What I've Learned About Friendship

Friends are like flowers

Sometimes they're in season, other times they're impossible to track down ... or really expensive ... or making you sneeze ... or clashing with your color scheme. The point is, appreciate what your friend has contributed to your life in the past and recognize that there might be lulls in your relationship. That doesn't mean you have to throw away your half heart necklace. Be patient and you'll see that, in time, you'll return to equilibrium. 

You won't always have the same priorities

You might be fixated on the SATs or landing your first job while your friend is consumed with her boyfriend's new haircut. Focus on being a good sounding board for your friend instead of trying to change their priorities. As long as they are willing to give your hang ups attention in return, they're doing their part.  

Friends deserve the benefit of the doubt

If you're going to call someone you're friend, that means they traits that you value and respect. It does not mean that they are perfect or will always adhere to your BFF Checklist. They're going to mess up and offend you and disappoint your high expectations. It's fair to hold them accountable (sweeping things under the rug won't help), but take a pause before you react. It's likely they didn't mean to upset you and if they know they did, they're sorry, even if they feel too awkward to say it. So approach your tiffs with grace and understanding instead of accusations of malicious intent. 

Your friends have friends that are not you

And that's allowed! For a long time I struggled with feeling like my friends all had other friends who they were closer with. But you've got to let that comparison crap go! Be confident in the value that you add to a friendship and don't get caught up in the pity party.  You might be surprised how many of your friends feel the same way about you. If anything, let it motivate you to tell your friends how much they mean to you.

Never stop making friends

To be honest, I was never a big fan of the term BFF. For one, it puts a lot of pressure on a single person and for such a little word, it can do a lot to alienate the other friends in your "tribe". The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to have different types of friends. I treasure my childhood friends, but also realize that we've grown to be different people and can never know what it's like to only meet the adult version of ourselves. It can be nice to discover commonalities with new people and share laughs over long-buried stories. It's always been really valuable to make friends in the nonprofit world who know what it's like to build a business and can share valuable insight. The older you get, the harder it can be to put yourself out there and make space for new people, but I promise it is worth the extra effort!

Not Your Average Bucket List

If you're looking to spruce up your bucket list, try these on for size ...

  1. Go one week without telling myself I'm not good enough
  2. Write cards to 5 friends that I've been meaning to send a kind word to
  3. Let someone take photos of me without criticizing a single shot
  4. Go makeup-less and feel good about it
  5. Try something outside my comfort zone (boxing, coding, knitting ... my zone is pretty small)
  6. Apologize and clear up that little spot of guilt that just won't go away
  7. Send the email I've been afraid to send because there might be rejection at the other end
  8. Write something for myself. Not because there is a deadline or because anyone will read it
  9. Dedicate a Saturday to helping someone with a project they are working on
  10. Stash away $10 a month to be used exclusively for random acts of kindness
  11. Decide on 3 words that I want to define my personal legacy
  12. Start an annual jar of moments that I am grateful for
  13. Try all new recipes every Thursday for a month
  14. Make spontaneity a priority (is that an oxymoron?)
  15. Compile a "win" folder for when I need a reminder of what a #bossbabe I am

Have some ideas to add to the list? Let us know!

Can My Gut Be Trusted?

I’ve always thought gut was an ugly word. It’s the belly, the bowels and everything dark in between. Pain and discomfort seem inevitable counterparts. So when do I trust my gut? When it hurts.

When I can’t sleep, when I feel as though I am bound to fail, when I’m sure that anyone else would be better suited for the job, when I’m nearing panic. That’s when I know that my gut instincts can’t be ignored. Ease and comfort will never be equal motivators.

When my beloved gray velvet couch has molded itself around my body’s form, I know it’s time to accept the new challenge that's been brewing. These are the best, most terrifying times. I feel the weight of everything that could go wrong in the pressure of my pen as I furiously scribble, trying to eek out answers from blankness. But then, hours, days or weeks later, there is a map of sorts. It’s a map of a vision that feels impossible, but also absolutely necessary to my being.

Choosing to chase my dream and build my non-profit was a gut decision that I did everything to fight against. There were other options that seemed safer, more “correct,” better suited for the future that I could not see, but none of them felt fulfilling. That’s the tricky thing about going with your gut. We often spend our time lamenting about how risky or difficult it will be to “go with our gut,” yet we rarely consider whether it will be equally or more difficult to deny that tug.

Does that mean my gut nails it every time? Of course not. And let's be honest, I'm having meltdowns on the reg. But the experience has taught me a lot about trusting myself. If you’re constantly doubting your capability instead of testing it, you’ll never strengthen it.

Most of us start out with weak stomachs. That’s OK. It takes time to build up a rapport with our inner selves. Use a mental checklist to help recognize when trusting your gut is the way to go:


If you’re playing tug of war with an idea for more than a month,  it probably means you’re looking for any excuse to shoot down your gut. Save yourself the agony of anticipation and take the plunge. That stress can be much more productively channeled through real action.


You will always fail if you assume that trusting your gut will make things easier. In fact, it’s usually the exact opposite. Decisions that require our gut to chime in are challenging because they require commitment far beyond that initial yes or no. We are heavily invested in the outcome and worried that it’s our fault if things don’t work out, so yes, that’s hard. But don’t beat yourself up if it feels like an uphill battle every time you listen to that little voice. Great achievement requires great sacrifice.


It’s a lot harder to make decisions about our own lives than it is to give advice to others, right? Imagine that someone else is at your crossroads. What would you tell them to do? Would you be more confident in the gut decision if you were not responsible for its execution? It sounds silly, but relieving yourself of the personal pressure and looking at the situation more objectively can really help!

5 Healthy Habits to Honor Your Beauty, Body & Brains

One of our 2017 resolutions was to turn our healthy habits inward by focusing on our inner beauty. Just like we take great pains to keep our skin moisturized and hydrated, so our inner self need to be nourished too. To get you started, here are our 5 tips  to leave you glowing.

  1. Smile more. Science proves that forcing yourself to smile (even when you’re in a bad mood!) can make you immediately happier, relax your body, improve your immune system and make another person smile too. Is there anything else so simple that yields such impressive results?
  2. Try something different. A dose of confidence + a splash of courage can squash self-doubt and create new opportunities. Challenge your comfort zone and ignite positive change in your life. 
  3. Practice gratitude. Negativity only leads to more negativity. Instead, keep your thoughts thankful by writing down three reasons to be grateful before bed every night. 
  4. Respect your reflection. Appreciate what makes you unique and let those quirky imperfections inspire others, not inhibit your own potential. If you're really struggling with this, invest in a good dry shampoo and limit yourself to no more than 20 minutes in the mirror each day. Your productivity will soar and your bad hair days will decrease.
  5. Conquer with kindness. All it takes is an encouraging word or simple act to make all the difference in someone’s life. There is no high like a selfless act. Choose compassion and leave a little sparkle wherever you go. 

Want to pass on the positivity? Check out our Inner Beauty in a Bag program. For just $35, you buy yourself an adorable tote AND gift a bag full of hygiene necessities, beauty products, school supplies, inner beauty reminders and more to women and girls in safe houses, shelters and foster homes.