try this // sharing wellness resources

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Mood boards are intended to visually illustrate a specific design style.  Since I’m not a designer, I prefer to use mood boards as a visual tool to quickly share information and inspiration about a general idea and/or concept.  In an effort to provide a platform to share resources about wellness and it’s various dimensions, I’ve started cultivating a Wellness Community Board on Pinterest.

Some of my favorite pins so far:

pin 1pin 2pin 3







And one of my new favorite quotes:


Everyone is welcome to join this community board – just comment below or email me ( to be invited to the group!  For my fellow bloggers out there, this board can also serve as an opportunity for you to shamelessly promote your own wellness posts or blogs by your favorite wellness idols.

If you aren’t sure what to pin, don’t be shy! Below are some topics/dimensions to guide you:

Health and Nutritional
Social (media and otherwise)
Emotional (intelligence and otherwise)

Still not convinced? What if you knew infusing positivity in your surroundings can boost your happiness?  That’s right – the more positivity we experience/read/view on a daily basis, the happier we are : )

Happy pinning!

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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are you well? try this wellness assessment


This week I had the pleasure of traveling to sweet sunny Tampa, FL to attend ACPA’s Annual Convention, which aims to support and foster college student learning by generating and disseminating knowledge for student affairs (SA) professionals (like me!) and the higher education community.  During one of the session blocks, I decided to forgo a presentation to meet with the Commission for Wellness and I’m so glad I did!

In the short amount of time we met, we discussed our frustrations with the b-word, the ever-changing concept of balance, and the importance of taking care of your self in the field of SA.  A brief discussion about whether or not wellness can be assessed inspired me to share a wellness assessment with you.

The Dimensions of Wellness Assessment from Northern Illinois University is one of my favorite wellness assessments because it clearly breaks down each dimension of wellness and provides you with a fun visual at the end:


How cool is this?!  People generally have a feeling about which dimension needs the most attention to be well but this is an easy tool for those that might want a more quantitative idea of their current wellness status.

I typically use this assessment once a month as a way to reflect on the past month and make plans for the future.  This particular circle is much too perfect to be mine but you get the idea : )

Overall, I am feeling refreshed and excited to connect with a group of individuals who are also passionate about wellness and SA.  If you take the quiz, I would love to know how you are utilizing the results!

xo vm

// shoutout to my friend Lauren for developing this tool

// click here, here, and here for more of my thoughts on balance

// follow this link you are interested in learning more about ACPA

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.

try this // new approach to resolutions


The Daily Muse recently emphasized the importance of changing our habits in an effort to meet our resolutions.

The idea is to take a single action and consciously fit it into your schedule until it becomes second nature, like brushing your teeth… By adopting these specific habits, you’re building a foundation that will set you up for success not just in 2014, but for the rest of your life.

– Alex Cavoulacos

I don’t know about you, but I can completely relate to Alex’s experiences with resolutions. Resolutions are often difficult to maintain when I tackle them all at once. As my dear friendEvan Thrailkill has taught me: small steps lead to big changes.

My hope is to stick to the following habit-changing tips in 2014:

Start a new hobby: my blog.
Make a weekly blog post
Read 1 article about blogging a day
Engage with other blogs/bloggers for 10 minutes a day

Get healthy & stay healthy.  
Track daily workouts/activities
Keep track of a food journal
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day

Get organized & stay organized.
Keep track of daily to-do list
Take 15 minutes to clean before going to bed each day
Spend 1 hour a week decluttering a specific space

Sleep well.
Do not use cellphone/laptop in bed
Establish routine sleep schedule
No late-night snacks

The objective is to align your lifestyle to your new goals. What habits do you need to create in order to reach your goals/resolutions? What other approaches do you use to ensure you keep up with your resolutions on a daily basis?

xo vm