Faith

  • Living in the Present

    Hey, pretty girl!

    It’s no secret that our world fixates on the future.

    What are your weekend plans? What do you plan to do after high school/college? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    We often spend so much time thinking and planning for our futures that we forget that we are living moments now.

    Okay, I’ll admit it. I am the prime example of an obsessive planner. I live through a calendar and a schedule down to the exact minute. I take every action with the mindset that it’ll impact my future career/grad school options. I fill my schedule to the max for a resume. I fixate on my next move to get to my “dream life.” However, thinking like this causes me (and I’m sure many others of you) to lose control of my anxiety. And this causes me to forget to enjoy the present moment I am living in.

    Recently, I have been more aware of this social behavior I have been taking a part in. Whenever I catch myself thinking about the next move, I now try to use the new tips I have obtained and focus on the moment I am in. For example, when Jack visited me this weekend I found myself counting down how many hours I had left with him, instead of enjoying the hours I had with him. For this reason, I’ve decided to come up with a few methods to help you live in the present moment and enjoy your life as it is now.

    Tip #1: Grounding

    Grounding is defined by Healthline as “a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth.” This can come in many different forms and techniques will not work the same for everyone. I have found what helps ground me best is admiring the outdoors and focusing on the senses I feel. This is where my Instagram photo comes in. On the way home from Wisconsin, I rolled down my windows and enjoyed the breeze of a perfect fall day. I focused on the scenery around me instead of how many miles back to my apartment. When I saw this grassy patch with hay bails and the fall colors just starting to peak through, I had to pull over to capture the moment and soak it in. There is something about easy 70 degree weather, being high on love, dirt gravel under your shoes and looking out on an ever-changing scenery. This is where I find myself most present. I recommend experimenting to help find what helps you reconnect to the present moment.

    Tip #2: “Scheduling” Free Time

    This is a BIG one for me. I had a terrible habit in high school of overworking myself and spending every moment I was “done” with homework, working ahead on what was due in the future. I’ve found that what works best for me is working incredibly hard during the week and giving myself the weekends to have 100% free time away from work and school. While responsibilities are still important, it is also important to make time that can be just about living and being present.

    Tip #3: Dream about the future, but don’t obsess over it.

    Finally, don’t over obsess about the future. For example, when you’re a freshman in high school, you wish to be old enough to drive. When you’re old enough to drive, you wish to be old enough to be on your own. When you’re “on your own,” you wish to find your person and start a life. Instead of wishing away those precious years, enjoy the time you’re in. This one is important for my single girlies. One day, you’ll meet someone that’ll make sure you’re never single again. Enjoy your time by yourself because you won’t get that time forever. Same goes for anything else. Remind yourself when you begin obsessing over the future that your future is built on the memories you are making in the present.

    How do you make sure you’re in the present moment?

    With Love, Marin

  • Bible Study: Psalm 77

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I randomly opened my Bible to a page tonight so that God could share with me what I needed to read…and WOW, I needed to read Psalm 77. Psalm 77 gives insight into Christianity and depression. This passage helps to teach us that God is close even when you are depressed.

    In the passage, Asaph was in a depressed and troubled state. This kind of feeling is all too familiar to me and I’m sure to many of you. The passage outlines the steps we should take to handle this state and regain emotional stability through the Lord.

    Step 1 is “cry[ing] aloud to God.” The first step in many of life’s problems is to acknowledge that there is a problem. In the psalm, Asaph makes it clear to God and himself that he is in a dark place. He doesn’t use unhealthy coping mechanisms, but instead turns to God with his current situation through the action of prayer. God wants us to pour out our feelings to Him. He is there to listen.

    Step 2 is to direct your thoughts away from your current depressed state. Now, depression is a mental illness (one I have struggled with myself), so I understand that this step isn’t necessarily easy to complete. However, you must actively try to focus on past times when you felt fulfilled in your life through God, in order to move past this depressive state. By looking at all of your life blessings in the past, it will help you to regain perspective of your current situation.

    Finally, worship. Lean on God and others of faith during this time. There will be times where you simply cannot carry the weight on your own. Ask your fellow members of the church to pray for you and be a companion in those people as well. Concentrate on the benefits of God and your faith towards Him. Through this, it will become clear that God is much greater than your current struggles.

    With Love, Marin

  • 3 Ways I Manage My Anxiety

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Anxiety disorders affect over 18% of the U.S. population, myself included. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety this March, but have been dealing with symptoms since the fall of 2018. Mental illnesses, specifically anxiety, can be difficult to cope with. While I still struggle to manage my symptoms, these are some tips I have that work for me! I hope I can share at least one tip that will help you manage your anxiety as well.

    #1: I manage my anxiety by working out consistently every morning.

    Setting a routine is the best way to manage my anxiety. I like to keep a consistent time that I wake up at and start my day the same way so that I am not overwhelmed. I’ve noticed my anxiety spikes when my morning doesn’t start with consistency. Working out also helps to raise endorphin levels and burn off my anxious energy right away in the morning. I complete three strength workout sessions per week, three cardio sessions and one stretching session.

    #2: I manage my anxiety by reading my Bible before bed at night.

    I have found that choosing a Bible passage relating to what I am currently anxious about helps me to sleep better at night. Reading the words of the Lord calms me in a way that nothing else can. I will read and pray before bedtime to remind myself that God has already worked out what I am worried about. This helps to keep my sleep more consistent throughout the night so I don’t start my morning mentally exhausted.

    #3: I manage my anxiety by taking stress relief gummies.

    Lastly, if I am having an incredibly tough day or feel more anxious than usual, I reach for my stress relief gummies. The combination of GABA and lemon balm help to stabilize my mentality on a day where I cannot control my anxiety on my own. These are not an everyday solution. If you find yourself needing them everyday you should consult a doctor. These are helpful for times where you need help beyond your healthy coping strategies.

    Remember that anxiety can be helped and managed so that you can live happier!! Let me know if these tips help you and if you need someone to talk to, my DM’s are always open.

    With Love, Marin

  • Bible Study: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

    Hey, pretty girl!

    A few weeks ago, I decided to order one of the mystery tees from Crazy Cool Threads. When I received the shirt, pictured below, I didn’t know what it meant. I am still learning the Bible, and receiving this shirt with the quote “he left the ninety-nine to resue me,” helped me to find something new to learn about in the Bible. After researching what this was about, a parable from the books of Matthew and Luke, I am here sharing it with all of you.

    The parable of the lost sheep is a story told by Jesus in the gospels of both Matthew and Luke. This story is told by Jesus when he is criticized by others, specifically the Pharisees, for still standing by those who sin. Jesus tells this story to the Pharisees, as they were filled with prejudice about those who sin.

    In the story, Jesus tells of a man who has one hundred sheep. One of the sheep goes missing. The man would go find the lost sheep, as the other 99 are not missing and have found their place in the open countryside. Once the man finds the lost sheep, he will rejoice that he has found it and return it to its place. There will not be a great celebration for the 99 sheep who were not lost, because there is less of a need. However, there will be great rejoicing over a sheep who was lost and then found, a sinner who repents, because they might not have been found. To be found is something to rejoice for.

    This parable teaches us as children of God, He will seek us out when we are sinning and lost. God will be so incredibly happy, and rejoice for us, when we finally find Him. God cares about us all the same. He does not prefer those who do not sin. God wants us all to be found and renewed through Him. On Earth, this means that would should care for others regardless of their sins. Our job is to love all.

    With Love, Marin

  • It’s Always What You Didn’t See Coming

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Growing up, I was always told that “you’ll find love when you stop looking for it.” Now, I would always pray to God for my person and tell Him I wasn’t looking anymore so that He would send me that person. I think every one of us has done this at some point, fully knowing that we are hoping God won’t notice we were 100% still searching. While we all do this at some point, He truly knows all. I find it so silly that we do this knowing that God already has a direct plan for us and we will receive on His terms and when He sees fit for us.

    I was guilty of praying that I loved myself and I was ready for a deep relationship, time and time again. In the months prior to quarantine, I had lost my connection and patience with the Lord almost completely. I started believing that I could go find my person without His help and ignore every red flag He was sending me that I needed to be patient and it was not my time quite yet. When March 17th hit and I was moving my entire life out of college and back to my childhood bedroom, I realized that while I had progressed in some ways at college, building an outer layer of confidence and self love, I was anxious and untrusting of Him on the inside.

    I was prepared to go through the five months of quarantine, before heading back to college, by myself. I was prepared to be working, blogging, reading the Bible and exercising – things that I believed would help better prepare my confidence and self love for a fulfilling relationship. I quickly learned to love the time I had by myself and who I was as a person.

    And I guess whoever told me that when I “stop looking for love, I’ll find it,” was right. Because this time, my relationship was just so unexpected. However, I don’t know if the cause of finding love is that you stop looking for it. I believe that God’s timing is so good and so above what we expected, that it’ll make any season of your life just that much better.

    I didn’t expect for a brief encounter to turn into nightly FaceTime calls that turned into 1am drive homes from each other’s houses. I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for myself. And that’s when I met Jack.

    To you, this picture may just be a picture

    Just a prarie with some flowers

    Just a blue skyline

    Just some trees trailing off in the background.

    But to me, this photo is a moment

    It’s Joe Pyeweed and Monarcha Birds

    It’s hiking on trails and ducking under barbed wire

    It’s firefly watching and tasting sweet honey off a shared spoon.

    To you, this photo is a picture.

    To me, it’s what I prayed for years to recieve.

    And it’s in moments like this, that I wish I could stop time to hold onto them for just a little longer, before making even more moments I want to freeze in time. Because God chose this to be the time I received what I had prayed for years for, because He knew when the right time was. One of the greatest joys in life is when you receive something you’ve been praying for, and watch God elevate your prayers to a level you never even imagined was possible.

    With Love, Marin

  • End of Summer Bucketlist (Rona Free Edition)

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I decided to round up all of the things I’ve enjoyed doing this summer, even with quarantine. Only a few more weeks before school starts, so enjoy the rest of your summer by using this bucketlist below.

    With Love, Marin

  • Bible Study: James 2:1-1

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Since it’s Sunday, I wanted to share a Bible quote with y’all. Especially recently, I believe that the concept of “loving your neighbor” has been lost. Recently, Berean Baptist Church had a sermon on this verse that exemplifies loving our neighbor and being inclusive.

    “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.”

    James 2: 1

    While the sermon says it best, simply put, it is important to include all. This inclusivity occurs in every single aspect of our lives, specifically, how we treat others. To be inclusive and not show partiality, we must value all created life.

    If you want to live out this quote AND wear it, Elevated Faith sells a Unisex white crewneck with “Love Your Neighbor” written on it. You can get 15% off your purchase by using the code MARIN15.

    With Love, Marin

  • Bible Study: Luke 12:22-23

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Today, I wanted to shed some light on body image eating disorders through the words of the Bible. While body image and eating disorders have recently become more prevalent in media coverage, I think it is important to acknowledge that these things have ALWAYS been noticed by God and referenced multiple times in the Bible. The quote that most resonated with me is listed below – Luke 22-23.

    “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”

    Luke 22-23

    This bible verse is so incredibly to the point and accurate on how we should view our lives. So many of us (myself included) restrict what we eat in order to get the “perfect” body and wear the smallest size of clothes. Not only is this detrimental for your physical health, but your spiritual and mental health as well. God made each and every one of us to be beautiful. When you use negative body talk and restrict calories to fit societal standards, you are not appreciating one of God’s beautiful artwork, yourself!!

    I am 100% guilty of doing this myself, which is why I love this bible verse so much. You and I were not placed on this planet to diet and workout just to maintain a certain body image. Working out and eating healthy should occur because you ENJOY it, not because you feel pressure to appear a certain way to please others. Life is so much more than our clothing size, our weight and how much we eat in a day.

    When you feel the urge to restrict foods you enjoy eating and talk negatively about your body, remind yourself that your purpose is SO much greater than your appearance and God loves you for who He created you to be.

    With Love, Marin

  • Bible Study: Matthew 5:16

    Hey, pretty girl!

    In my Instagram post today, I shared a photo that I took at the “Rise and Shine” mural in Minneapolis (mural address in the photo caption). This specific word, “shine,” reminded me of a great biblical quote in the chapter of Matthew. This verse is Jesus explaining to his followers that they are the “light of the world” and must “let their light shine.”

    “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.

    Matthew 5:16
    4325 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55409

    Before I get into this verse and it’s application and meaning to me personally, I figured I would share how I personally study my Bible.

    1. I go on Pinterest and find verses/chapters that interest me the most
    2. I plan out on a calendar which days I will read certain chapters
    3. I set a designated time to study the verse (usually prior to sleeping for me)
    4. Grab highlighters, colored pens and sticky notes for studying
    5. Journal following your study session to share what you learned
    6. Share what you learned with God through a prayer

    Now, I read the entirety of chapter 5 of Matthew, but I wanted to just highlight this one verse in this blog post. However, I recommend reading the entire chapter for context and complete understanding. This is just what I personally took from the verse and doesn’t have to be a direct reflection on your thoughts.

    To me, this verse is pointing out that you cannot keep your love of faith and God secret or concealed. This is because when other see your good works, it may inspire them to also praise God and embrace faith like you are. If we are to conceal our “light,” in other words, hide our faith, we are not living to our fullest potential. Your honorable and faithful actions WILL be seen by others, no matter how small these actions are. Those living through their faith will be sincere, faithful and humble in their actions.

    I pray that my actions through the light of faith within me can inspire others so that they see the good works I do for You.

    Happy bible studying 🙂

    With Love, Marin

  • 5 Things You Should Expect in a Relationship

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When it comes to relationships, it can often be reflected that women “expect too much.” This usually includes actual date nights, picking you up at the door, bringing you surprise gifts, posting you on social media, communicating with you in a timely manner etc. Okay, now reread all of the things I just listed. ALL OF THOSE ARE SO SIMPLE AND YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING TOO MUCH!! When it comes to a healthy, happy relationship, it is crucial that both you and your partners treat each other in this way.

    Below I have listed 5 key things you should expect from any healthy relationship and ways you can carry these characteristics out.

    Respect

    Respect is essential for a relationship to remain healthy and happy. This is especially true when it comes to arguments – even when the argument gets heated you should NEVER start using name calling or disrespect towards your partner. This is one sure way to cause anxiety and second thoughts about your partner. It’ll cause them to wonder if you truly mean those things and were too afraid to say them.

    Some ways to show respect are: defining what you want in the relationship early, communicating what is working in the relationship, only using positive words with your partner and explain your feelings without getting upset.

    Time

    If your partner is not willing to give time to getting to know each other, dating, and communicating with you in the short term, it will definitely not occur in the long run. Time is something you should expect in a relationship. These time boundaries can be different for every couple and based on the duration of the relationship.

    Some ways to give time to your partner: Weekly or monthly date nights, checking up on them in text

    Generosity

    Generosity comes in many different forms: mental, emotional, financial and material support. Supporting one another in a relationship is a sure way to create an intimate bond. This is because when your partner (healthy relationship) is aware that you care about them when they are in need, they will reciprocate for you when you need the support.

    Some ways to show generosity: Asking how your partner is, bringing home a surprise gift, understanding how your partner deals with stress

    Communication

    Okay, communication is the NUMBER ONE NECESSITY in a relationship. Without communication, you have no relationship. Communication needs to begin at the very first date. If your partner seems to constantly be flaky over text message at the beginning of the relationship, imagine how they would be in marriage? Exactly.

    Some ways to ensure you are communicating: Did you let them know your availability? Do they know what you want out of this relationship? Do you know what they want? Do you express your feelings with each other?

    Affection

    Affection is a way to spice up a relationship. When the relationship is new, affection tends to be very easy. However, as you spend more and more time together, it is crucial to keep the spark by being affectionate with one another. Affection typically builds both intimacy and trust in your partner.

    Some ways to show affection: Physical affection, posting your partner on social media, complimenting your partner.

    BABY YOU ARE GOLD, SOLID GOLD!! Don’t let anyone treat you like anything else. You deserve a healthy relationship like this (and more).

    With Love, Marin

  • On My Side of the Fence

    When I was listening to every Dan and Shay song in preparation for their concert (before Corona postponed it) I fell in love with the song “My Side of the Fence.” (Y’all I swear it is 1000x better than “Speechless”) Listening to the lyrics, I envisioned the kind of love I wanted. I even told myself that I would wait for that kind of love and not accept anything less. However, at that same time, I was very distant from God and fulfilling Christ’s word, as well as being filled with anxiety and negative self image. I knew that I would not be able to find that kind of love until I began to work on correcting those things.

    Attending St. Thomas, and taking theology class last fall semester, I began to get closer to the Lord than I had been in an incredibly long time. That’s when I realized that that there was a reason why I had ended up at this smaller, catholic college and not a large public one. In high school I had made it clear that I didn’t have time to learn religion on top of all my school work, because school was my top priority over Him. While that was not a good excuse, now God was making a point to me that since religion was now part of my school work, I had an opportunity to learn and grow in my faith, while also focusing on my schoolwork.

    Following this class, I made a promise to myself in the new year to grow in my faith. For me, this looked like putting my anxiety on Him instead of bearing all the weight myself. When I felt like things were hard to handle, I took out my bible and read a chapter (or two or three), put on some worship music and, most importantly, prayed.

    Now, I had been praying for years, but not like I was this year. Before, I had prayed in a way that was more like a mutual deal than actual trust. I prayed that “I would do X if God would do Y.” However, I realized that God wasn’t a genie to grant my wishes and by praying in this way, I wasn’t truly trusting Him. So I learned to pray in a different way. I began to pray for what I had and for what I knew I was one day going to have through trusting His process.

    I am not going to act like this change was easy for me. As soon as I returned to college from January-term, I began to accept life without the Lord again. I was okay chasing boys instead of them chasing me. I was okay with not praying. I was okay with living with anxious thoughts. But when I was losing sight of Him, a new door had opened. I was removed from college. I was removed from every distraction taking me away from Him.

    And when I gave the time to Him, suddenly it seemed like things became a lot less heavy on my soul . I felt my anxiety lifted and a lot more at peace with the person I am. I began to set goals for myself and manifest them into existence through prayer and ultimate trust in what God had planned for me. I saw growth in my self confidence, my mental health was more at ease, I found myself only accepting of proper male behavior towards me and my side hustle was taking off.

    When I began to start getting rid of what God would not approve of, I found something (someone) that fit into my new mentality. It seemed so strange that it took a pandemic for me to manifest the “My Side of the Fence” type of love that I new I wanted to give to someone else, and also have in return. Over quarantine, my current boyfriend (I’ll introduce him to y’all super soon we just need to have a photoshoot together) treated me like no one else ever had.

    He face-timed me on the daily, kept his promises on contacting me, didn’t constantly ask “what’s up” but instead found deeper conversation, he made his intentions with me clear, and most importantly, he treated me like a man of God would. And yet, for a while, I still found it hard to leave the person who wasn’t treating me like that, behind.

    During that time, I opened up a book I had bought many months before and hadn’t gotten around to reading, “A Love Letter Life.” One quote stuck out to me, almost like I was meant to read it.

    “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

    Jeremy Roloff, A Love Letter Life

    It had got to the point where staying in the confusing relationship I was in was causing me greater pain than it would be to move on. So I did what the quote told me to and made a change. I’m so incredibly grateful I did because I found that “My Side of the Fence” kind of love because I was no longer accepting less than that…

    Back in November I wrote a blog post on what I’d say when I found my person: “I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.”

    I have some updates to that statement…

    Yes, I am a whole on my own, but life is a lot more fun with you in it. I was wrong, you’re not simply “an” addition. You’re THE addition that I never want to lose. You weren’t, and still aren’t, afraid to chase me. Both my and your confidence, intelligence and self love blend so well together. You are deserving of me. And I am deserving of you (y’all for me to say this is crazy I never think I deserve something this incredibly good). And I may not have known at first when I met you that you were my person, but I wholeheartedly do now. And…

    You’re the rain on the roof in the summer

    You’re the leaves in the fall changing color

    You’re the whisper I hear in the thunder

    On my side of the fence

    You’re the reason my heart’s beating faster

    You’re the tears falling down from the laughter

    You’re the only one I’m after

    I pray you also find this kind of love.

    With Love, Marin

  • Why You Need to Romanticize Your Life

    Picture a moment where you felt like the main character of your life.

    A moment where you truly fell in love with life.

    A peaceful feeling that you wanted to bottle up and keep forever.

    Now…close your eyes. Picture it. Capture how that memory feels.

    Picture another moment. This time, make it something that hasn’t happened quite yet.

    Is it a letter saying you got your dream job/dream college?

    Is it meeting someone who feels like home?

    Is it just being so happy that time slips away without you even realizing it?

    Now, when you read the rest of this post, keep that moment in mind.

    I’ve never been one to believe in manifesting your life. You can’t just will something to happen and make it happen. It’s not how life works. God has a plan for us that exists in a space we can’t even wrap our heads around. However, when we have the strength to pray for these beautiful moments in our lives to occur, they start to appear to us. When you begin to romanticize every sunrise, breakfast with your family, rain tapping against the windshield, every drop to your knees because you need His direction, that is when you are really living. God will give you these moments when you are truly immersed in His love and ready to listen to HIS plan for you.

    We’ve all been guilty of making deals with God. “God if I do this….please do this for me.” That’s just not how God works. He is not a genie to grant your wishes if you follow the rules YOU set. God is a way-maker. He gives you the path and the resources to accept Him into your heart and live a beautiful life. It is your job to follow that path. That path may be the harder one. There might be more things blocking your way to see if you’ll become weak and choose another path. Instead, you have to trust in Him and trust His process. I promise you that your path will be lined with flowers instead of tree branches soon.

    I realized I had hit my path lined with flowers today. On the way home from an amazing date I couldn’t stop smiling. The man who suddenly felt like home was beside me and I felt at peace. A full rainbow came out of nowhere and everything just felt…right. It was a moment that felt out of novel, a dream, an image buried in the back of my mind that I had believed I would one day reach….and here I was. It wasn’t one day of praying. Not one week. Not one month. Maybe not even one year. It took time and total trust in Him.

    Now, remember that moment I told you to keep in your head?? It’s going to happen.

    So pray for that moment. Pray for even more moments like that. Pray that you become the main character of your life.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Here’s to the Girls Like Me”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been obsessed with these quarantine new music Fridays. I’ve been especially loving the Songland series. On my weekly new music dive, I found Martina McBride’s “Girls Like Me.”

    Now, let me tell you… a lot of us are girls like Martina.

    It used to be me

    Hidin’ insecurities

    With a cigarette and a bottle of whiskey

    I was the girl at home

    In the dark, all alone

    Sayin’, “Why the hell doesn’t he miss me?”

    We act so tough like it ain’t nothin’

    ‘Cause we don’t want them to see

    Here’s to the girls like me

    Chorus of Girls Like Me

    It can be so incredibly hard accepting the fact that someone doesn’t miss you or doesn’t want you in the way you want them. Yet, it can be even harder when you trained yourself to pretend that you don’t care.

    So here’s something to keep in mind: It’s okay to care! It’s okay to act tough! It’s okay to do both! But it is NOT okay to think of yourself as less than what you’re worth because of someone else’s feelings toward you. Remember that it is not always your fault that someone doesn’t want to be with you right now. It could quite possibly have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. The person you are meant to be with will miss you, and quite truthfully, we should be grateful for each person that lets us get away. They are just getting us to our person!

    Don’t settle. Wait for the man who never makes you question his intentions with your heart.

    With Love, Marin

  • 19 Things You May Not Know About Me
    1. My favorite type of food is Mexican. My sisters used to joke with me that I would literally marry tortilla chips & salsa.
    2. I’m an ambivert (so I can be both extroverted & introverted, depending on the situation).
    3. I planned on playing college softball, and received a couple offers, but decided against it during my senior year of high school.
    4. I’m allergic to shellfish, penicillin and all grasses.
    5. I’ve broken two bones in my life. One was from tripping over a rock while chasing a butterfly and the other was from slipping on home plate during a softball game (so basically, I’m clumsy).
    6. I’ve never lost a game of air hockey.
    7. My favorite color, contrary to what most people think, is not pink. It’s actually navy blue, with white as a close second.
    8. I played softball in eleven different states.
    9. I have generalized anxiety.
    10. I plan to study abroad in Hawaii next January term (so get ready for lots of travel content as long as it’s not cancelled 😭).
    11. Almost every vacation I’ve been on has been a Disney vacation because my family is part of Disney Vacation Club.
    12. I own 80 pairs of shoes, but most of them I’ve kept since middle school since I haven’t grown much.
    13. My dream law school is Vanderbilt! (Because Nashville is my favorite place on planet Earth)
    14. I’m bilingual, with my second language being Spanish.
    15. I REFUSED to wear dresses, skirts or anything girly until high school (clearly, a lot has changed).
    16. I am not able to handle heat well at all. I had a seizure when I was 4 from overheating in footie pajamas and almost passed out playing softball on multiple occasions.
    17. I hate mac & cheese.
    18. I was a name-reader at graduation and it was probably one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.
    19. When I was younger I wanted to be an author, but decided that was no longer my dream because I needed a competitive aspect to my job (I’m a naturally competitive person-refer back to #6).

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 6

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Quarantine can be rough on mental health. Especially for us college students (high school students have it rough too, but I can only speak for how I’m currently feeling and don’t want to assume), it can be difficult to adjust back to our lives at home.

    Unlike many adults, us college students are in a unique position. COVID-19 not only took us out of daily activities, but also out of the place we called home. This also means that, for almost all of us, we are separated from people that we aren’t only used to spending a lot of time with, but also living with (miss you Olivia).

    I, and a lot of the people I’m close with, have said very similar things when it comes to this entire situation. “Why now?? I was finally enjoying life. Everything was going well! This is such bad timing!!” I miss breakfast after my english class with my friends, therapy sessions with my roommate, hanging out with the guy I like, planning on-campus events, having fun on the weekends…basically, I miss the entire college experience.

    I feel like this set me incredibly back when it comes to mental health. My anxiety definitely sparks whenever coronavirus comes up or I think about what my life was like just three weeks ago. It hurts, but I’ve been finding ways to handle it. Now, I’m not a therapist or a professional (and if you need a therapist I recommend getting one) but this is what I’ve found that’s helped me cope with my anxiety during quarantine.

    1. Working out as soon as I wake up
    2. Making myself breakfast (fruit/scrambled eggs/bread)
    3. Putting on something I’d wear to class (I end up switching in comfy clothes later but doing this helps my motivation levels)
    4. Turning on my Summer ’19 Country Playlist
    5. Listening to a sermon
    6. Ft a friend
    7. Watching tik-toks (okay so maybe this is just to procrastinate my online course work)
    8. Organizing something in my room
    9. Trying to go to sleep before midnight (when I go to bed later then this I feel like it impacts my next day stress)
    10. If my anxiety is really high, I take Olly Goodbye Stress Gummies

    Now, I don’t recommend doing ALL of these things EVERYDAY. When you are feeling stressed out or anxious, I recommend trying a couple of these things and see how it goes. Remember, if you need to talk, my DM’s are always open.

    With Love, Marin

  • The Boss Babe Quarantine Checklist

    Hey, pretty girl!

    If you’re looking for stuff to do during quarantine, I got you!

    With Love, Marin

  • In Between

    Hey, pretty girl!

    This one is going to be a quick post! Wanted to share a causal but feminine look for Valentine’s Day & a song I’m lovin’ right now that was the inspiration for my IG post today!

    Sweater : This sweater is from my favorite store, Red Dress Boutique. This sweater is casual but has a feminine feel to it w/the see through holes and frill! Unfortunately, it is sold out right now. However, if you add your email to the list you will be notified when it restocks!

    Jeans : These are the BEST jeans y’all. Especially for my fellow not thick, thick girls. It hugs your curves in all the right places and fits like a glove! I got a size 26 for reference.

    Purse : This purse adds a pop of pink for a cute & simple Valentine’s Day look. This would look adorable for a night out with your girls or a date with your man!

    Boots : Sorels are my go-to when it comes to boots! Not only do they incorporate heels into a boot design, but they are SO comfy. They are on the spendy side but totally worth the price.

    Hairband : This hairband takes me back to when I was a little girl. Sometimes it’s fun just to throw a lil innocence into your adult look!

    When wearing this hairband I immediately thought of a Kelsea Ballerini song and knew I needed to use it as my caption: In Between.

    The lyrics of this song are so relatable for us first year college students! We are in this in between phase that can be so complicated to navigate it at times. Give the song a listen to for me!

    With Love, Marin

  • 2020 Vision

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I love the feeling of a new year, it always gives me a clean state to get a jump start on my goals. I’m not a huge new year’s resolution gal, but I do like to make a list of my goals for the upcoming year! (I bet you can guess what one of my goals was for this year-hint:this website). But this year, it’s time for not only a new year but a NEW DECADE.

    This decade could be filled with SO many life changing events for me as I go into my 20’s and I am excited. While I’m praying for some 1920’s revival fashion, I’m awestruck that the next 10 years could be when I graduate from college, secure my career, meet my future husband or bring life into this world. While that is slightly terrifying, it’s thrilling to think about! Going into this decade I was only in third grade! And y’all, that feels like yesterday…time only moves quicker too.

    Since 7 is my favorite number (past softball number), I wrote down 7 goals for each of the following categories.

    My 2020 Blog Vision

    • Acceptance to RewardStyle
    • Publish 40 blog posts
    • Post 200 photos to Instagram
    • Get a brand deal/collaboration
    • Double Instagram followers
    • Attend a local blogger event
    • Make money off of blogging

    My 2020 Vision

    • Work on positive self talk
    • Create healthy relationships
    • Have the best second semester everrr
    • Make some $$$$
    • Love with my whole heart
    • Donate some clothes/shoes
    • Read and listen more

    My 2020’s Vision

    • Graduate with honors
    • Get into law school
    • Secure my dream job and help others
    • Create forever friendships (or relationships)
    • Become a mom (God willing)
    • Live in every moment
    • Be myself

    With Love, Marin

  • Recap of 2019

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For my recap of 2019, I decided to show it in photos. I would’ve never guessed a year ago how different I would be today because of 2019. From speech team to graduation to college life, 2019 was one for the books. Here we go…

    Joined speech (best decision of my life) and found my home on the info team! Highlights were quarter finals at Harvard and 11th place at NIETOC.
    Traveled to Nashville for spring break and explored the city I want to call home someday (Vanderbilt law school???)
    Did prom the right way – aka with the besties – and killed my feet in 5 inch heels.
    Graduated alongside my best friends and achieved my lifelong goals of graduating valedictorian and the ability to speak at graduation.
    Partied it up all night at the class of 2019 overnight party – aka played ping pong for way too many hours and ate TONS of junk food. First of much junk food because… grad parties.
    Moved on to the next chapter (college baby 🤪) with my besties and I going in 3 different directions… ready to make some new besties to add to the squad.
    Met my roommate aka my BEST FRIEND. The Honors LLC at St. Thomas did me well with the friend market.
    Road on a riverboat through STAR programming, hijacked the music & danced on the dance floor because no one else was.
    Got voted in as a student government senator and met 2 more of my good friends! Little did I know we’d be going to a casino together soon 😉
    TOJO 2019!!!!! Who cares if we lost? Tommies still do it best, am I right?! Also football boys are cute sooo really just went to the game to see them.
    ANOTHER football game – same reasoning as the previous but this time it left my body completely frozen.
    Partying it up with my mf gals all semester!! Can’t wait for second semester 😉

    2020 – Bring it On.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was struggling to think of topic for this Monday. Typically, I jump on a concept that is currently nagging at my mind, but I honestly could not find something… UNTIL I was messaging my college friends while hanging with my high school ones.

    In that moment, I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have two great friend groups full of people who love and support me. Six years ago, I definitely would not have thought this would be my reality. Middle school, for me, was a time where I had truly felt like I didn’t fit in. Now here I was, surrounded by people accepting of who I’ve become.

    Friends are second family. Having great friends is truly something that is a blessing to be grateful for. However, having great friends who support you no matter what, are ever better.

    This got me thinking… what if we were all each other’s friends? What if we all treated each other with the kindness and respect that we give to our friends?

    Conclusion : this world would be a lot less cruel, dark and hateful.

    Now, you’re going to say to me, “but what about the people who I CANNOT be friends with.” I challenge yourself to understand why they behave the way that makes you unable to be their friend.

    Situation #1 : The toxic friend who causes detriment to your mental health.

    Situation #2 : The friend who is not being a friend for reasons that you may be unaware of.

    Obviously, these are not the only two scenarios when it comes to friends. However, it is important to acknowledge the distinction between these two friend behaviors. In the case of the second, we must understand to be empathetic of those around us.

    Keep the following quote in mind when determining between the two situations :

    And I’ll leave you with this – let’s be friends. Reach out to me and I’ll be here. It’s our job to be each other’s support, regardless of how well you know each other now. There is always the potential to GET TO KNOW each other.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 3

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Typical Monday mornings kinda suck…but finals Monday mornings REALLY suck. Some of us lay in bed until 1pm, others of us skip their shower and hit the library (definitely not me rn), and then there are the those who have enough energy to put on a Christmas party in the floor lounge at 10am. Yeah… those kind of people scare me but it’s not because of their energy, it’s because I feel like I should be able to have the same level of enthusiasm this time of year.

    Reality check – you don’t have to be the perfect person who can be super prepared for finals AND enthusiastic. I think it is only fitting to talk about the problems with perfectionism prior to this hectic week ahead of us.

    For much of my high school career, I was fixated on every nit-picky detail about myself. From appearance to my GPA, I heavily controlled my life so that I could fit the mold of a person I thought that I was supposed to be. While this didn’t harm my accomplishments, and may have helped me achieve things, it was not always healthy for my mental state.

    First things first – YOUR GPA DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON. Yes, GPA does matter for college applications and your first job, but it doesn’t define you as “smart” or “dumb.” GPA is truly just a measure of how well the school system works for your learning type. It’s easier for those of us who find the teaching style used in school, the same one that helps us learn best. GPA, in my opinion, measures how well the school has been fitting your learning style, as opposed to intelligence.

    Now, this is not always the case. A lack of work ethic can also cause problems in school, I am not denying that. While a small amount of stress about grades is healthy and often leads to this work ethic, there is a point of unhealthy behavior when it comes to GPA. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes when you hit this unhealthy level you procrastinate and seem “lazier” purely because you’re scared of failure.

    In college, I have trained myself to instead judge how much thought I’m putting into the class. If I am putting in the bare minimum and barely scraping by, it is time to put in more work. However, if all I am doing is school work and not having any self-care or social time, I know that this is too much. It is crucial to find a balance.

    Now, perfectionism doesn’t only pertain to school. It can also stem to things such as body image. Over the last year I’ve found myself on a variety of different planes when it comes to how I view myself. MFYM are the posts where I get the most vulnerable, so here we go.

    Senior year I was fixated on having model size measurements. I thought that in order to be like any of the successful influencers I saw on Instagram, that I would have to hit these measurements. The truth is, those measurements are not healthy for MY BODY TYPE. Because each body is unique, a specific size is unrealistic.

    Coming to college I began focusing more on enjoying life than living to keep a certain clothing size. While that mindset caused a gain of five pounds, something that would’ve terrified me a year ago, I feel healthier than I did without that weight. It is important to know that being underweight can be unhealthy too!

    Overall, especially during finals season, it is important to check in with yourself by analyzing your thoughts. Thoughts that are centered on “perfecting yourself” should be rearranged to fit what makes you happy instead.

    Good luck this week on finals and keep yourself accountable!

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 2

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For this episode of Motivation for your Monday, I want to focus on the idea of self worth and acceptance of yourself while single.

    First things first, you are not defined by your relationship status. You are not defined by how many people hit on you. You are not defined by how many boyfriends you’ve had. My point? you are not defined by ANOTHER PERSON.

    Our society teaches us that we need another person to “complete us.” But the truth is, you’re not a half waiting to become whole. You have always been a whole. Another person will never truly make you feel complete; only true acceptance of yourself can make you feel that way.

    I understand it isn’t that simple. We won’t just wake up one day and feel complete. And it’s not easy to see the best in ourselves, especially when we are constantly comparing our lives to those around us. Acceptance and forgiving others for their flaws is easy to do, so why is it so hard to do for ourselves?

    Well, it could be because we know ourselves better than anyone in the world does. We expect so much for ourselves and hold a level of perfection that is simply unattainable.

    “I want to get married by 25.” “I need kids before age 30.” “I cannot be alone for the holiday season.”

    It never hurts to have a plan, but in the same respect, our lives aren’t supposed to follow a plan. If everything followed our plan, life would be pretty boring. Imagine it like this – you follow a very strict diet and never spontaneously deviate from it – boring, right? Same idea. Let life be like that chocolate bar you ate for lunch.

    Back to the point….. I told myself that if I started a blog, I’d always be honest. And honestly, I wish I would follow my own advice. The truth is, no matter how pretty someone’s Instagram page is, they have insecurities too. My insecurity stems from difficulty accepting myself while single.

    I’m about to get really vulnerable y’all so hold onto your hats. I am insecure about the relationships I’ve had with men. Or rather, the lack of them. It can be self defeating to feel like you’re never the girl a guy wants to date. I constantly have felt that because I am not afraid to be myself, I scare every boy away from me. And that, my friends, is my insecurity. I can tell myself over and over again that “men do not determine my happiness,” but I struggle to believe it. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet and be my Hallmark movie ending instead of being okay on my own.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who is constantly searching for the person who’s supposed to jump into my life and change everything – waiting for my “other half.” But I’ve made a mindset change tonight. I’m not going to wait around and you shouldn’t either.

    Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person’s opinion take that from me. Anyone who passes on me is NOT worth my time (subtweet).

    I challenge you to find your self worth. Find the place where you thrive best and give it everything you have. Your future partner will admire your passion, not be intimidated by your self acceptance.

    Remember : The only person who deserves you, is the person who thinks they don’t. Never settle for less.

    Now, to the girl who is lost when it comes to love : blare Born to Fly by Sara Evans a couple times. I promise it’ll hit you on a whole different level.

    And to whoever my person is : I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Happy Monday! Jk … Monday mornings are rough … which is why I’m writing this on a Friday night! (Because we all need a little Friday night energy on a Monday morning).

    Monday motivation will be a once a month series of blog posts, given they have a positive response. These posts will include motivational quotes, a checklist for the day and explanations on how I get myself motivated.

    You just have to walk into the room and be fearless. Never let people think for a minute that you couldn’t totally take them down.

    Stevie Nicks

    5 Things to Keep in Mind

    • Get out of bed
    • Workout
    • Complete 30-40% of your to-do list for the week
    • Eat only healthy foods
    • Go to sleep at a reasonable hour

    Not going to lie, it’s been very difficult to find motivation lately. In high school, it’s easier to focus on tasks because you don’t live with your best friends! In college, it seems like there are a million things better to do than complete your to-do list. The key is giving yourself breaks and not overworking yourself. Start small – working for an hour at a time and then taking a break.

    I used to take things on a week-to-week basis. I.e. : “If I can keep my grades all at A’s by the end of this week, then I’ll be fine.” I’ve learned in college that this behavior is not really living. Living is when you enjoy the moment you’re in and take advantage of all the opportunities you are given.

    Go be a boss queen this Monday.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Even the Homecoming Queen Cries.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’ve always loved Kelsea Ballerini’s music. She has a relatable personality, beautiful voice and songs filled with emotion. However, when I heard her recent song, Homecoming Queen, I was left without words.

    Not only is this a gorgeous song, but the lyrics spoke to me in such a deep way. Kelsea reveals a very important and vulnerable message. This message is one that is so important for all of us, and one that I couldn’t hold back from writing about.

    We all know the girl who appears so outwardly perfect and put together. We never seem to ask her how she’s doing or if she’s okay… we “people assume (she’s) always alright.” The most perfectly appearing people can be the most broken and fragile people in our lives, trained “how to act tough.”

    Our jealousness of those who seemingly have a perfect life, allows us to assume that they have no problems. We never feel sorry for them, we feel sorry for ourselves. However, we know our problems and battles. We don’t know everyone else’s.

    Now, if you’re on the opposite end, it can be tough to let people see your broken side. All of us hide behind something. I hide behind my clothing – feeling put together to keep my perfect appearance. Yet, you can’t hide forever. You need to advocate for yourself and speak up when you’re not okay.

    So, let’s do as Kelsea Ballerini says and “let them all in on the lie…”

    The CEO cries. Miss America cries. The valedictorian cries. The Instagram Influencer cries. I cry. You cry.

    “Even the homecoming queen cries.”

    Be Kind. Be Supportive. Be You.

    With Love, Marin

  • Summer Bucket List

    Hey, pretty girl!

    In honor of summer-time being close to halfway over, it was an obligation to give y’all a summer bucket list and my top tips for having the best summer ever. My goal is to fulfill Dan & Shay–(Summer of) 19 You & Me–vibes. As well as get in on some, Austin Burke-One Summer-type of fun.

    Since college starts this fall, this is the last major summer before the real world (ugh, I know). While preparing for college, working, and writing the blog are my main concerns this summer, my bucket list is (and yours should be) jam-packed with everything from drive-in movies to coffee shop brunch dates. I compiled this list, while also throwing in some local recommendations of places you should head this summer!

    First up on my list is something I’ve been meaning to do for the last couple of years–the drive-in. For the local gals, I heard that Vali-Hi in Lake Elmo is the spot to go. They are open every night, so perfect for busy schedules! It’s fairly cheap at under $10 per person and you can bring your own snacks, blankets, pillows, and string lights to create the perfect insta post with your bf(fs). 

    Now for the complete opposite time of day activities, brunch and coffee dates. Two places I have personally brunched at are Ze’s Diner in Eagan and Cheesecake Factory at the Southdale Mall in Edina. Both are great brunch options, Ze’s with a 1950’s vibe and Cheesecake Factory with TONS of options. Two places I plan on trying are The Mason Jar in Eagan and Bellecour in Wayzata. For coffee, I love Starbucks just as much as the next girl, but summer is for exploring! The Twin Cities are a madhouse for cute coffee shops–Cafe Astoria, Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea, and Quixotic Coffee–to name a few.

    My favorite bucket list idea was to have a day where my friends and I are tourists in our own city! Look up the touristy locations in the closest city to you and experience your home area as a tourist! For the twin cities gals, this includes Minnehaha Park, Como Zoo conservatory, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Saint Anthony Falls, the Basilica of St. Mary, and Rice Park.

    I have a few random things I also plan to do this summer that would make for great time fillers: swimming with the besties, paddleboarding at Lake Minnetonka (and stopping at Nautical Bowls wink wink), shopping at the Eagan Outlet, having a super extra sleepover, and picnicking at some local parks. 

    @PhotosbyJannaJo

    Some general tips to make the most of your summer: 

    1. Turn your notifications off (living in the moment is a lot more fun)
    2. Wake up early but stay up late
    3. Flirt with that special someone 
    4. Work to make some money while you have time 
    5. Soak up every second of the sun (fall will be here before you know it)

    With Love, Marin