Living Simply, Uncategorized

A Merry Minimalist Christmas

In my humble opinion, the best gifts are ones shared with loved ones and getting to experience something memorable together.

If you are trying to figure out what you should get your friends, family and significant others for Christmas, but don’t want to add more unnecessary clutter to their lives, I’ve got a few ideas for you!

Minimalism and Christmas actually can go hand-in-hand. After all, the man himself, Dr. Suess said it best,

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
What makes a gift good isn’t the store from where it was purchased, the price tag or anything like that. What really makes a good gift is the memories that can be shared this holiday season.
So, if you are looking to go the more minimalistic route this Christmas, give an experience instead of a thing. Here are a few ideas!
  • A surprise picnic.

Take inventory of your loved one’s favorite drinks and snacks and make a run to the grocery store! Pack up a basket with a blanket, food to share, a Christmas-y playlist, a fun game or two, and enjoy each other’s company!

Now, during this time of year, this idea is for those who live in warm climates. If you live where it snows, use this idea, but bring it inside! Make a pillow fort and hang some Christmas lights and you’re golden!
  • A show.
I love this type of gift! You can get dressed up and feel all classy while you indulge in the arts. Check your local theaters to see what performances or plays are coming up and snag a couple tickets for you and your friend! They could even be in the nose-bleed section, but still, nothing beats getting to experience a magical musical show or concert with a loved one during the holidays!
  • Explore a new city
This idea can be really fun if you get creative! If you know of a town or city close by that you have yet to explore (or maybe the city you’re in has a really cool vibe!) create a list of 10 questions that lead your person to different places to do different things. For example, Atlanta has super sweet places like the Georgia Aquarium and SkyView. Make cute riddles and have something special waiting for them at each stop–whether it is a photo op or an activity!
Gift-giving doesn’t have to break the bank, and it doesn’t even have to be about the bank. Make this holiday season one for the books by truly celebrating it with loved ones and sharing in the Christmas season magic together.

Some Motivation for Your Monday Night

As finals approach, the stress and anxiety of an aspired performance follow close by,

please read this message carefully and understand this:

Your grades do not define you.

You will finish taking exams.

You will graduate.

You will finish this semester, no matter how easy or difficult it may have been.

Life will go on.

Your to-do list is important, but so are you.

Remember that.


Sometimes we don’t need the frilly words or inspiring photos to get by, we just need the truth. So, if you were looking for a sign: here it is.


Friday Favs

“Can the mind change the brain?” Dr. Caroline Leaf asks the TedTalks crowd, “can a brain that’s damaged grow?”

One of the most valuable tools we can ever utilize is our brains. Yes, your noggin can be your greatest weapon.

Mental illness is running rampant in our society. Our generation is experiencing anxiety, depression, and other forms of illnesses like never before. I have fought my own battles with mental illness in the past, and although my anxiety today is not as severe as it once was, I still experience the symptoms of it pretty often.

It wasn’t until I was 20 years old that I heard THIS message by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, that I was able to take control of my thoughts that triggered my anxiety. Since hearing the message and reading her book, I have seen tremendous change in the way I handle my anxious thoughts.

I chose this topic and resolution as my Friday Fav because of how important it is and how powerful these techniques can change a person dealing with mental illness. I encourage you to read/listen to the words of Dr. Caroline Leaf if you find yourself struggling with your thoughts and feelings.


Our Engagement: the story

This past March began the greatest journey I’ve ever experienced this far in life as a young twenty-something: the engagement to my love and best friend. Life has been a whirlwind trying to balance work, school, and wedding planning. But I thought I would share my favorite story I’ve ever told on my blog today. My engagement story!

Cocoa Beach has always held a special place in our hearts. The second half of our first date was spent there walking along the shore for hours. That was the first and last time we had been to Cocoa together…that was, until March 12, 2016.

We spent all day in Cape Canaveral and after dinner, we drove over to Cocoa Beach and retraced the same path we wandered down back in January of 2015 (our first date!). It was near sunset (when everything already becomes a bit more magical) when Jordan got down on one knee, making that spot even more special to us than it already was.

March 12 will always be one of the best days we’ve ever had together, and a day we excitedly get to share with our family and friends because Jordan planned a secret photographer to capture our entire evening; we were even able to celebrate with a little impromptu engagement shoot right after saying “yes!” to forever.

A photo compilation of our engagement is coming soon! Stay tuned 🙂



Knock, knock…

Welcome to my cozy little corner of the blogging world!

First things first. My name is Tori and I am a college senior studying Public Relations/Journalism and Psychology. I am a fiancée, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend to some of the most incredible people you’ll ever meet. Here you’ll gain Internet access into the mind of a curious twenty-something (me) on the quest to live simpler, love better and kick butt in college and beyond.

The second ever decade of your existence is something to be celebrated (I think that it’s no coincidence that the 1920’s era was coined “the Roaring Twenties”). The 10 years ahead of us offer up some of the most foundational years you will ever walk upon. But with a lot of excitement also comes a lot of responsibility…and sometimes life gets confusing and weird and we need a nudge in the right direction.

Along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about being twenty during my short time here on this planet, and I am excited to share my wandering notions as I navigate my journey. From learning how to make budgeting sheets (that actually work!) to downsizing my closet to up my free time, planning a wedding (!!!) and graduating college, I have a lot to share from my experience and even more I want to learn.
I have decided that I want the world to be a better place. That starts by making my world (and yours!) a better place with encouragement, life hacks, thought-provoking conversation topics, a few dance parties, and lotta prayer. Join me as I take on life through the eyes of a twenty-something.

And in the end, it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.

― Abraham Lincoln