickstarting your metabolism, and cleaning out your toxins. It’s been a really great learning experience and I couldn’t ask for better results. I’m so motivated to take better care of myself, and I’ve never felt as clear mentally. And who knew – all it took was being committed to eating clean, organic, non-GMO super foods. Not to mention the money I’ve saved from eating out less, and the fun I’ve had learning to actually COOK real food (and not just ramen…). 

One of my wonderful friends introduced me to the Purium lifestyle at a “healthy, happy hour.” And I’ve gotta say, since I started I sure do feel a lot healthier and happier. The best part about it was that I was able to see tremendous changes just through simply learning how to make smarter decisions when it comes to how I treat my body. I’m usually pretty skeptical about trying things like this, and we all know I LOVE my food – but this was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. The apple-berry power shakes are the bomb.com and it’s fun to find different ways to prepare the flex foods you’re allowed during the 10 days. And y’all – it’s just TEN DAYS. Do you even remember what you did the past 10 days anyway?

Another fabulous part about Purium is their gift card marketing program. Because they are so confident in their product and the results people will get by using them, they offer a business model that allows their customers to get easy money just by giving out gift cards. My results were so awesome, I’ve already almost been completely reimbursed for what I paid to even get the transformation cleanse. Kind of a no brainer for me….

If you’re interested in hopping on board, contact me and I’ll be happy to support you in the process!!!  

READY TO GET YO SEXY BACK? click this link and use the code “dedication” to redeem a $50 gift card!!

“Situationships” and The Importance of Letting People Know You Care

Relationships. They can be complicated or they can be magically and wonderfully simple. This can be with anyone – family, friends, romantic interests, your pet hamster, whatever. What it boils down to is a mutual understanding of where you stand with each other, and more importantly, what you mean to each other. In this generation, we see a lot of “situationships,” where the relationship is better described as “a thing,” and no one really knows what page you’re on, and no one takes the initiative to talk about it. What’s usually happening here, and I am guilty of this, is that one person is emotionally available while the other is not. Which makes the idea of the whole (necessary) conversation somewhat terrifying. And for us Capricorns out there, we are gonna be right here waiting for that other person to finally come around. To me, this isn’t what is important. What should override anything that’s “complicated” in relationships, is the importance of being honest and present with yourself and the other person. If you miss someone, tell them. If you love or care about someone, let them know. If you’re not on the same page or even in the same book, it’s a lot less difficult to be upfront about those feelings than to be frustrated by keeping them to yourself (on both parts). It literally can only take 3 seconds out of your entire day to let someone know that you’re thinking about them and that they are appreciated. The beauty of this is that by simply being honest, someone feels [insert: happy, appreciated, loved, cared about, etc.] and you contributed, even if only a small part, to that comfort. And if someone is making you feel the negative version of any of these emotions, it is time to get to movin’ on my friend, because at the end of the day you are the only person who can choose who contributes to your happiness. If you want to be happy, BE. Whatever that means for you.

Going into the New Year, this is an aspect of my life that I am very present with, and am dedicated to making these adjustments in my own relationships. Anyway, g2g, I miss my sister right now, so I’m going to let her know by sending her this picture of a dancing pug.

xoxo

Playground of Dreams & The Gift of Giving

Back in March I wrote a post about Playground of Dreams, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to helping kids pursue their dreams and visions for our world. At that time, I was finishing up my last semester at UNC and honestly didn’t really have any idea what POD was all about aside from the event they were putting on that April. To my surprise (and great fortune) one of the co-founders stumbled upon my blog and contacted me. I mentioned that I was planning to move to LA after graduation and would love to get involved. Fast forward nine months, I am now a POD mentor and also helping them with their social media efforts. Most importantly, I am so grateful to be able to call this community of amazing people my family. Each and every member of this team exude joy, courage and passion in a way that is truly inspiring. This holiday season I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities, laughs and friendships POD has given to me, and to so many others.

In the spirit of being a less than a week away from Christmas, I wanted to share a post I wrote for the POD blog about GIVING.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is watching people open presents – the joy and surprise on their faces, the laughter, the gratitude, the subsequent hugs, everything. Being a part of someone else’s happiness in turn makes me happy. A greater happiness than I could feel by just receiving gifts from others. I encourage you this holiday season – and throughout the entire year – to give unconditionally. Always remember the value of giving to others. After all, how awesome would the world be if we all gave without expectation? Without concern for what we receive in return?

There are countless ways to give. Whether it’s money, time, a song, a dance, or even a simple “thank you,” we all have unique gifts that are meant to be given and shared with the world. Even the most ordinary of efforts can change the world in extraordinary ways. Most of the time, it isn’t with our money but with our time, resources and creativity that builds stronger relationships with family, friends and community. We give to show someone they are loved and appreciated. We give to make a difference. We give to show that we care. We give love to get love.

 QUOTES:

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

“Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.” – Steve Maraboli

 FOR YOU:

How do I want to show others they are loved/appreciated/special?

Why is giving to others important to me?

What do I say to those closest to me about why I give, especially to the children in my life?

Anna Herbert, co-founder of Playground of Dreams, helps prepare for the LAPD Youth Holiday Party Toy Drive.

To learn more about Playground of Dreams, visit the website. And keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook!

Drunk In Love with “BEYONCE”

On December 13th, 2013 our lives were changed forever. And if for some reason you live under a rock and don’t know already – Beyoncé shocked the world and dropped her surprise self-titled album after two and a half years since her last record. The “visual album” has a whopping 14 songs and 17 videos. My reaction to the news was kinda like this.

Since, the album has shattered the iTunes’ record for fastest selling album of all time – with an astonishing 828, 773 copies in just three days. The album also broke the record for U.S. first-week album sales, with 617, 213 units sold in America. She managed to do this without any promotion or warning whatsoever, which until now was absolutely unheard of. With that said, are we actually surprised? Beyoncé does what Beyoncé wants. And just like that, she has reinvented how we listen to music.

For the past two months or so I have been taking a TV Hosting/Broadcasting class, where I met Eman – and we instantly bonded over our love for Bey (duh). Being the die-hard Beyoncé fans that we are, we decided to record our thoughts about the surprise album. What was supposed to be just a few minutes of discussion turned into over 30 minutes of us dancing, laughing and chatting about all things Beyoncé. And trust me, we still had PLENTY more to say. But alas, ain’t nobody got time for that. Eman graciously got it down to about 13 minutes, which we know, is still too long but we are passionate about our girl Bey…so please bear with us! XO

Love This Look: Fall Maxi Skirts

I am a huge fan of long dresses and skirts, especially in the summer. Here in LA, “fall” still means 75-80 degrees and sunny, so it’s nice to be able to wear something lighter, while still dressing appropriately for the season. The trick is to accompany your long skirt with other clothing and accessories that are still perfect when it gets chillier. I especially love pairing long skirts with leather, denim, patterned scarves and other fall trends. Just ’cause the summer is over doesn’t mean we have to say adios to our beloved maxis!