Kindness Matters Monday 02/05/18

Where does your kindness come from?

Most of us are influenced from birth by a multitude of different people. I for one, have had the opportunity to gain attributes from my HUGE family. That being said, I can pinpoint a particular person who has guided me the most through just being a decent human being.

This person taught me to be selfless. She taught me to kill everyone with kindness. She taught me that when you can’t find anything nice to say, compliment their hair. She taught me that everyone deserves to feel special on their birthday, and that even assholes can have a kind bone in their body- you just have to find it.

From a young age my Aunt Angel shared with me the joys of brightening someone’s day. She always brought me along with her to social gatherings with her peers, and she never showed up empty handed. She would do hard research on something that person would enjoy and truly appreciate. She even had a “gift closet” in her house filled with things that could be grabbed on a whim to bring cheer to someone that might be having a bad day.

She also taught me the importance of being completely selfless. Doing something amazing, and expecting nothing in return. I recall one time, we looked through the phone book, found a random name and address, and we wrote them encouraging letters. All these letters were meant to say was that a stranger cared about their existence. We didn’t put a return address, and didn’t sign our names. We will never know the outcome of those letters, but we put a whole lot of positive energy into the universe.

On a random afternoon, we decided to bake cookies and a pie of some sort to bring to the fire station down the street. We have both always had a deep love for firemen- but that’s another story. haha! We arrived at the fire station with our baked goodies, and rang the bell. They answered and we handed over the items. The fireman who answered the door asked if we wanted to come in, and we declined. He seemed astonished that we wanted nothing in return. Little did he know, that was the whole point.

At the time, I had no idea how vital these lessons she was teaching me were. I honestly, didn’t even realize I was learning anything, because it was just a fun activity. I learned compassion, giving, and what unconditional love meant, and I learned it all from the most amazing woman in the world, who truly is an “Angel”. 😉

Who taught you the value of kindness? Share below in the comments!

brit and angel


14 Unconventional V-day ideas

We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves for one day out of the year. Between buying gifts and planning special dates, it can be a lot of stress and some of us may find ourselves lacking creativity. I’ve definitely been there. This year, I decided to make a list of 7 gifts and 7 dates that may be a little unconventional.


1. Snowshoeing.

The great thing about winter holidays, are winter activities! This particular sport is especially awesome, because anyone can do it. What could be more romantic than getting bundled up with your sweetheart and getting out into the snowy wilderness? Big bonus if you bring along peppermint schnapps!

2. Winter Picnic

You can layer up and endure the cold, stay in by the fire with a blanket on the floor, or pack up and take your car somewhere with a beautiful view. Who said picnics have to be seasonal?

3. Learn something new together

This can be a pottery class, ski lesson, or learning to cook a new meal. Whatever it may be, learning together will help you grow together.

4. Learn what your date’s favorite meal is and make it for them.

Why do we have to be set on going out when great things can happen in your own kitchen? It’s like a date and a gift all in one. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who can cook (or at least can make an effort)!

5. Rock Climbing

Most major cities will have a climbing gym. It is a great indoor activity that can be enjoyed in any season. You will have to trust your partner to be able belay you safely, and everyone’s butt looks great in a harness!

6. Escape Room

These are becoming exceedingly popular and they are a ton of fun. The more people you bring, the more brains to help you escape, so this would be a great date activity for multiple couples.

7. Girls/Guys Night

Don’t have a romantic date for Valentines? No worries! You are not alone, so gather up your best buds and celebrate the love in a friendship.


1. Feed their hobby

The best way to show you care is to pay attention to what your partner is passionate about.
Photographer- new straps, lenses, lens cleaning kits, a gift card to their favorite print shop, etc.
Fitness- New shorts, fit bit (or other fitness watch), ear buds, yoga mat, etc.
Artist- paint brushes, craft store gift card, crafting table, supply organizers, etc.

2. Buy an experience

What’s better than a tangible gift? An experience!
This can be a museum trip, a class for a future date, a weekend getaway, or even a ropes course (indoor or outdoor).

3. Photo session

Local photographers usually have specials and valentine’s day packages advertised in February. It would be a great time to take advantage of the money saving opportunity and document lasting memories.

4. Succulents

Instead of the traditional roses that die within a week, succulents are great because they are low maintenance and will last. Plus, they are super cute and go with any décor!

5. Sneak away a favorite item and get it personalized.

These days, just about anything can be engraved or personalized. My personal favorite is engraved cutting boards. They are super easy because they are wood, generally a rectangular flat surface, and EVERYONE uses them. A friend of ours made us one for Christmas and it is a great conversation piece!

6. Movie watching subscription

If your partner has binged watched everything on Netflix, consider buying them a year’s subscription to Hulu or one of the other streaming services.

7. Wine Tasting

Most wineries have free wine tastings as long as at the end you buy at least one bottle (which isn’t difficult if you’re a wine drinker!). It’s both an experience and a gift. If you aren’t into wine, go to a brewery or distillery.

Above all, just be thoughtful, spread the love, and ENJOY yourself.

Do you have any unconventional ideas that should be on this list? Comment them below!

Kindness Matters Monday 01/22/18

We have all at some point experienced the wrath of the dreaded Monday. Sometimes that can simply mean you hit snooze on your alarm until you had that all mighty decision of either showering or eating breakfast. Sometimes it means, your dog died, layoffs are coming at work, and the sketch Chinese food you ate last night is making its vengeance. On any side of the Monday spectrum, it can absolutely suck.

Today, was one of those Mondays for me. I need not dive to deeply into the logistics of why, but let’s just say I ugly cried, questioned my existence, and did everything but spit fire in every direction all within an hour’s time.

You may be wondering “where the heck is the kindness in all of this?!” I will get to it.

Through all of this emotional mess, my amazing adventure buddy (my boyfriend, Cody), just calmly let me say my peace, cry, and for lack of better words- lose my shit. All he did was sit there and reassure me, help me sort things out, and help bring me back to reality.

That was just the beginning of the incredible kindness that was sent my way. I waltzed in to work right on time (possibly 30 seconds late), with my eyes still red and puffy. Immediately my boss locked eyes with me and asked “what’s going on?” and “Is your day going alright?” My response was “next question please.” He moved right on into normal business talk, but his big heart couldn’t help himself. He let me know that he was there for me and kind of insisted that I fill him in. My eyes started to well up in tears. “How about we go for a drive in the golf cart?” He asked. I nodded and grabbed my jacket.

Once in the golf cart, I felt the sharp cold instantly on my face. It seemed to help dry up the residual tears. I spilled my guts to the poor guy. He just listened with active nods. Once I was finished, he rationalized all my feelings, gave some loving advice, and let me respond. I instantly felt better just having my feelings recognized and to have someone unbiased just listen.

As my boss, Justin has no obligation to take interest in my personal life emotions, but he decided to show kindness anyways. He was there over an hour after his shift and paid no mind to that fact. I must say, the man makes a lot of sense and gives some impeccable advice.

I was blessed enough to experience two acts of kindness, from two people, in one day. How lucky is that? When I think of it that way, it makes me realize that it wasn’t such a bad Monday after all and it goes to show, KINDNESS MATTERS. It was truly the difference between an awful day and a decent one.

Have you experienced/witnessed an act of kindness? Share it with us!

What is “Kindness Matters Monday” and how do I participate?

Hey guys!

I’ve decided to start a weekly submission called “Kindness Matters Monday”.
Every Monday it is my goal to highlight kindness, spread good energy, and help ease the pain of Monday.
The important part about this particular blog is I will accept “kindness” submissions. If you witness, partake, or want to share a story of kindness, PLEASE feel free to inbox me whatever you would like to share and you may be featured on a Monday!

Above all else, be kind.

5 Things to Learn From a Novice Backpacker

Within the last year and a half, I have grown to love and appreciate the art of backpacking. I was lucky enough to have a seasoned backpacker to help guide me along the way, but I still found myself learning some tricks of the trade the old fashion way.

1. Bring more baby wipes, and fewer clothing items

ewwww, I know! But trust me when I say you will value a clean “shower” a whole lot more than three of your cutest Patagonia sweaters. Obviously, never skimp on skivvies, but it is perfectly acceptable to wear the same shirt three days in a row when you’re in the back country. Same goes for pants. I found that once on the trail, you can feel every single freaking ounce of weight packed into that backpack. I spring for the extra space, before I even think about packing extra clothing now.

2. Don’t let anything dangle off of your pack.

Obviously, fastening a sleeping bag to the top of your pack is inevitable, but when it comes to items dangling off the sides…avoid. at. all. costs. I promise you, a half a mile into your hike, you will be wishing that your bag of freeze dried food was not hitting the back of your legs every step. Sure, it seems practical. Sure, you can handle the extra weight. But, in the end it just becomes a bother.

3. The less packaging you bring, the less garbage you have to pack out.

If you are even considering a backpacking trip, I can nearly guarantee that you’ve heard the saying “pack in, pack out”. It’s pretty self explanatory, but I feel the need to touch on it a little bit. If it is your first time on the trails, it’s likely you have some new gear. I recommend taking every bit of packaging out and tossing it prior to the trip, so you aren’t stuck packing it around. Every bit of weight counts! Consolidating is key.

4. DIY fire starting kits are BADASS.

You can use all sorts of household items that are likely already in your possession. You can package it minimally in something water proof. It is cost effective, fun, and eco friendly. Pinterest is a great resource for this type of thing. My boyfriend recently started using my used Scentsy wax and cotton balls to make a certain type of fire starter.

5. Keep your feet dry!

The one and only clothing item you can’t have enough of are socks. Buy good socks, made for activity. I am a huge fan of Smartwool. They have different varieties and one line specifically made for hiking and backpacking.

Above all else, the best advice anyone can give- NEVER STOP EXPLORING.

For more tips, feel free to comment below or send me a shout!

New year, what’s new?

As we dive head first into 2018, I’m sure everyone has heard, made, or already broken a resolution of some sort. I’m not much of a believer in that sort of thing, but I do however make mini goals for myself all the time. I like to think of them more as monthly resolutions, rather than putting a whole year of pressure on myself.

I think it’s important to always strive for something new, bigger, or better. These things can range from tiny things like staying on top of laundry to getting that big promotion at work. Whatever it may be, no matter how bold, WRITE IT DOWN. I can’t express how important it is to make your thoughts physical. Write them down, look at them, attain them.

That being said, I figured I could share a few of mine. I will label them long term (within a year) and short term (days/weeks).

1. Prioritize photography (long and short).
– Meaning, take pictures as often as possible, my goal is to be editing and posting pictures at least three times a week to my business page.

2. Take more photo gigs even if they are out of my comfort zone (short).
-My first step towards this was scheduling a newborn photo session this Saturday. Wish me luck!

3. Make time for self reflection for at least 10 minutes every day (short).
-This can be meditation, identifying emotions, or splattering my thoughts onto a page in a journal.

4. Consistently blog (short).
-This one is pretty self explanatory, but this blog could be a stepping stone for future endeavors. It is important that it is a priority.

5. Gain more financial stability without sacrificing happiness (long).
-This means consolidating the small amount of debt I still have, continuing to excel at work, and start make income from my passions.

I realize that I won’t master all of these goals flawlessly, but I’m confident that I can make my best effort!

What are five things you could improve on? What are your goals? Comment below to be featured in my next post!

It’s never too late to publish previous writing

I pulled this post from a private blog I previously wrote. I felt that this illustrates a big moment in my life, my ideals, and an incredible experience. This is also where the photo in mu banner came from. Attached to this post, is the original photo, before being cropped down.

TITLE: “I fell in love at Langer Lake”

I could seriously cry just thinking about the majestic adventure that I got to experience. The universe is bringing me such amazing things and I will never understand what I did to deserve it all, but instead of questioning it, I guess I’ll just thank my lucky stars.

Let’s start from the top shall we?

We got a late start (which looking back now, was probably the best decision we could have made). We loaded the roof of Kaitlin’s car and hit the road towards Stanley, Idaho. The drive alone was more beautiful than I even remembered, but terrifying because Kaitlin drives far too much like I do- non observant, fast, and herky-jerky. The most reoccurring phrase that comes from that drive was “but did you die?” I feel that speaks for itself. We lived to tell the story, and made it to our spot. It was dark by then, so we loaded up our gear to backpack in. The only thing that lit our way was a couple of head lamps and an unlimited supply of glow sticks. I had no idea what we were getting into. Cody was the only veteran attendee. Cody and I each brought one backpack, he took the Camelback, and I strapped the sleeping bag on my stuff. We kept it pretty simple, and I still realize now that I over packed. Jesse on the other hand… will never live down the fact that he somehow strapped on three backpacks, several grocery bags, and misc. other things to himself. He never once complained and still kept up better than I could, but I think he learned his lesson too.
The hike in was long, nearly all uphill, and though it was freezing cold, I was pouring sweat. There were a few complaints, but I got the most amazing endorphin rush. We finally made it at about midnight. As soon as we got there, our first priority was getting a fire started, because now that we had slowed down, it was freezing and our sweat was now turning into icicles rapidly. Next plan of action, was setting up our tents. I was lucky enough to have the mountain man. Cody pointed out some branches and told me to look for the fullest ones. I looked at him kind of puzzled, but I complied. Once we both had arm fulls, we took them over to the flat spot where were going to place our tent and he started layering them meticulously in the shape of the floor of our tent. He told me that they were for cushion and insulation, so we wouldn’t lose our heat to the ground. My immediate thought: “holy shit, I picked a winner!” I felt like a little kid, because every time I found a good section of branches, I got all excited to get the camping expert’s approval. He was sweet and acted like I was doing some brilliant shit. Good boyfriend award, for sure. We got our tent set up, ate s’mores, and just inhaled all the mountain air that my lungs desired. I could already feel the amazing vibes.

We went to bed and realized that Cody and I only brought one sleeping bag. Whoops. Luckily, we were already accustomed to sleeping rather close, just zipping up the sleeping bag made me super claustrophobic. Luckily, the mountain man had another trick up his sleeve to keep us warm (yeah, I know what you’re thinking- but you’re wrong!). He grabbed one of the rocks that lined the fire, and put it in the bottom of our sleeping bag by our feet. We were warm for most of the night and I got to snuggle with my sweetie all night long in the dead quiet of the wilderness. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER?! Just wait!

The next morning, Cody got up first while I snuggled down in our sleeping bag to keep warm for a little longer. He was sweet and built a fire, so I wouldn’t immediately freeze my ass off. Mountain man definitely took one for the team there. When I finally rustled out of the tent, I was greeted with the most amazing view I think I have ever experienced. Since it was the dead of night when we hiked in, I had no idea what to expect. The first sight I saw as I exited our tent was the clearest lake water I had ever seen surrounded by gorgeous pine trees and majestic mountains. It was breathtaking. I can honestly say that I have seen some amazing things, but none of them have stunned me the way that this view had. It was an incredible surprise that even a birthday couldn’t top!

We made Bacon for breakfast, and Cody had an MRE that he accidentally made incorrectly, but then saved the day and ended up repairing it to edible quality. I got my coffee fix and ate some dry cereal which Adventure Guide Cody proceeded to lecture me about, because he was taking us on killer hike in which “empty carbs and sugar would quickly burn off and leave me starving before afternoon.” My instinct was to argue, but I knew he was right. I ate some bacon, and packed the granola bars in our day pack. I took a little walk by myself around part of the lake and found this cool rock that I desperately wanted to climb. I hadn’t told anyone where I was going and I heard Kaitlin calling my name, so I turned back and went towards the group. We all got ready to go on our day trip. We walked on the trail around Langer lake to the rock I wanted to climb. We all climbed up, took a few pictures, then discussed our next move. Originally, we were going to hike up to the lookout. There’s basically a building at the top for fire fighters in the summer, and during the winter, people can snow mobile up there and rent it. We ended up deciding to hike to another very tall point that Cody had previously hiked, so we knew what to expect. We hiked around and were dazzled by yet another lake. Kaitlin did some fishing, we saw some other fisherman (which happened to be the only other humans we had seen thus far). We ventured to another lake which had the most beautiful water I have ever seen in my life. It reminded me of the ocean water I had seen in the Caribbean, but a fresh water lake. I have since realized that the reason the water is so immaculate is due to the fact that the only way to get in there is on foot or horse back. No motor vehicles are permitted, and no boat has ever ran through that water. It’s amazing and uninhabited. From that lake, we had to head straight up. That’s no exaggeration either. the side of the mountain was nearly perpendicular to the ground. You had to tilt your head way back just to view the highest point. I looked at Cody like “um, there is NO way I’m going to live through this.” I wasn’t about to say that out loud or go out without trying, but I definitely had one of those “hard swallow” moments where I gulped deep in the back of my throat. There were a couple of doubters in the group who didn’t think we would be able to do it, let alone make it back before night fall. Thankfully, we had my encouraging adventure guide to reassure this that we were being a bunch of pussy’s and we would be fine. I am SO thankful that we didn’t back out. We started up the mountain, I was quickly out of breath, because apparently I need more cardio in my life. The only one of us who was able to actively keep up with Cody was the god damn dog. 97% of me admired his strength and stamina, but the other 3% completely envied it. He was courteous though. He let us stop occasionally to catch our breath. I was again, sweating up a storm in freezing temperatures. I was hiking in 45 degree weather in a light shirt. I had even packed my vest away in my back pack. We entertained ourselves along the way by tossing rocks down from how far we had made it and watching them tumble into oblivion. Cody kept saying “just wait until we make it to the top, we will get to EXPLODE rocks. There’s a place to launch them! It’s AWESOME!” He wasn’t kidding. We finally made it to the top. We had stunning views of all the lakes that we had seen throughout the day, we could literally see for miles. We could see mountain ranges that had skiffs of snow. It was incredible. We all took adorable stereotypical couple photos, and dangled our feet off the edge of the universe. Then, we got to the best part, the part that Cody had been talking about all day- ROCK EXPLODING. We started out with smaller rocks, and watched them literally explode in just a couple of tumbles. Then Jesse and Cody grabbed boulders that took the both of them to maneuver and sent them tumbling off the edge. They made these insanely loud explosion noises and rolled on forever, getting smaller and smaller the further they plummeted. It sounds childish, but it was actually pretty fucking badass and made me realize how insignificant we were in size to what was surrounding us.

On top of that mountain, I seriously feel like I had a spiritual awakening. I felt so centered and accomplished and it’s something that I have never experienced before. I never would have thought that I could do something like that, and my amazing boyfriend saw that I could and pushed me to be the best that I could be and I don’t even think I could begin to thank him enough for that. I feel like when I tossed those rocks off the side of the cliff, I was letting go of negativity that I had been holding onto and symbolically just completing this transformation that I have been working at for months now. In that moment, I hit the peak of my existence, on the peak of a mountain, on a spiritual peak. I wish that every single person could feel the way that I felt in that moment, and still feel the residual affects of. It is absolutely the ultimate zen. I don’t think that it was an accident that I experienced those things with Cody. From day one of meeting him, I felt something that is not only the scariest, but the most “right” thing I have ever felt in my life. That could mean a number of things that are completely unknown to me, but one thing I am certain of, is that everything happens for a reason, and he was placed in my life for a definite purpose. Nothing but incredible things have happened since the moment he entered stage right and this adventure just confirmed it all.

We spent quite a bit of time on the top of that peak. I don’t think any of us were eager to leave. We all had this aura about us. The unfortunate thing about time though, is that even when it seemingly stands still for us, it truthfully keeps on going, so we needed to leave in time to be back before dark. My handsome adventure guide made the executive decision to go down via rock sliding, which was fun, but SO SCARY. You had to basically sit on your back foot, then stretch your other leg out and let that foot kind of guide your way. We all literally slid down the side of the cliff in no time. I’m pretty sure I have a permanent blister from doing so, but I’ll take it as a token to remember the trip by. Not that I would be forgetting any time soon.

We made it back with time to spare. We were all tired, but I still had an adrenaline rush going from all the natural dopamine pumping through my body. We were starving though, so we cooked up a bunch of random and delicious food. The birth of the “crunch wrap s’more” came about- credit to Cody, and we enjoyed our last night in paradise. I’m pretty sure we were all in our tents by ten o’clock. I was so content with snuggling up with my honey and sleeping off the day. I was warm and happy and fulfilled.

Morning came, and I really didn’t want to leave. If it were an option, I would have opted for Cody and I to just live in that damn tent. I would have been fine, warming up rocks fireside for heat, smelling that fresh air, and spending all my time with him forever. I really feel like our souls just connected and my feelings for him grew exponentially. It scares me, but in the best way possible.

The hike back was much different and seemed to be a lot quicker! We got to see all the scenery we missed on the way in, it was all down hill, and we all had a closer bond than we had before.

I will forever be grateful for this adventure and for the three people and a dog I got to share it all with. It was the true definition to “getting away from it all”. It was my first backpacking adventure, Cody and I’s first vacation together, and where I can honestly say I fell in love. I fell in love with life, Langer Lake, and my spectacular adventure guide.

Brilliance is Born in the Strangest of Places

The link above will be relevant in a minute. Please listen to the song, read the lyrics, and return here once that is finished. No, it’s not spam. No, it’s not a scam. Just trust me, man!

If you are still here, thank you. A little trust can go a long way. I’m sure you’re wondering why listening to a Dirty Heads song was relevant. When I was thinking of how to introduce myself to readers that have no idea who I am, what ideals we share, and why the heck they have even arrived on my page.

Anyways, I was in the shower of all places, listening to “Good Vibes Radio” on Pandora, and this particular song came on. I’ve heard the song before- many times, but never really listened. I found myself singing the chorus and realizing how much it pertained to my life, my simple ideals, and truly my current situation. Our culture tells us that we need a job that make us the most money, which will bring us the most success, and in turn will make us happy. Dirty Heads nailed it this time though. You want a life of vacation? Find a job you love!

Okay, great advice right? But how does this represent my ideals? A little over a year ago I came to this very revelation. I was working a high paying, office job, that I hated. The job wasn’t difficult. The company I worked for was fair. The paycheck was consistent. What was there to complain about right? The thing was, I wasn’t feeling like I was making a difference. I was not fulfilled. I was doing something for five out of the seven days in the week that I was not passionate about. Sure, I was paying the bills, but five days a week I was wishing I was doing anything else.

On nights and weekends I was working at the ski resort about an hour away from me and it didn’t even feel like work. I was booking people into ski and snowboard lessons, answering questions about two sports I am passionate about, and interacting with a family-like group of people enjoying their jobs as well. From the day I had my interview, I could feel the positive, high paced energy. It was incredible. I would have worked seven days a week on the mountain.

“If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it”

January 2017 rolls around and the office job company is doing extremely well. We were all handed raises, extra PTO, and we were hiring more staff all the time. Growth is normally such a positive thing, and the money was nice, but there’s always a catch. My team of people were in a meeting, when we get the news that schedules are changing. We were all a little concerned, because we’ve molded our lives around this shift. People with children had made arrangements for their time away, I had my job at the ski resort, etc. It turns out that the mandatory shift change completely eliminated the option of me working nights at the ski resort. We had the weekend to think things over, commit to what shift we wanted to move to, and make arrangements for everything out. I immediately went to my supervisor and asked that I be given two weeks, so I could turn in my resignation at my night job. I was denied. That just left a knot in my stomach. The thought of putting my coworkers in a tight spot by giving them absolutely no notice was awful. I chatted with my boyfriend about it and he seemed to agree that my job was being unfair to my night job by giving me such a time crunch, but that’s how large companies works sometimes. He jokingly threw out the idea of me quitting and working full time at the ski resort. Little did he know, that joke stuck in my brain like the sword in the stone.

“You say you hate your job, but you’ll never leave, never leave
But that ain’t gonna be me, that ain’t gonna be me”

The next day,Saturday, I went up to the mountain for my shift. I filled in my supervisor up there about everything going on. She was so understanding and made every attempt to make me feel okay, but there was no changing my emotions about it at that point. She too pointed out that I could work full time up there and she would pull extra hours for me. She added that full time employees get a few more added benefits than the part time employees. It fueled my fire. That night, I emailed my resignation to the office job that unintentionally made me miserable.

I have yet to have a single regret.

It is amazing what can happen when you trade practical for happy. I cherished every day that I got to have ski slopes as my office view. I valued every snowflake I got to see fall, every child that got the opportunity to learn a lifetime sport, and all the coworkers that became family.

“I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation”

After this experience, I made a vow to myself. I will never let money define my happiness. I want to do something that I am passionate about every single day. I want everyday (okay, to be practical- MOST DAYS) to feel like a vacation, so I don’t feel like I need a break from my life, just new adventures.

I would like to thank each and every person that has made it to the end of my rambling and encourage all of you to take a step back, look deep within, and make sure you are living your best life.

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