monthly moment // july 2015

It’s time for July’s Monthly Moment!  This is a community where you are encouraged to share a single photo – few words – capturing a moment from the month.  A simple, special moment that you want to pause and savor.

July was a great month for me.  It is my birthday month, after all! For the 4th I traveled to Portland, OR to meet up with some college friends and my one request was to find a good hike in the area.  We decided to venture out to Multnomah Falls and were totally surprised by the difficulty of the hike.  The hike itself is only 2.6 miles round-trip but the combination of the heat and elevation gain was pretty brutal.  Regardless, the views were worth the trek.  How lucky am I to have friends that will “brave the wild” with me??

What was your Monthly Moment?  Share below – the linkup will stay open until August 15th!

  1. Post your Monthly Moment on your own blog.  Posts from FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are welcome, too!
  2. Link back to this site so others can see your photo, too! You can use the button and the linkup (below) to connect with other bloggers. (Please note entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.)
  3. Link up your posts on any day of the month.
  4. The most important rule!! Visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them an encouraging/motivating comment.  This is such an important part of the linkup!  The purpose is to encourage each other and build a community.

click link below

xo vm


try this // the reverse bucket list

I’ve always been cautious when it comes to bucket lists.  They are frequently recommended during big transitions: graduating, moving to a new home, getting a new job, etc.  I generally stay away from creating or following bucket lists because they don’t help me end relationships/transition well. Instead of slowing down to reflect on all I’ve accomplished, bucket lists highlight the items I have yet to achieve and they end up stressing me out!

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10 tips for work/life balance


The balancing act can be rather daunting, especially during busier times of the semester.  As a student affairs professional, you may often encourage students to live balanced lives and yet you may find you sometimes fail to follow your own advice.  How can you support others in addition you support yourself?

Finding a work/life balance allows you as an SA professional to function at your fullest potential and lead by example. Here are 10 tips that have personally helped Jack Korpob and me maintain our own work/life balance:

  1. Say “No” // In student affairs, you are often presented with great opportunities or you are asked to do more than you can handle. Oftentimes, you can find yourself saying “yes” to everything because you are afraid another opportunity will never come around again or you feel obligated to do something to prove yourself. This all makes sense, but you have to think about how you are feeling and if it will be effective if you say “yes” to what is being asked of you. If you truly want to do something and your “yes” is genuine, by all means say “yes” to the opportunity. If your heart is not in something or you are feeling exhausted, it is better to be honest. This may sound hard to do because it is.
  2. Treat Yo’self // For some, it’s getting a monthly massage, for others it’s buying a nice meal. Whatever it is, find something you consider a “luxury” item and give it to yourself. It’s something to look forward to and is something for you. In student affairs, we oftentimes give ourselves to students and colleagues, but we may forget to give back to ourselves. Remember that you have your own life and that you should enjoy it!
  3. Live Authentically // You can’t be one person in one place and then go home and be completely different. Try to take your best self into each environment, as opposed to balancing which environment should get your best self that day. Living authentically will help you naturally maintain a sense of balance within all of your environments.
  4. Expand Your Professional and Personal Circles // When you think about balance, it also means the people and relationships you have with others. Try meeting people for lunch or outside of work hours who you do not directly work with. If you can speak about other things besides work (or keep conversation about work to a minimum), great! Even better, really capitalize on friendships outside of work or your institution. Having friends in different social circles can really make a big difference.
  5. One life, One Calendar // Combining your personal & professional calendars helps you see the bigger picture and make conscious choices about how to spend your time. Once an item is put into the calendar, make sure you are fully present while you are addressing that particular item.
  6. Make Time // You have the power to put things in your calendar that give you energy and help you get through the day. Setting a time-limit for each item in your calendar or on your to-do list is difficult, but it allows you to be more efficient and move forward to address other tasks as well.
  7. Give Yourself Time to Recharge // You all know student affairs is not a typical 9-5 position. Some people live-on/live-in and work nights and weekends. However, it doesn’t mean you should not set boundaries between your work life and personal life. This does not mean that when it’s 5pm, you should stop all work activities, but it might be wise to set a range of times that you should begin to slow down. Deadlines must be met, but if you are not pushing a deadline, work will be there when you get there in the morning. Take time to relax and recharge and do absolutely nothing.
  8. Get Some Sleep // You can schedule your day with work and other commitments and do the things that give you energy, but you must take the time to sleep enough hours every night to do everything you want to accomplish. Make sure to balance your waking hours with your sleep. Sleep is a prerequisite for wakefulness. Manage your sleep and you can do much more when you’re awake and feeling refreshed!
  9. You Do You // Although it is helpful to ask others for tips on how to achieve a balanced life, what works for one individual may not work for you.  Don’t be afraid to try new strategies to determine which strategies work best for your own lifestyle.
  10.  Don’t Give Up // “Balance” will have a different meaning to you at different points in your life.  Remind yourself that finding a sense of balance is a process, not an end-goal.  It takes patience and lots of practice.

So here you have it – 10 tips that can help you with work/life balance!  What would you add to the list?

xo vm

// original post here

// more on balance here

// thoughts on living a fulfilling life here

try this // discover a mini-hobby


You know I don’t like to complain about being busy but (insert complaints here) and it has been particularly difficult to find “me” time this semester.  Part of it could be because this is my first time experiencing a Spring semester as a full-time student affairs professional.  It could also be in part because I now happily share a home with Adam and have less of my own personal space.

Whatever the reason, I learned to get creative about finding hidden pockets of “me” time throughout the day.  Even so, when I did begin to discover pockets of free time (mostly in between meetings) I realized most of my free time was wasted by mindless, unproductive activities.

In an effort to remain present and be intentional about these pockets of free “me” time, I picked up a mini-hobby.  To me, a mini-hobby is a pleasurable activity that can be easily done at any point in time. For example, my mini-hobby is practicing calligraphy!

I discovered calligraphy when my friends Caitlin and Tiffany signed me up for an online class at I Still Love Calligraphy with Melissa Esplin.  I can easily practice calligraphy during those small pockets of free time during the day and it keeps me present, energized, and engaged.

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I’m obviously not a pro at calligraphy but the more I practice the more comfortable I am with different styles and tools.  The best part about calligraphy is that I can practice at any time as long as I have paper and a writing utensil.  Sometimes I even find myself tracing calligraphy into my desktop with my finger!

What mini-hobbies have you picked up?  Reading?  Practicing magic?  I’m a big fan of searching through Pinterest for inspiration so of you are interested in learning calligraphy, I’ve created a Pinterest board to get you started.

xo vm

// thank you to Dija from The Inspired Cafe for starting the “Get Insprie(d)” link-up

// first image by Amanda Marie Portraits.

welcoming change

welcoming change

The secret of change is to focus on all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new. – Socrates

Welcome to my new blog! Same concept, new look. What do you think?? Although I am excited to get back into the blogging scene, it took me a bit to get to this place…

Last December my blog was accidentally deleted. My emotions were all over the place when I found out: sad because I lost what I had been working on since 2013, angry at how it happened, and overwhelmed because I could not imagine starting over. Thankfully I was able to recover some of my content and started rebuilding a new hub for all my ramblings.

At first I was hesitant to start over but I quickly realized I missed having a personal project that allowed me to be creative while reflecting on anything and everything. So, I decided to push through the emotions and see this as an opportunity to rediscover my “blogging identity.”  It is still a work in progress but I’m happy to be back.

xo vm