The fear that no one will read your blog

Why haven’t I been blogging?

On top of nothing exciting happening in my life recently thanks to quarantine, there is the fear that people don’t care enough to even read what I’m putting out.

I’m sure if you’re reading this, that you have been in a similar boat at one point or another (or even now). So welcome to the party!!!

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ok, serious talk now:

Blogging takes a lot more to put together over an instagram caption. It’s not only a platform to express things in more detail, but it requires a lot more planning. I guess that fear of thinking no one actually cares what I’m blogging about stems from the amount of time it takes to put together a post.

I give bloggers SO much credit. They pour so much passion, time and energy into a piece of content that they hope people will care about. But at the same time, you cannot guarantee that people will care or bother to read what you’re typing out.

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Also with the state of the world right now I’m sure the blogging scene is a bit oversaturated.

That’s where I need to make that mental connection that yes, it does take time but am I passionate about what I’m trying to get across?

-for the most part that answer is yes

I guess I just need to tune in more on what’s important to me and what’s going on in my head. All this extra time at home has definitely opened up my emotions a bit so that explains my last couple posts.

I hope all of you are well! I’ll be back soon with more interesting content. If you’ve read this far I’d love to connect further and get to know more people on here!!!

Lots of love,

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Taking the next stop in photography

I’m not a photographer, nor do I have fancy equipment; I admire those that have a great eye for it! I occasionally post content I’m proud of over on my instagram.

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Within the last week, I whipped out an old camera of mine. I wanted to see if myself and my instagram followers could even tell the difference between my Iphone camera quality and my camera. Spoiler alert, they could tell.

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Since then, I’ve been trying to use my camera for more of the photos I’m taking stuck home in quarantine. The camera I’m using that I got maybe 3-4 years ago…. is the Nikon COOLPIX L830 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 34x Zoom NIKKOR Lens and Full 1080p HD Video (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer).

I also don’t really use any equipment other than my tripod (which I 10/10 recommend as it comes with the bluetooth remote & also an attachment to use for your Iphone).

Selfie Stick Tripod, UBeesize 51″ Extendable Tripod Stand with Bluetooth Remote for iPhone & Android Phone, Heavy Duty Aluminum, Lightweight

It’s super easy to use and it was super reasonable. Anyway, other than that I don’t use any equipment as I’m just starting to figure it all out.

Any tips? Lets chat!

Mainly, what prompted this, was wanting to create better quality photos for brands and other products that I love. For example, this post where I talk about my favorites, I hope in the future to provide better quality photos to go along with it. What’s funny is when I first started this blog over two years ago, from the start I chose to use my camera to get better quality photos. For example, this post where I talk about some of my travel packing essentials.

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Anyway, kind of a mini blog post here. Get excited for the better quality content to come.

As always, thanks for reading. I’ve been appreciating all the support so much.

Lots of love,

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The Quarantine Tag: how I’ve been spending my quarantine

Recently some youtubers I watch (Carly & Erin) did a video on a quarantine tag, so I thought it could be kinda cool! Also this is a mini get to know me better.

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Let’s do this:

how are you attempting to maintain sanity – by trying to take things one day at a time!!

are you quarantining with anyone – yes my family (parents and younger brother)

show & tell: show off anything and everything you’ve made/accomplished during quarantine – lots of puzzles, banana bread, a couple tie dye diys

favorite quarantine meme – the marine biologist in me is cackling

last person you texted – my boyfriend, I said “hiiiii”

last person who texted you – a friend of mine from college, she said “Yes!”

who is the last person you video called with – my boyfriend! we played a ticket to ride (the board game) online together

what are you most excited to do when it’s all over – go to workout classes again (specifically indoor cycling) & coffee shops!!

do you have any quarantine goals – to prioritize my mental health, wherever that takes me

most consumed snack or food – Trader Joes chili lime tortilla roll chips or cookies I’ve baked

what substances are you using/abusing? lots and lots of coffee

what has been the worst part of quarantine? feeling stuck and trapped, and losing a sense of daily purpose

what has been the best part of quarantine? quality family time, and more time to work on my online brand presence

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what is the meaning of life – WOW ok. Um.. at this moment, just to keep breathing.. and I think I can handle that.

if you could go anywhere right now where would you go? – New York City! I’d love to just walk around.

what is your daily average screen time – eee I’m scared….

last thing you purchased – lots of lululemon! If you saw this post my contract with them expires soon so I need to stock up with my employee discount!

what are your most used apps & websites? Instagram most definitely

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last song you listened to? the new song by PVRIS “Gimme a Minute”

best movie or tv show you watched recently – I’m terrible and don’t have the attention span to watch movies or get into tv shoes. I really just watch youtube

whats the last game you played – Nintendogs on my DS (as you saw in my quarantine favorites post) & more recently the app Bakery Story. It used to be my life back in high school.

last google search – something about instagram planning tools (I found an adorable one on etsy if you’re interested)!

last phone note – my last instagram caption

last youtube video you watched? – By Carly & Erin their quarantine tag that this post is based off of

what do you miss most about life before the pandemic? – not being scared or turned off by getting physically closed to people, them thinking and treating you like you have a disease

what is something new you’ve tried or done during this time? – yoga, breath-work & meditation and its been so worth it

are you reading anything good? – sadly no, but i should

what are you grateful for today? my family’s health

where was the last place you’ve gone to that isn’t home? – Trader Joes! I only had to wait in line to get in for 30 minutes so that’s a win.

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what is something new you’ve learned during quarantine? that it’s completely okay to slow down & take time for yourself.

most absurd/ridiculous thing you’ve done during quarantine?

a fear? not having exact updates regarding my masters program

a wish? to let myself live in the present

does anyone you know have/had the virus? – thankfully no

aaaaaand that’s the tag! If you do something similar tag me!

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Planning: finding a daily structure while stuck at home

Why a good planner can be so important (especially to add structure to your daily life right now):

At the beginning of this year I really struggled to find a planner that I liked. So many of the ones I saw in the store were either academic (so I would’ve already missed a chunk of it) or filled with a lot of space I would never use. Not only a waste money wise, but also time.

I do really enjoy planning my days and getting a better outlook on what’s coming ahead. Even if planning normally isn’t your favorite thing, right now some sort of structure can ease your mind. I find that the weeks I do choose to use my planner I feel more secure (crazy how that’s a thing?). Especially right now, with the ample amount of time just sitting home, it gives me a sense a purpose.

Now, something I want to manifest right here, especially to my future self, is don’t rely on the aspect of planning. It’s awesome to look ahead and see what virtual workouts you’re going to do and all that but I need to remember to not get attached. I have a tendency to get my hopes up pretty easily and then get butt hurt that everything doesn’t completely go to plan.

okay back to the planner thing

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My planner of choice is the Savor Life 90 Day Planner. I have thought about trying the Passion Planner as well, but this one has a lot of room for mental reflection.

The Highlights

  • There is something comforting about only having to commit to it for 90 days. You have about three months to try it out, reflect and grow. The planner starts with a couple pages to set your 90-day vision: “Create 90-day goals for a fresh start four times a year”.
  • You can start this planner at any time. Yes, I mean any time. You fill in the start date, the dates of each week and what day you want to start each week with. This is the ultimate customization factor.
  • At the beginning and end of each week there is a space to reflect on your current state of mind and how you could flip that around to doing better next week.
  • There is an ample amount of room to literally dump your thoughts.
  • The planner highlights self care: not only mentally but physically too. There is weekly and daily spots to delve into that. The planner mentions how prioritizing self-care can “help you function at your highest level, boosting happiness, well being, balance and success”. It is the ultimate investment into yourself!
  • The “Pull Weeds Plant Seeds”: This part I really really love. The “Pull Weeds” as in the unsavory tasks that we have no want to do and the “Plant Seeds’ are those savory tasks that are more proactive and can grow into something much greater (a new opportunity, a job interview, or for me: working on my coffee instagram ha) I find it more worthwhile for myself to categorize my tasks into one of these two categories.
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If you’re interested in learning more head to Savor Planners website here to get your own!

*some links do contain affiliate links*

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Questions for thought:

  1. Do you enjoy using a planner?
  2. What do you look for in a good planner?

Lots of love,

foot

Post Grad: Finding a Job

Hello!

I mentioned the other day in my first post in two years… oops… that I was going to put together some sort of life update. So, here is that.

I graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Marine Biology back in May 2019 (can i just say I’m so sorry for all the seniors this year, I can’t even imagine). I plan to go to the University of Tasmania this coming July for research in Marine and Antarctic Science.

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After I graduated, I moved back home to NJ from Maine to live with my parents. Long story short, I have been in NJ ever since.

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I started at a new full time job very shortly after moving back home at a coffee shop. I worked there full-time from May 2019-January of this year. To say the least, I started out lovinggg the job. It was not my first “barista-type” position. But over time, I out grew the position and the company and we parted ways early this year (if anyone is interested in a post on overcoming the loss of a job, or something like that let me know)!

Simultaneously, while working at that coffee job, for the holiday season I picked up a second job at Lululemon. I adore my job and currently still work there part time. The best way I can compare the two jobs is night and day. The coffee job felt like high school and at Lululemon everyone handles things so much more maturely. My team at Lulu really supports me and the company is built off of connection and feedback (which I love!).

But I knew I couldn’t live off a part time job so I went on the search for a second job. Not long after (about February) I got a position at my local indoor cycling studio (which I already go to a lot anyway) to work front desk. Thankfully, the two jobs pair really well together and up until this pandemic it was going swimmingly.

I really wanted to use the word “swimmingly”.

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Also in my free time I have really been enjoying upping my instagram game here! Some brands have reached out and some people actually care about what I post, which is really humbling. I’m really grateful.

So Tasmania, why there? How did that come about?

I’m thinking of doing a post similar to this one where I talked about why I chose New Zealand as a place to study abroad. I’m really open to suggestions as I’m just getting back into this so pleas reach out and let me know!!!

Lots of love,

foot

My Current Quarantine Favorites

I am switching up my content a little bit (trying to get creative with being home). also i’ve been testing out my new Iphone tripod to delve into the whole flatlay world!! first try not terrible?

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  1.  my next 90 days planner: @savorlifeplanner acts not only as a planner but a place organize my goals, self reflect and have fun with washi tape. the “90 days” is a less intimidating length of time to achieve goals ⁣
  2. a journal: i’m still trying my best to get into the habit of journaling!! it’s taking a while but progress is being made⁣ (this one is from urban outfitters, not sure if it is still available cause I got it as a gift)
  3. airpods duhhh: my method of choice to keep up with my fave podcasts and multitask⁣. Some of my favorite podcasts have been Gals on the Go, Happy Hour with Gretchen and Pretty Basic.
  4. nintendo ds: everyone talking about all the animal crossing they’ve been doing has gotten me to miss the simpler times of just chilling home on my ds. as much as i adore all my pokémon games, recently nintendogs has been my shit⁣
  5. pinch me: i got this for christmas and with my spiked anxiety at the moment this “therapy dough” is a great tool for me. i’m a big nail biter when it comes to being anxious and nerves and also i can never just do one thing at once. so this has been perfect to keep one of my hands busy (while driving, watching youtube, etc.) and feel 7 again playing with dough⁣
  6. COFFEE: genuinely the real star of my entire life but this coffee SLAPS ok. My current favorite is this “Toro” roast by Devocion in Brooklyn.

—–—> (for all the coffee content check out my instagram) <———

i hope you enjoyed this mini favorites. i’d love to hear some of yours below or dm me!! we’re all in this together ☽⁣

Lots of love,

foot
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finding a new normal & learning to forgive yourself

I’m sure we are all in a similar boat; we’re still trying to find a new normal, a new routine, a new purpose, a new channel of motivation.

The hardest part for me has been to accept that my productivity is going to look different right now. I’m not going to be able to go go go and knock everything off my to-do list (if i even have one). It’s been hard to forgive myself and let myself sleep a bit more, or mindlessly scroll on my phone more. I’ve never been the best at going easy on myself so this period has helped me self-reflect and really hone in to what that could mean for me.

I have been living home with my parents since I graduated last May from my undergrad, so thankfully being home isn’t completely new to me. But of course now with quarantine my brother is home from university and all being stuck inside together has its challenges.

Anyway onto some positivity!!

A couple weeks ago a professor I’m working on a research publication with sent me a link to an article on forgiving yourself during this mess of a time. It really resonated with me so I thought I’d share it here.

Some of my highlights:

“Your first few days and weeks in a crisis are crucial, and you should make ample room to allow for a mental adjustment. It is perfectly normal and appropriate to feel bad and lost during this initial transition.”

“Next, ignore everyone who is posting productivity porn on social media right now. It is OK that you keep waking up at 3 a.m. It is OK that you forgot to eat lunch and cannot do a Zoom yoga class. It is OK that you have not touched that revise-and-resubmit in three weeks.”

“Ignore the people who are posting that they are writing papers and the people who are complaining that they cannot write papers. They are on their own journey. Cut out the noise.”

The biggest stand out to me was how we are all on our own journey. Simple, but true. My ways of coping and finding this new normal is going to be completely different from yours. It’s been hard to forgive myself and accept that I’m making the most with what I’ve got.

“Know that you are not failing. Let go of all of the profoundly daft ideas you have about what you should be doing right now. Instead, focus intensely on your physical and psychological security.”

But most importantly, I want to end with this.

“Understand that this is a marathon. If you sprint at the beginning, you will vomit on your shoes by the end of the month. Emotionally prepare for this crisis to continue for 12 to 18 months, followed by a slow recovery. If it ends sooner, be pleasantly surprised. Right now, work toward establishing your serenity, productivity, and wellness under sustained disaster conditions”

We’re all on our own journey and I hope that you guys are all safe. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

Lots of love,

foot

a long hiatus: yes I am still alive

Hello!

I feel so fancy using a word like “hiatus“; it makes me sound important! Clearly I have gotten off the blogging game (on here) BUT i taken my outlet elsewhere. I have an instagram where I’ve been posting about my continuous love for coffee and mini life updates over the last year and a half.

It’s going to take time to get back into this and find a balance with everything but with this extra time stuck inside I guess this is a productive thing to do?

Just a short mini intro from me for now but I would love for you to stick around and follow me for some more in-depth updates to come. I would love to talk more about mental health and anxiety during this crisis.

A little bit about me: 

  • My name is Ashleigh (or Ash for short)
  • Im from the Northeast USA (New Jersey to get specific)
  • I’m 23 years old
  • I graduated with a marine science degree last May from the University of Maine
  • This coming July I will hopefully be continuing on with my education to get my masters in Marine & Antarctic research in Tasmania, Australia
  • If you go back into some of my older posts (pretty much all of them), you will see that I studied abroad in New Zealand. I met my current boyfriend of over two years while I was over there 🙂 We’ve been doing long distance ever since!

I’d love to get to know you more, whether it’s from this blog or from my instagram, so leave a comment below.

okay that wasn’t so hard I guess?

Lots of love,

foot

Monthly update: blogging motivation

It has been a while and I didn’t intend for that to happen. I have traveled around New Zealand so much more and have wanted to post about it, but haven’t found the time or motivation. I am blogging for me first and foremost; I guess I needed time to breathe a bit and miss it.

Mid-semester break was not too long ago. Since then, school work has piled up & balancing that with travels has been hectic. I plan to make posts about some of the awesome places I’ve visited: Coromandel Peninsula, Tauranga, Auckland, New Plymouth, Taupo, Te Kuiti, etc. So they are coming don’t worry!!!!! ALSOOO simultaneously popping by new coffee shops in Dunedin and thinking of following up on this post.

Studying abroad comes with a lot of free time, a lot of time to let your mind wander or even get lost. It’s mini trips or walking around new places in town that grounds me. (like I am in New Zealand huh???)

I have to admit the one thing I have been keeping up with for the most part is my twitter (so check that out for more photos & updates).


Sorry this has been more of a ramble, but the plan this week is to get back on the grind.

I am looking forward to documenting my journey. All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you.

Lots of love,

foot

traveling with anxiety

It took me a very long time to figure out what anxiety was, and if what i was feeling fit that.

I don’t want this to be a sad post, I want this to be helpful for anyone who may feel the same.

Traveling involves a lot of indirect trust and loss of control; there are a multitude of unknowns. We don’t know if our flight will actually be on time and if it will arrive the time it claims it will. We don’t know how long the airport lines will take, or if you have time to eat before boarding. As I prepare to head to the airport tomorrow, anxiety is subconsciously on my mind. A reoccurring theme for me, personally, is time.


main questions

the kinds of questions that are most common when I am anxious

+ what is going to happen if I don’t get there in 5 minutes? will the world end? something explodes?

+ what else could I be doing in that time I’m saving/losing? Is it productive?

+ but what do I gain from rushing around besides saving time?

side effects

physical & emotional results of my questions

+ come off as impatient or pissy, but depending on the anxiety it could be distracting/consuming as well

+ faster breathing & rushed heart beat

+ can be paralyzing; only focusing on what is making me anxious

coping mechanisms

ways that I try to ground myself

+ deep breathing

+ focus on something else (listen to music, watch something, etc.)

+ call/text someone

+ but if that is not possible, then write

+ helps piece thoughts together

+make sense of what is rational vs. irrational

+ self pep talk!

+words, phrases or songs that calm me

+ telling myself to calm down (in a way lightens my feelings and brings humor into it)

question for you: How do you cope with anxiety over things you can’t change?

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I leave for the airport TOMORROW! A lot of fresh content is coming your way!!

stay updated  —-> twitter —-> instagram —-> bloglovin

All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you (somehow hit 100 followers??? AHHH)!!

Lots of love,

foot
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