September 15, 2016

Getting Over A Breakup

There comes a time in everyone's life when a relationship comes to an end: whether it's a relationship of yours, or you're watching a friend go through the breakup. It's a tough time. Not only are you mourning a relationship, but a friendship. In most cases, your significant other is truly your best friend, so you find yourself in that awkward "am I missing him as my boyfriend or him as a person?" stage, and that "do I miss him or do I miss being in a relationship?". Honestly, breakups will cause you to think... a lot, sometimes more than you even want to.

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a friend going through a really nasty breakup, asking for advice. What do I know about getting over breakups? I might possibly be the worst person in the world to ask for relationship advice (#lol), but I did the best I could as a friend to be there for them. So today, I'm sharing some of the advice I gave my friend.
how to move on after a breakup
// surround yourself with family and friends: It's the trap that so many people fall into post-breakup. They retreat to being by themselves, and while that's natural, surrounding yourself with friends and family who know you best and understand what you're going through will help you. Sometimes the best thing in the world isn't having someone console you, it's just having that person be there for you. My BFF Zach and I drank tons of wine and listened to hours upon hours of John Mayer and Adele. Find those people, and keep yourself around them!

// go talk to someone: It's the biggest stigma in the world that seeing someone or talking to a trained professional means that you're "crazy" or something is wrong with you. As someone who struggles with severe anxiety, I survived college by seeing someone as often as I needed. Talking to a psychologist or therapist will show you that it's normal to be experiencing these feelings, and that you're doing a whole lot better than you think you are. And sometimes, they're just a good person to sit and cry or vent to without interruption. They don't know your SO's side, so you're always right in this office ;)

// delete pictures off social media: I've seen this happen so often - you go through a breakup and you spend hours (more like days) scrolling through your/their Facebook and looking at pictures of the two of you together. Look how happy we were, you think. Was this all real or was it a lie, you question. I miss him, you cry. Delete them. Untag, remove and delete these pictures. Get them off Instagram, Facebook and whatever other social media platform you use before you drive yourself crazy!

// get out of your comfort zone: Was there ever something you wanted to do or try but your SO didn't want to or didn't approve? Go ahead and do it! Do anything to get you into a new mindset, whether it be a new haircut, going skydiving or taking up a new hobby! Doing something for you will feel so good because you're genuinely enjoying it and you're doing it for no reason other than it's something that YOU have always wanted to do!

// avoid moving on too quickly: We've all heard that saying - the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. I say it's crap. I mean sure it's worked for some people, but you're not truly allowing yourself time to grieve your loss, and instead you're just jumping into something new for the sake of it. You don't want to rush into a new relationship or a new bed just because you're single. And you most certainly don't want to do it to make your ex jealous - more often than not it'll only turn them off of you even more. While there's nothing wrong with going out and flirting to build your self-confidence again, rushing into anything will only lead to disaster in the long run. Be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else again.

// stop reminiscing: You always remember the past better than it really was. When you look back on your relationship, you're looking at what I like to call the highlight reel - all the good things, the great memories, the loving moments. Too often we focus on this highlight reel and forget about the B-roll - the background noise, the dull moments, and even the not-so-great moments we tune out. So when you think about the relationship, be honest with yourself. Yes, you were happy. But there were also moments when you weren't, and there were clearly underlying and growing issues in the relationship.

// cry: Yes, I just told you to cry. Go ahead, put on the saddest song you can (I recommend John Mayer's 'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room' - the live version) and lay in your bed in the dark and cry. Cry to your friends, cry to your family, cry by yourself. Let it out. It is sooooo healthy to release your emotions and crying is actually really healthy. So let out that frustration and the sadness and the hurt that you're feeling. It's expected. Allow yourself to cry and grieve the loss you're experiencing.

// distract yourself: Keeping yourself busy is one of the best ways to move on without even realizing. The busier you are, the more you have going on, the less time you have to think about your ex or your relationship. Get involved in an extra-curricular activity. Do some charity work. Travel on weekends. Make a bucket list and start checking some stuff off. Throw yourself into your work/schoolwork. Busy is good. And soon enough, you'll be too busy to think of your ex. And you'll have bettered your life in some way too!

Breakups are never easy. Even the most cordial of breakups can turn sour quickly if you aren't careful. No matter how hurt or upset you are, try to remain respectful of your ex and never go around bashing them - remember no matter how much it hurts now, you shouldn't regret something that once made you so happy and played such a significant role in your life.

If you need to talk to anyone, feel free to reach out to me. Leave a comment below, shoot me an email or find me on social media (@thecarodiaries on everything!). I can't promise I'll have good advice, but I promise I'll listen to you vent and cry, and what more do you really need?!

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September 07, 2016

September Goals

How the heck is it September already?! Time is seriously flying! August was seriously a big month for me.. and I feel like I didn't even do anything. I spent ten days sailing through the Grenadines islands with my best friends and it was absolutely incredible. Besides having very limited internet access, just being on smaller islands gave me a much-needed mental break before the hustle and bustle of the real world began. I cannot even begin to describe how beautiful this entire trip was.. the water was the clearest I have ever seen and I experienced such incredible things. I'll leave you with a photo of the view from our boat in the Tobago Cays one morning.

A photo posted by Caroline / Blogger (@thecarodiaries) on

Besides that amazing trip, I returned home to see my cousin (who in reality is more like a sister to me) marry the man of her dreams, and we celebrated like no other with the better part of a week full of pre-wedding events. And thennnn.. as I teased last month, I started my first ever big girl job. Yep. I'm an adult now! I'm officially the copywriter at a local advertising agency (the most-awarded agency, might I add!) and I've been loving it so far. It's only been a few weeks, but I know this is gonna be great.. So with August being such a big month and all.. I just have a feeling September is going to be even bigger. JK, it'll probably be really lame.. but upwards and onwards :) Now onto my recap of last month's goals and into this month's!
RECAP OF MY AUGUST GOALS
1. Buy a new laptop // YAY! I'm human again! My parents went on vacation to Vegas and I couldn't decide if I wanted to make the purchase and buy the laptop, but then I discovered there was an Apple Store IN their hotel, so my decision was basically made for me. I placed the order and within twenty minutes, my dad had an email saying the order was ready to be picked up! And yes, I even got my rose gold beats headphones! 

2. Save my money // I'm gonna give myself half credit for this because in order to buy my laptop, I needed to have saved a crap-load of money.. so technically I did do it. But, I also ordered a few dresses for upcoming weddings I have, as well as a few more pairs of jeans.. so I kind of failed there, but I really needed them so ;) 

3. Read five books // Done and done! I spent my ten days on vacation wisely, and read a ton of books on the trip! Soon, I'll share some of my summer reads! 

4. Book my carnival costume // I haven't done this yet but I'm not super phased by it. I know I'll get to it this month or something, and I'm sure I'll figure out by then exactly which costume I want to play in! So this one is a fail! 

5. Create my September content calendar // OK, I totally failed at this but life has been a little hectic lately, and I put that on the back burner. Ironic considering that the calendar is supposed to be to keep my life together, but it just didn't happen in the two weeks I was home in August. 

2.5/5: Overall not bad.. but not great. I think considering that I was away for half of the month, I did pretty well on my goals, but I seriously need to step it up for September! Now onto this month's goals.. 

SEPTEMBER GOALS

1. Create a 6-week content calendar // OK, so because I failed majorly last month with this one, I'm determined to get some order back into my life and create a (somewhat) flexible content calendar for the next six weeks. I'm gonna start with blog posts, but the goal is to eventually move into managing my social media too! 

2. Get back into a workout routine // Once I got back from my trip, I just did not have the time. I ran here and there, and tried my best to keep up with my routine, but once I started to work, the only thing I wanted to do at 6pm is crawl into my bed, not lace up my sneakers. My job is pretty flexible in terms of a schedule, so on the days I don't need to be in the office super early, I want to go to the gym for an hour. I figure if I get it done early enough, I can be done for the day and not have to worry about it at all. Here's hoping... 

3. Schedule my life out fully // I know this is the most un-creative thing I could do, but I seriously need to stick to a serious schedule. In between working full-time, I need to schedule in time to dedicate to my freelancing, to the blog and running all the social media platforms, to working out, to being a VA and to having somewhat of a social life. Some days I feel so unproductive when I know it's not necessarily true... but I want to be able to fit everything in without having to go to bed at 3 am and struggle to wake up at 7. 

4. Cut out all soda drinks and drink more water // I'm not the biggest soda person, but I love me a diet coke. I will drink it just for drinking it sake, and while it has zero calories, it is so unhealthy it's not even funny. When I was at school, I cut out everything but water and the occasional ginger ale when my stomach needed it, and I felt so much healthier. As of right now, I don't drink enough water every day. So I need to commit to drinking more - maybe by buying a bigger water cooler, and getting back on track! 

5. Utilize Helene's Blog Boss Babe // So one really exciting thing that happened to me when I was on vacation in the Grenadines (and thankfully one of the random times I managed to have wifi!) was that I won one of Helene's big giveaways - including a year's membership to Blog Boss Babe! I want to spend some time utilizing the tools and services and tips on there and commit the effort to re-establishing this blog and my presence! 

So that's it for this month. Somehow these goals feel like they're getting harder and harder to reach each month! Fingers crossed I can crush it this month!

Linking up with my good friend Jenny from Breakfast at Lilly's for today's post! 
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September 02, 2016

How To Afford Senior Year of College

This is a part of my Ballin' on a Budget series, where I share tips, tricks and best-kept secrets to sticking to a budget while living your life! 


At this time four years ago, I was a spritely little 18-year-old girl moving into her quad of a dorm room, and about to live away from home and my country for the first time. I remember being so nervous - did I make the right choice? am I going to love it here? will I make friends? - and then I watched as those fears washed away so quickly. And then, before I knew it.. I was a senior.

As I'm sure you've heard a million times, senior year is the BEST year of college. But besides being the best experience ever, senior year is also super expensive. Between bar crawls, the outfits and just everyday expenses, it adds up.. quickly! Now I'm not gonna pretend like I was perfect.. I spent too much on weekends, went to Chipotle a little more than I should have, and shopped more than I'd like to admit! But as they say, hind sight is 20/20 and now that I'm forced to be "adulting" (vom), I'm sharing some practices I wished I stuck to..


// create a budget and stick to it: Yes, I know.. easier said than done, but this one is important. Be honest with yourself and note how much you can realistically afford to spend each month on entertainment, nights out, food, shopping and of course rent and utilities and other important stuff! I always like to pad my expenses a little bit, just in case anything comes up.. the last thing you want is to be short on important expenses like rent or car payments. 

// pick up extra jobs: So many of my friends spent their senior year nannying and babysitting for local families. Find local Facebook pages for moms, sign up on care.com or ask professors or college staff if they have any friends looking for some help. Kids aren't your thing? Offer to tutor students in classes you've excelled in, pet-sit for people in the area or pick up a retail job in the area. Every little dollar helps! 

// use venmo to actually get paid back: How many times have you gone out for dinner with friends, or paid for a friend's drink at the bar, and said "don't worry, you'll get me next time" or "pay me back tomorrow" and the two of you forget or it just never happens? Enter Venmo - the easiest way to transfer money between friends immediately. Now, you're only spending money you actually spend - and the venmo balance goes straight back to your bank account! 


// go to the bar early or ask for drink specials: Every time I went to the bar and picked up one Bud Light Platinum, I was dishing out $5, which doesn't seem like a lot.. but it adds up, quickly. I had friends who would drop $100 every time they went out, and while thankfully that wasn't me, going out every weekend (or several times a week) added up and took a toll on my wallet. Usually within the first few hours of opening, bars and clubs have dollar drafts or cheaper cocktails, and throughout the night, ask the bartender what drink specials they have - it'll save you tons of money in the long run.

// keep track of your subscription fees: This one is less about saving money and more about being aware of how you're spending it. Like most college students, I had a ton of monthly and annual subscriptions. Spotify, Adobe, my off-campus gym membership, blog stuff on the back end.. all of it ran out of one bank account, and the worst thing was getting charged $60 for your annual gym maintenance fee the same weekend a big trip is planned. Be aware of when you're being charged and how much, and you'll never be shocked when you check your bank statement.

// check your bank account regularly: Wow, I cannot tell you how guilty I am of doing this. I always assumed that I was in the clear, and thankfully though I always was, being cognizant of your balance saves you a ton of money and headache in the long run so you make a purchase bigger than you can afford. There's a joke that college students use their debit cards like they're gift cards - "well i'm not sure how much is on this, but you can give it a try".. secretly holding their breath until the purchase goes through. It's true, so don't let it happen to you!

// create an "emergency" fund: I wish I had a third account throughout college. I always just had checkings and savings, but part of me wishes I had opened a third "emergency" fund, just in case something crazy happens. It's important that in the event you need to buy a flight somewhere quickly (home, in my case.. an $800 flight at times), need to buy a new laptop or pay ridiculous fees for yours to get fixed (my situation 1000 times over) or desperately need groceries, you'll have the security of knowing that you can afford it or won't be financially struggling for the months to follow.


Although senior year is the time of your life, it's the first step to being a full-blown adult (although I'm 100% still in denial that that's happening to me), so the quicker you learn how to budget and live within your means, you'll be even better off for the future.

I'll leave you with this picture of me from freshman year of college. Now go order a whiskey sour for this poor washed up grad's soul...

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August 04, 2016

August Goals

Wow guys, I suck! I spoke this huge plan about getting back into the swing of things, and I just failed! But it's okay! I'm accepting it and moving on! I cannot believe we're in August already. Literally five seconds ago it was January, but ok 2016, move fast why don't you?! Let's get into this month's goals!


RECAP OF MY JULY GOALS

1. Book another client // Not only did I book another client this month, but I actually expanded how I'm working with one of my current clients as well, as well as picked up some freelance work! This is really exciting for me especially as I gear up to start work full-time, I still want to work on my side-hustle and get as much experience as I can! 

2. Continue to work out at least three times a week // Ok, I kind of did this one. There were good weeks and bad weeks, so I'm gonna give myself partial credit, but my workout classes kind of were put on pause as there was so much going on this month. But, I did start back running and over the last two weeks, I've been running 3-4 times a week, so hopefully I can continue this in August. 

3. Shoot two outfits to post // Not even gonna try and justify this, I totally failed at this one. Between the heat and a lot going on, I just haven't gotten around to this. On top of that, I've been feeling really not myself lately and not 100% comfortable in my skin, so the last thing I want to do is shoot pictures! 

4. Read three books // I'm going to admit that I was majorly failing this goal this month, but in the last few days I've managed to read 5 books! It's actually sickening how much time I spent laying in bed reading my Kindle.. but I also have a whole new list of books waiting to be read! 

5. Re-do my resume // I planned to redo my designed resume, but about a week into the month, I got a phone call and was asked to interview within an hour - so I didn't have that much time. So I updated my document resume! I'm giving myself partial credit because even though I didn't re-design my resume, I still updated it and landed a job, so pat on my back! 

3/5 - I'm actually impressed because up until last week, I thought I had accomplished none of these goals, and a lot just fell together in that week! So props to me for pulling together :) And now I'm gearing up for a new month and time to crush it! 

AUGUST GOALS

I'm spending the next week and a half sailing in the Grenadines with my best friends, and will definitely be MIA 

1. Buy a new laptop // I'm in desperate need of a new computer, and Apple is having their annual student discount deal where they're including a pair of Beats headphones with your purchase, so what better excuse to get a laptop than that?!! I've got my eye on a Macbook Pro with retina display and the rose gold headphones ;) 

2. Save my money // I'm gearing up for some pretty big purchases and so I'll need to save majorly and stop my random spending for the next few months!

3. Read five books // This is kind of a high number but I'm hoping I spend my time on vacation wisely! What better place to read five summer reads than lounging on beaches with white sands and crystal clear waters?! Have any good book recommendations? Wrote a summer book list? Send them my way!! 

4. Book my carnival costume // Have you heard of Trinidad carnival?! It's the first time I'll be playing in 5 years, so I'm very excited! I'll be playing with Harts and have to decide between two costumes so fingers crossed I figure it out and make my downpayment soon! 

5. Create my September content calendar // Once I start to work full-time, I know I'm going to have less time to focus on the blog, between work, freelancing, VA stuff and an actual life.. so I want to plan ahead with a content calendar and get back to posting at least twice a week (maybe Tuesdays and Thursdays!)

Well, that's it.. those are my goals for this month! Fingers crossed I can get through them. In the mean time, you can find me lounging on a beach with my kindle in hand! 

What are you goals for this month? Did you crush your July goals? 

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