14 WAYS TO CELEBRATE VALENTINE'S DAY AS A SINGLE GAL

 
GALENTINE'S DAY BLOG IMAGE

I’ve had my share of Valentine’s Day as a SINGLE gal and I actually don’t mind it. I love LOVE just as much as the next girl, but I also love my independence. And I’m not afraid to embrace being Single and making the most of it. So if you find yourself Single or dating with no commitment this year, this post is for you. Because Valentine’s Day isn’t just about being in love with someone. It can also be celebrated with all of the people around you that you love. Don’t let this Hallmark Holiday get you down in the dumps about being Single, use it as an excuse to treat yo’ self, gather with girlfriends or just have a day to celebrate YOU.


Photography by:  Lauren Lucile Creative

Photography by: Lauren Lucile Creative

1. Host a Galentine’s Night with your girlfriends. You can keep it low key with movies & wine. Or have a theme and go all out with decorations and specialty cocktails.

2. Go to a local wine tasting with friends.

3. Cozy up at home w/ a Sex & the City marathon. 

4. Get dressed up and go out with your girlfriends for a night out on the town.

Photography by:  Lauren Lucile Creative

Photography by: Lauren Lucile Creative

5. Spend the evening at home and treat yo self with your favorite bottle of wine, face mask & chocolate to indulge in. 

6. Gather your girlfriends to have a nice brunch at a local spot you all love. 

7. Have a spa day. Get a facial or mani + pedi. Self care is the best care. 

8. Have a coffee date with a friend at a fancy coffee shop.

9. Find a Singles event in your city to attend. Maybe Cupid will strike.

10. FaceTime a friend and have a virtual wine night while you catch up with one another.

Photography by:  Lauren Lucile Creative

Photography by: Lauren Lucile Creative

11. Find out what your Love Language is. Take the quiz here.

12. Take a bubble bath at home and apply your most elaborate skincare routine. And pop a bottle of bubbly.

13. Show yourself some love. Buy some pretty flowers & your favorite chocolates.

14. Grab takeout from your favorite restaurant, open a bottle of wine & watch all the Rom Coms on Netflix from the comfort of your home in your pajamas.

Photography by:  Lauren Lucile Creative

Photography by: Lauren Lucile Creative

Celebrate in any way that makes you happy. Love comes in many forms. And the most important relationship in life, is the one that you have with yourself.

How will YOU be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?!


XO, Rae

NOBODY TOLD YOU YOUR 30's WOULD LOOK AND FEEL LIKE THIS

 
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I distinctly remember the 6 months leading up to my 30th Birthday and the immense pressure I felt to have it all figured out. And by all, I mean LIFE. Thirty seemed like this magic number. Where everything I had ever mapped out for my life, would somehow all start aligning and fall into perfect place. And here I am, more than half way through my 35th year of life and I'm far from having it all figured out. In fact, in most areas of my life it feels like I'm starting over. 

Lately, in conversations with friends I've noticed that many of us are going through similar changes in our lives. And the one thing we all have in common, is that we're in our early to mid thirties. There's something about this decade that causes you to have uncertainity about yourself and also makes you question your path in life. And you often find yourself asking the question: "Am I happy?" 

In your 20's, you graduate from college, start choosing a career, date with the intention of marrying one day, make friends with everyone and start to discover who you are as a young adult. In your 30's, you no longer feel fulfilled by just working a job to earn a paycheck, you find that spending time with yourself is just as important as being with someone else, your group of friends get smaller as you become more selective and you really begin to discover who YOU are as an individual. And all of this somehow starts to unravel little by little and you realize that life is really just getting started. Your thirties are a time in which you feel more eager to not settle for the things you once wanted and to go after the things you never knew you needed. I myself, can vouch for this. Over the past few years, I've undergone many changes in my life. But it's brought me to a better version of myself ultimately.  

You see, your thirties are a time in which you can REINVENT yourself. It all starts with discovering who YOU are and figuring out what IT is you truly want in life. And it looks different for everyone. Sometimes it's moving to a new city. Maybe you're contemplating quitting your job to pursue a passion project. You may choose to stay single to focus on your career. Or maybe you want to settle down to start a family. You may discover that you want to travel rather than stay in one place. And you may find yourself starting over in several areas of your life.   

However, no matter what changes your thirties may bring, you owe it to yourself to figure out what truly makes you happy. And even if you feel the immense pressure by those around you to do things a certain way, don't apologize for wanting to take a different path. My best advice for anyone going through this phase of life, is to be open and honest with yourself. Throw out the life timeline you once created for yourself and just live in the moments, days and months ahead. Don't be afraid to color outside the lines. 

Nobody tells you that your 30's will be some of the most challenging, significant, best years of your life that will bring you so much strength and growth. But I promise, you will be so much better for going through it all. 

Dana Cancun

 

XO, Rae

 

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

 

HAPPY SUNDAY, Y'all!

I admit, I have not been watching much football this season. Typically, I catch most of the games, but for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened. I've only seen a few games here and there. But I feel like today TOTALLY made up for it. I watched the ATLANTA FALCONS game and witnessed them not only score a WIN, but a ticket to the Super Bowl!! And I could not be more excited for my old hometown.

As most of you know, I lived in Atlanta for 11 years prior to moving to New York City. I have lived in a lot of places in my short thirty-four years, but nothing felt more like home than Georgia. I owe a lot of who I am to the years spent there. I became an adult. I fell in love, real love, for the first time and also experienced heartbreak. I had a successful career which taught me that I was capable of much more than I ever thought possible. And now, that experience has lead me to starting my own business. I found life long friendships with some of my closest girlfriends, in which I credit Atlanta for having us cross paths.

Friendships that have endured the highs and lows of life, marriages, babies and moving out of state. I also, welcomed my thirties with a new lease on life after throwing out my life timeline in effort to live more in the moment. But what I most cherish from my time living in Atlanta, is meeting my best friend, Will. We have been friends for over twelve years now and currently live together in the city. So, I guess I kinda get to have a piece of ATL with me everyday in NYC.

Atlanta was 'home' in so many ways and although I love living in New York City, there are things that I miss about the South. Football Sunday's, Sweetwater beer, Waffle House after a night out, sweet tea and southern hospitality. I have no doubt that one day I will move back for good, but until then, Georgia is always on my mind.

 

XO, Rae

 
 

33 LESSONS I'VE LEARNED SO FAR IN MY THIRTIES

 
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Before I turned 30, I was a mess in my emotions.

But what I didn't realize at the time, was that my thirties would be some of the best years of my life and full of possibilities. As they say...the older you get, the wiser you become. So, here are some lessons learned so far

1. Stop living life based on a timeline. Just LIVE.

2. Travel often. Don't let money hold you back. 

3. Quit the job you hate. There are far better opportunities, if you go after them. 

4. Don't settle. Not for anyone or anything. 

5. Buy the more expensive bottle of wine. Your body will thank you the next day. 

6. While you’re frustrated at being Single. Your married friends will envy your freedom. 

7. Stop trying to please everyone. Seriously, it's impossible. 

8. Send 'Thank You' notes. Handwritten notes never go out of style. 

9. Love the body you have. Stop nagging yourself over those 10lbs. 

10. Start a daily skincare routine.   

11. Get more sleep. Pulling all nighters gives you dark circles & puffy eyes. 

12. Remove toxic people from your life.

13. Disconnect from everything every once in awhile. (phone included)

14. Learn how to cook & host a holiday dinner. 

15. Say 'I love you' more. Tomorrow is not promised. 

16. You don't have to have it all figured it out yet. 

17. Create goals for yourself. Even small ones sometimes make the biggest impact.

18. Surround yourself with people who truly get you, encourage you and support you. 

19. Things will fall apart at times. The key is for you not to fall apart. 

20. Don't let your past define who you are. We all have one. 

21. Invest in your future. Enroll in a 401K or savings plan. 

22. Never apologize for wanting the best for yourself. 

23. Life should be lived with no regrets.

24. You will experience loss and it may change you forever.

25. Don't carry the burden for others.

26. Money does NOT define happiness. 

27. Failures are not mistakes, only lessons learned.

28. Stop comparing yourself to others. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

29. You are capable of so much more than you think you are. 

30. Being successful is not defined by just your job.

31. Move to a NEW city if you're unhappy in the current one you live in.

32. Chase your dreams, even if they scare the hell out of you.

33. Do what makes YOU happy. 

 

XO, Rae

WHY YOU SHOULD EMBRACE BEING SINGLE ON VALENTINE'S DAY

 

Valentine's Day is all about LOVE, right?! Wrong. It's mostly about the pressure of buying the right gift for your significant other along with planning the perfect night and the stress of what to wear for said perfect night. But not this year. Because you're SINGLE. Before you start to drown your feelings in that bottle of wine. Here are some reason why you should absolutely embrace your SINGLENESS this Valentine's Day. 

Image via  MyDomaine.com

Image via MyDomaine.com


Do You

You can stay home and binge watch romantic comedies on Netflix while eating Ben & Jerry's in bed. You can have an at home spa night. You can meet up with your girlfriends for brunch and consume bottomless mimosas. Or you can have a Girl's Night Out in celebration of Galentine's Day. The point is that you can do anything your heart desires. 

Chocolate Wasted

Eat all the chocolate you want. Judgement FREE. So make sure to stock up on all those heart shaped boxes of chocolates. Or you could go all out like Miranda in that one episode of 'Sex and The City' where she bakes a whole chocolate cake, grabs a fork and never looks back. 

Wine about it

If all else fails. There is always WINE. Go ahead and treat yourself to that expensive bottle of wine you've been saving for a special occasion. After all, you are celebrating your singleness. No shame in that game. CHEERS! 

Grab your Girls

Because being single doesn't mean you're alone. You have amazing friends and an amazing life that a guy would only be lucky enough to be a part of. Call your girlfriends, let them know how much you love and appreciate them being in your life. Invite them to brunch or a day of shopping and celebrate your friendships. Single can be FABULOUS. So, for now spend time with your closets girlfriends making memories to last a lifetime. 


Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

To all my SINGLE LADIES. Embrace your SINGLENESS. And treat yo' self to the Valentine's Day you deserve. 

How will you be celebrating this year?!

 

XO, Rae

20 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

 
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You visit my blog, support me & share this journey with me here. So, I thought you may want to know a bit more about me on a personal level. Here are 20 Random Facts about myself.

1. Rae is actually my middle name. It wasn't until my twenties that I really started to embrace it.

2. I'm happiest when CREATING or PLANNING something. Especially party planning. 

3. I think handwritten 'Thank You' notes never go out of style. 

4. I'll admit, I'm a Real Housewives junkie. My favorite housewife is Bethenny Frankel.

5. I am way more productive if I write out a to-do list. 

6. I'm a WINE kinda gal. #RoseAllDay 

7. I can recite all the words to 'JUICY' by The Notorious B.I.G.

8. Music is my love language. 

9. I secretly wish I could sing and perform on stage. 

10. FALL is my favorite season. Pumpkin spice everything.

11. Proud supporter of yoga pants & tank tops. 

12. I've always wanted to get a tattoo but I'm too scared to actually do it. 

13. I love accessories. Big gold hoops are my go to. 

14. I own a ridiculous amount of lip glosses and lipsticks. I carry at least three with me at all times. Anyone else have this prolem?!

15. My favorite movie of all time is 'Dirty Dancing'.

16. The word Y'all will always be in my vocabulary. Blame it on my Southern roots.

17. I'm naturally a Red head. (and yes, a hot temper comes with it)

18. Never thought I would actually move to NEW YORK

19. Turning 30 was a game changer for me.

20. Always on the hunt for the best Iced Coffee. Coffee is my VICE.

 

Tell me something about yourself!  Comment below. 

 

XO, Rae

TOPICS WOMEN HIDE FROM

 

As women, there are subjects that we tend to avoid being honest about. And sometimes try to avoid all together. Maybe it's for fear of being judged or looked at differently. I think it's often not until someone else is honest about their feelings that we then can admit we feel the same way. Why are we so afraid of being honest with our selves and even more so with each other?

Getting pregnant is one of life's little miracles. Many women base their whole entire life on when they will become a mother. And when it does, they are overwhelmed with joy. Well maybe not for all women. Some women although very much wanting to carry a child do not feel it's the best experience. And not all women actually like being pregnant. YES, there I said it! I haven't been pregnant myself, but I have watched several friends go through two completely different experiences when it comes to pregnancy. And it's difficult to see the friends who did not have the greatest experience being pregnant feel shameful for feeling that way. Why can't a woman say that she dreads the part of gaining weight, feels like her body is disowning her, never had anything close to a "glow", admits to drinking more than the recommended coffee amounts, desperately wants to drink a glass of wine and has no urge to breastfeed PERIOD. Why is it so frowned upon for a women to speak her truth? You don't hear women who have great pregnancies shy away from telling everyone....and I mean everyone! But the moment a pregnant women even starts to say something that sounds like a negative remark about pregnancy, you can just see the looks of other women judging her. 

Getting married is something you often dream about since you were a little girl. You grow up playing house and even married off your Ken and Barbie dolls. Then as you get older, you date different guys and endure one too many heartbreaks. You see relationships for what they really are. Some great and some that you'd like to forget about. You begin to realize that maybe marriage is not what you want or believe in anymore. But your afraid to even say it out loud much less tell your closest friends and definitely not your Mother. If most of your friends are married or engaged, they would probably just tell you that you're going through a phase. Or tell you that you've just dated the wrong guys and not to worry, your future husband IS out there somewhere. But YOU know deep down that if marriage was somehow NOT in the cards for you, you would probably be okay with that. So, why do we feel this guilt for being brutally honest? And for fear of downplaying our friends marriages and relationships, we reluctantly agree that it's just a phase and tell yourself that you're probably just being a little bitter. 

Hold your head high and NEVER let them see you sweat. We are trained since an early age to have our life plan mapped out. College, Career, Marriage then Babies. But what about PLAN B? Or even better yet, PLAN C, D or even E?? Did anyone ever tell you what happens when plan A doesn't fall into place? I didn't think so. So why is that? It's almost as if plan A doesn't go accordingly, then somehow we must have failed in our life. And even worse we would have to admit that we failed if we tried to discuss it with someone else. Not everyone fits into plan A and that's OKAY. Life is often better lived off script. So what you didn't go to college or graduate. And maybe you're in your thirties just now figuring out what you want to do for a longterm career. And maybe being single is your plan for now, so you can travel first before getting married and having kids. What's SO wrong with that plan? Your life doesn't have to be like everyone else's or even in the same order. But we fear to admit to each other that we like our plan better and that life sometimes tastes better against the grain. 

You should never apologize for how you feel, who you are as a person or where you stand on certain topics. So often we seek approval from others. But being honest in how you feel may likely make others feel relieved. We also look to other women who are just like us. It's much more comforting and inspiring when you have those who are closest to you share in your same feelings. So, next time your faced with these topics, be true to YOU. Make no excuses and remember, you may not be alone. 

 

XO, Rae

10 THINGS YOU LEARN IN YOUR 30's

 
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Since turning the BIG 3-0, I've learned to fully embrace my thirties. And so far, they have not disappointed. They say with age comes wisdom. So with the help of some friends, I have compiled a list of '10 Things You Learn In Your 30's.'

1. EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE

By 30 you start to really get to know who you are as a person and what you want out of life. You become an adult so to speak. Your getting your career on point, your paying bills like a boss and dating like a grown woman. Don't be fearful of who you may become. Be open to the possibilities.

2. YOUR MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT -Kristi E.

It's bound to happen. You will begin to hear yourself channeling your mother and saying to yourself "She was right!"  I even find that I often apologize to my Mom for thinking that she has no idea what I am going through....what I now realize is that she has already been there and done it. Hence why Mom's give the best advice.

3. YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT ON ANYTHING -Billy B.

Remember when you got invited to go out with your friends and you were so afraid of missing out you would never say 'NO'. Well those days are over. You just worked a 40+ hour week, your tired, you have nothing to wear and all you really want to do is go home and watch 'The Real Housewives'. Plus you can live vicariously via Facebook and save yourself the hangover. You will thank yourself in the morning.

4. FAMILY IS NOT ALWAYS BLOOD RELATED -Marisa L.

I agree 100%. Family does not have to be true to definition. Being family means more than just sharing a last name or a bloodline of relatives. It's about being there for someone and making an effort to be a part of their life. You don't get to pick your family but you do get to pick your friends. If your lucky, some of those friends will become family. 

5. IT'S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES -Billy B.

Although you are well into adulthood now. You are still allowed to make mistakes. You don't have to have it all figured out in a perfect Pinterest board. Be open to the idea that things will fall apart at times. But more often than not you will find yourself able to pick the pieces quicker. 

6. SOMETIMES YOU WILL HAVE TO PARENT YOUR PARENTS -Jackie A.

At some point you will find yourself in a moment of being the parent to your parent(s). Whether it's in giving advice or in caring for them as they get older. Both are more of a reality at this age. You will begin to start to worry about them more often, be ultra protective and have to deal with the fact that they are getting older and will need you more than ever. 

7. A FEW GOOD FRIENDS ARE ALL YOU REALLY NEED

At this age, it really is about quality NOT quantity. Life is busy and when you do have down time, you want to invest in those who make it worth while. This isn't high school anymore and you don't need to be in a clique. You need real girlfriends that you can laugh with, confide in and drink bottles of wine with no judgment. 

8. DATE YOURSELF

Ladies, LISTEN UP! You can't expect for someone to love you if you don't love yourself. And sometimes the best way to do that is to date yourself. Meaning put yourself on "a break" and get to know who you are deep down. The only way you are going to know what you want out of a relationship is to know what you have to have offer as well. Try it. I promise you will be a better girlfriend and one day wife for it!

9. SEX IS BETTER IN YOUR THIRTIES- Jennifer S.

Okay, so now that you have dated your self and have sworn off men for awhile. Nothing will get you back in the saddle more than having some good sex. It's true, sex is better in your thirties. Maybe its because of all the bad sex you had in your twenties or because your more experienced now? Whatever it is, be thankful! 

10. YOUR LIFE IS NOT OVER AT 30

Contrary to what you may assume, turning thirty is not as awful as we make it out to be. Sure, it poses the question "What am I doing with my life?" But it doesn't have to be defining of who you are. Your not a failure because you don't have your dream job, not married yet or have kids. Life doesn't give you bonus points for having it all figured out by a certain age. Your thirties are the years that you will change and grow the most. It IS possible that your thirties will be some of the best years of your life.

 

XO, Rae

 

THE FRIENDS WE KEEP

 
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Once you're in your thirties you realize that a few true friends are better than the twenty you used to have. I think it's important that women have a close group of girlfriends. I feel blessed to say that I have an amazing group of friends. 

Most of my girlfriends, I met when I was in my twenties. Your twenties are usually your unstable years. When you're partying, making up, breaking up and trying to figure out your life. If your friends can see you at this stage of your life and still be around after, they will typically become lifelong friends. 

All of my girlfriends have this in common: they are loyal, trustworthy and have a genuine interest in my life. I feel these qualities are hard to come by but are crucial when it comes to friendships. Often we surround ourselves with friends who are too caught up in their own life to take notice of ours. Friendship should be equal. It takes work just like any relationship. But in the end you want to feel they are just as invested in your life as you are in theirs.

I think it's also important to have a well rounded group of girlfriends. Different friendships serve different purposes in your life. And if all of your friends were alike, that would be pretty boring right?

One of my girlfriends, Brooke, is a few years younger than me. We are complete opposites in most aspects. She is bold, has never met a stranger and loves the outdoors. I'm more shy and quiet at first and not very outdoorsy unless it involves drinking on a patio. But we bonded over our passion for life and hard work. We both have recently moved to new states in efforts to chase our dreams. It's amazing to share those experiences with a friend who understands it first hand. 

Jenn is one of my girlfriends that I have known the longest. We met while working at a pediatric medical office and instantly became friends. She is soft spoken, smart, a great mother and can fix almost anything. Seriously, she can put most men to shame. She taught me a lot when I first started at the pediatric office and we both connected over our passion for working in the medical field and helping people. Through the years, we have shared countless stories of failed attempts of meeting Mr. Right, spent many nights out at the bars and have leaned on each other through difficult times. Jenn will forever be my wing woman at the bar and in life. We have had some of the best times and share stories only we can tell. 

Courtney, is my RIDE or DIE friend. Every girl needs one. That friend that never judges you or your mistakes. She is kind, quick witted, outspoken and doesn't let many people into her life easily. I consider myself lucky to be called her friend. She helped me to work through my past relationship with my ex and has always been a great listening ear. She is always honest when giving advice and that is what I love most about her. We have seen each other go through some of the most difficult times in our lives. And we have also celebrated many of life's happy moments like her newly born daughter. She is so worthy of becoming a Mother. She reminds me that even though life is full of unknowns, you still have to ride it out. 

My best friend, Lindsey, I saved for last. She is the most selfless person I have ever met. She is thoughtful, funny, kindhearted and will take you by surprise with her kick ass karaoke skills to 80's & 90's music. She will sing Salt -N- Pepa's "PUSH IT" like nobody's business. We could do nothing but sit in her living room and drink wine all night and be perfectly content. She and I like to do simple things: like go to festivals, eat cheap Mexican food, drink margaritas and craft things. Although she is now a busy Mom, she always makes time for our friendship. We understand each other and never have to apologize for what we say or think. She is honestly more like a sister to me. Friends who become family are the best types of friends. I can see us both sitting on a porch well into our 50's sipping wine and eating mint milanos.

I can't imagine my life without each of them. They are truly the best friends a girl could ever ask for. 

 

XO, Rae

MOVING TO NEW YORK

 
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Moving to New York has been by far the best decision I have ever made. Well...I say that NOW, maybe I should wait til I have lived here for at least a year, LOL. Moving here was not always part of my plan but life changes sometimes and here I am.

Up until 7 months ago, I was living in Atlanta, Ga. I had a great job, amazing friends and a gorgeous apartment right outside of the city. So what changed?! Well...I changed. Two and half years ago, before turning 30, I began to see my life differently unlike before. I was a few years out of a long term relationship that was on again off again for longer than I like to admit to.

When I was with my ex, I was so sure of my life, my career and wanting to be married and have kids. I had always thought that I would be married and have kids before 30. I think most women feel the pressure of this for all sorts of reasons. But turning 30 was a game changer for me. I stopped worrying about where I was in life and started to focus on where I was going in life. For me, I was so worried about trying to have this list of accomplishments by the time I turned 30 and then realized that my life was just starting. I let go of my preconceived ideas and I let myself be. I actually came to New York to visit my best friend Will (who I live with now) and celebrate my 30th Birthday.

I had no idea that almost 2 years later I would be moving to New York. Will had been trying to get me to move to New York for a few years. I would nicely say to him "maybe" but really knowing in the back of my mind that I had no intentions of moving. (He knew that as well but he still tried to convince me). At that time I was still content with my life in Atlanta and was ready to see what 30 had to offer. I would visit New York a few more times after my 30th Birthday, falling more in love with the city more each time. And then after a major loss in my life, I soon realized that maybe New York wasn't a bad idea after all.

My Grandfather passed away last year May 24th, 2014. A day that I will never forget. He was an amazing man. He traveled the world, had a very successful career and made a name for himself. He was known by a rare nickname and was the life of the party. Shortly before his passing, I had told him about the possibility of me moving to NY. He was surprisingly very excited for me. He traveled to NY often throughout his life and had nothing but great things to say and stories to tell about his trips here. I was still unsure myself if I would actually go through with it but when he passed, I knew I had to do it. Not just for him, but for me. His passing changed my life in more ways than one. But mostly he had always instilled in me to never have regrets in life. He lived life so passionately and I wanted to do the same. So, fast forward to October 2014, I packed up an SUV full of clothes and boxes with my Mom and my best friend. After 16 hours traveled up the east coast, on 3AM October 10th, 2014, I officially became a New Yorker. 

Can't wait to share this journey with you. 

 

XO, Rae