a daily insight.

Living in the Present

It’s one thing to have a dream, but it’s another thing to actually fulfill it. Not everyone follows through with their dreams. Life always seems to get in the way, that is for certain.

After following my own dream, I soon realized something. I began to almost envy those that have a dream but never chase it. Half of the dream is the expectation we create in our mind. We think of how it could be, how much better life would be if that dream were to come true. But have you ever followed your dream only to find yourself not as fulfilled as you had always expected to be once obtaining it?

Half of the fun of having a dream is just having it in mind. Something to work toward, something to wake up for in the morning, something that keeps you going even on your worst day. Still in our mind, having yet come to life, there are no disappointments.

Our dreams make us who we are. If you didn’t have something you were working toward, you appear pretty lazy and unmotivated, right? We must have something to tell everyone around us that shows that we are working toward success in life. But what if we stopped worrying about what everyone around us thought? Not what they think of our hair or our clothes, but of what we do and why it is we do what we do. Because there is no better feeling than doing exactly what you want to do and not having to explain why to anyone but yourself.

I quit both of my jobs, cancelled my car insurance, froze my cell phone account, packed two suitcases and left my car, home, and family behind to move to an island. It took about two weeks to realize that I did have a pretty great life that I just up and left. I suddenly felt terrible that I took my wonderful job(s), nice car, and beautiful family for granted. At least that was what it felt like. You can call it homesickness, culture shock, or a mental breakdown, but it made me rethink life pretty quickly. There I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the nicest mega yachts, and infinity pools overlooking the entire island and it all felt…wrong.

The grass certainly does always look greener on the other side.

I had always heard that it takes about two to three weeks for something to become a routine, to become a pattern. Although there has been much debate about how long it actually takes to get used to something, by the third week I found my mind in a much better place. This came after my slight meltdown, where I decided a trip back home was what I had needed. The best way to realize your love for something is to let it go. Just be mindful of how many times you let something go, because you may not always be able to get it back.

They say every road you take will always lead you back home. However true that may be, who says you can’t go home? Home is always a ticket away. I finally began to understand that you have to appreciate things in the moment, while they are directly in front of you. Unfortunately, I had already booked my flight to return home after I became comfortable with my new life. A couple hundred dollars later, I found myself back in the heart of America, surrounded by corn fields and old familiar places.

Home will always be there, but adventures will always be waiting. To live in the present, you must live slowly and savor your life. Enjoy what is right in front of you at this very moment. Stop worrying about the future and focus on the present. You could work 40+ hours a week in an office to build up your retirement fund and die before you get to use it, or you could be doing exactly what makes you happy right now and say that you lived your life to the fullest. Clichés have proven true more often than not, right?


Here Are My Must-Haves

Man oh man, am I ready to get to the island.

Moving can be such a process, but moving out of the country is another story. Obtaining a copy of my “criminal record”, my birth certificate, ss card, etc. I have certainly learned a few things along the way. Starting to feel like such an adult, it’s weird.

How does one MOVE their stuff to an island? The great part about it is the more simplified way of life. Alright, not entirely but definitely different compared to the states. Some clothes, lots of sandals, even more bathing suits, and that is about it. After stocking up on my favourite bb cream and LUSH products, I think I’m set. And who even needs a hair straightener when you have salt water to give you beachy waves every day?

I can say the second best feeling, next to booking my flight, was putting in my two weeks notice at both of my jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my jobs, very much so actually, but after three years in Finance, I am thrilled to say my goodbyes. As a bartender, I meet and talk to many people every day. We always end up talking about our careers, life, work, etc. When I tell them about my plans to move, they each say how they wish they could be that “fearless”. To just up and leave, move to the islands, create a change in their lives. This strikes me as so odd, each and every time. I think we all have different dreams and things we want, but it is always so strange hearing people say they wish they could do something when they can do whatever it is that they want. I’m just following my heart. Everyone should, it will never lead you astray.

So, for the next two weeks, I am cutting back on working so much. 14-20 hour work days are finally becoming too much. Yesterday I ate two gas station donuts for breakfast, I had left over birthday cake I found in our office’s kitchen because I didn’t have time for lunch, I got a quesadilla to go from the bar that I ate while driving home from work at 10pm, only to return to my bedroom where I plowed through all of the dirty clothes on my bedroom floor to get to my bed that hasn’t had clean sheets on it in over two weeks because there is just no time for that, and then I suddenly realized how out of control my life had become. And gross. Being a workaholic may be one of my downfalls. Maybe.

And so, commence eating as much Chipotle as I can before moving. Because there is no Chipotle where I’m going. Cue tears.

Curious what LUSH products I had to stock up on before leaving? Here are my MUST-HAVES.

Shampoo bar. After trying a few, I’ll always go back to my favourite.

Conditioner bar. Because YES they finally came out with them. And bigger the better, right?

Face cleanser. Out of them all, this one stuck.

Serum. Because a dry face isn’t cute. I always take this guy when I travel.

And if I could take every bath bomb in existence, I would. I promise you can’t go wrong with any of them. But if you need a recommendation, this is it.


Ready, Set, Go

Busy is an understatement. These past couple of weeks have been crazy, and exciting. My flight is booked and I’ll be moving July 30th! And let me tell ya, moving out of the country is no easy task. I couldn’t have just picked an island included in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it just had to be a different country. But, no complaints here.

Trying to get everything done before moving while working 70 hours a week is a challenge. Submitting my two weeks notice to both of my jobs makes it all worth it, knowing there is a finish line in sight.

As I am trying to sort through things, get rid of things I no longer need, figure out what I want to pack and bring with me, I have finally (slowly) started to use my Poshmark account. Within a day I sold my first item. Now that I realize you can successfully sell items on it and it is not a waste of time, I’ll be uploading (hopefully) a lot more SOON. You can follow my closet here.

My other absolute favourite discovery as of late is MONQ. I’ve shared a little bit about it on my snap story and I thought I’d share it on my blog as well since Snapchats are only temporary, as we all know. I’ll spare you the details and let you read all about it on MONQ’s website and elaborate on only the important stuff. Do I really love it? YES. Does it actually work? Yes! Is the design as cute in person? Yep! And better yet, I have a coupon code (karadaniels) for you to receive 10% off so you can fall in love, too. Now, click here.

And now, onto another 70-hour work week (while catching some Pokémon along the way).

I Feel Bad That I Don’t Feel Bad

When you start making choices tailored to your desires you become a little more happy. This is self explanatory.

“Go chase your dreams”, they say. Then they proceed to ask, “but why that?” Keep people happy, do things for them, be there for them 24/7 and never get to do what you want in life? Or be a little selfish and go live your dream? The choices.

Why is it when we start doing what we want to do, we get such backlash? Is it because we’re actually doing what we want to do? Because people forget they’re also allowed to do the same? Because no one else was brave enough to cut loose?

You’re moving?

Aren’t you going to miss you friends and family?

You won’t be here for family things, you want to miss all of that?

Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the things we want. We’ve all been there, done that. But it becomes increasingly difficult when people make you actually feel selfish for going after something you want. This is why it requires a little bit of fearlessness and bravery to go out and do exactly what you want to do in life. Fearlessness for trusting that everything will work out in the end. Bravery for trusting that everyone that is with you now will stick with you until the end.

I feel bad that I don’t feel bad. Possibly because the satisfying feeling of doing what you’ve always wanted replaces all other feelings. You can’t beat it.

Go out and do something you have always want to do. And don’t look back.

It Doesn’t Just Magically Happen

Someone asked me the other day what gym I work out at, to which I responded, “none”. I did the whole gym membership thing and never had time for it, at least it wasn’t as convenient as doing workouts from my home, so I got rid of it. I workout occasionally, but I’ll admit it’s not part of my daily routine.

I believe greatly in the 80/20 rule. Your weight is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise.

Can I just say how incredibility annoying and rude it is when people say, “enjoy that metabolism while it lasts” to me because I’m at a healthy weight? Here’s a fun fact, I’m a vegetarian.

I don’t eat meat. I am not feeding my body unnatural fed, hormone, antibiotic grown animals. You do not find me preaching to others that they should also not eat meat. That is not my job and I am not particularly fond of people shoving their own beliefs down others throats. But I am at a healthy weight because of how I eat and what I put into my body. It doesn’t just magically happen. You have to take care of your body.

I could easily go on and on about factory farming, but I won’t. I wouldn’t want to ruin meat products for everyone. I’m all about leaving the smallest footprint on this Earth when I leave it, and this is the way I do it.

As for the individuals that do not understand why some vegetarians still eat veggie dogs and other “fake” meat products, maybe it’s because we know what is going into the product. Plant-based proteins. No hormones. No antibiotics that put the human population at risk for chronic disease, obesity, and drug-resistant bacteria. I didn’t always hate hot wings, but I’d rather a plant-based fake meat product that doesn’t harm the Earth as much just to produce.

Everyone has a choice. Some make choices different than your own. That’s what makes them choices. Respect them.

If you’re interested in learning a little more about it all, I suggest this great, informational, easy-read.

I wanted to share my biggest health tip because I do get asked how I maintain and keep my body in good shape. So there it is.

Things I Remembered This Week

Making progress. The best two-worded sentence in existence. Yet, somehow my to-do list gets shorter and longer simultaneously.

Things I remembered this week:

  1. People are here to help you, and you are here to help them
  2. Food places will get your order wrong 8.5/10 times
  3. Make time for people, it’s important that you do
  4. Cleanliness is next to godliness
  5. You can’t get everything done all at once

Working seems to be my life lately, which doesn’t entirely bother me at the moment because it is getting me where I want to be. Missing out on a family dinner or a concert with a friend stinks, a lot, but you can’t make it to every event. Will I regret some of the things I missed due to work? Some, but it is getting me to where I want to be in life and I have to keep reminding myself of this. Not everyone will always understand your process, but as long as you have a reason for doing it and it’s a good one, keep on keeping on. Reading a tidbit of advice given in a Medium read I came across today was exactly what I needed:

“So you got a lot done this week? Good for you. But what exactly did you get done? Was it work you’ll remember next month? Was it work that’ll matter next year? Did you learn anything that’ll help you tomorrow?

High productivity doesn’t mean squat if the things you’re getting done aren’t truly important.”

In other news, my favourite makeup/body care brand came out with a new product this week. I’ll share more on my snapchat about it once I get this 20-hour work shift over with, and a little sleep. But I highly recommend checking Glossier out. And their new Haloscope. I’ve at least tried a quick swatch of it on my arm and was instantly in love.

Until next time.

Why Being a Free Spirit Hurts the People Around You

Lately I’ve been noticing how my thoughts and actions differ from most others. Of course, the older you get, the more you learn about yourself. This is true for myself as of late, especially; constantly feeling like I’m on a different page than everyone else. Sure, I like to do what every 24-year-old does, but maybe just a little less than the usual ones.

I hate feeling the pressure of having to do something. By this I mean any pressure. Making “plans” and following through has become my biggest challenge. I love being a productive person. Upon making many to-do lists and planning everything out a week in advance, I’ve started to realize that no longer  works for me, or anyone else because I end up cancelling plans. Knowing I’m living by a schedule, having to do something, makes me not want to do it that much more. So. Much. Pressure.

I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. 

Most people seem to find this difficult to accept, and I totally understand that. I feel like everyone around me is constantly going out, hanging with friends, searching for a relationship. This overwhelms me. I used to know how it was to be like that. Then something changed, apparently. I no longer feel the need to have someone else to make me happy. I am happy. I don’t find happiness relying on others any longer. I can’t say when it happened, but it did.

Everyone knows that feeling all too well. I remember a past breakup, years ago, that had me in tears for hours because I thought I needed that person. What a strange thought that is to me now. Now the most difficult part is explaining this to other people. People like to feel needed. And I can no longer give them that.

I never want to wake up and need something. I want to always be able to leave my job tomorrow, if I wanted to. I want to be able to book a ticket on the next flight to another country in a matter of hours. Anything that disables me from doing so seems unnecessary. The feeling of being restrained is suffocating.

It is hard to explain this to the important people in your life. And I have the most amazing people in my life. Relationships aren’t for me, not at the moment at least, and that’s a tough one to explain. Maybe your 20’s are your selfish years, maybe something or someone will hold me down some day, but for now  being a free spirit is who I am. People will understand your choices because they care about you, accept you, and love you. Anyone else just doesn’t need to be in your life.



Need: a foamy triple cappuccino

Energy level: running on four hours of sleep

Need: a foamy triple cappuccino

High: my dog came to visit me at work today (now, does your dog do that?)

Low: chipotle forgot my dressing with my to-go salad; mood self explanatory

And it’s Thursday. How do the days fly by so fast? With a 3-day weekend coming up, the busy part of my week begins. Tonight is all about napping, and catching up on some reading and laundry. I’m more than thrilled to get home, to say the least. Especially because some new bikinis arrived in the mail today that I’m dying to try on. Commence the countdown to vacation, and the brushing up of my French skills that are slowly improving. Fêter!

Currently have to-do lists on top of to-do lists. Although I’m not always great at completing my to-do’s in a timely manner, I’d have to say the most encouraging and surefire way of completing all of my tasks is by using Zippy. The best to-do list app, so I thought I’d be helpful and share my secret to success. I’m kidding, but it is pretty great.

Off to get  a cupcake to make up for Chipotle ruining my day by forgetting my salad dressing. It’s going to take a while to get over this one. Have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, people.


How Freeing

“If one has wealth, it does not mean that it should be thrown away and wife and children should be turned out of doors. It simply means that one must give up attachment of these things” -Gandhi

As of late, I’ve discovered how freeing it is to let go. I started getting rid of things I no longer use. Which allowed for two great feelings. I no longer had as much clutter and I felt good about giving away things I no longer need to people that may. I had many designer purses I no longer used, I mean how many purses can you use at once? Only one, that is correct. So who needs 20? Little things such as nail polish; I easily had 100+ nail polishes I never used. So, I took it all to work to give to a coworker for her daughters. I later received a beautifully drawn thank-you picture from them.

Excess IS unnecessary. Quite honestly it stresses me out. Having a lot of things means worrying about more things, cleaning more things, et cetera, et cetera. It almost starts to disgust you when the realization hits of just how much we consume on a daily basis, especially when we don’t need to.

I even began deleting apps on my phone that I do not need. Anything I can eliminate, I do. There are many ways to simplify your life. I search for new ways to simplify the things around me as much as possible. Of course, it’s easy to fall back into the patterns of over consumption. We are only human.

I’ve always been engrossed by the idea of Minimalism. It is difficult to achieve the level of Minimalism I wish to get to while living in a society such as the states. Accumulate little. Eat simple. Dress simple. It does sound easier than it actually is, but I do take pleasure in at least trying to achieve thee most simple lifestyle possible.

Let go of as much as you can, I promise you’ll feel lighter.

“You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.” -Gandhi


What Drives You

I’m the worst at trying to keep up with writing every day, if that hasn’t become apparent by now. Thinking of what to write about is the hardest part. After finishing my last book, I’ve started Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. One quote from what I’ve read so far reminded me to keep at it.

Write like crap if you have to. But write every day. Keep the streak alive.

So, here we are.

I mainly wanted a blog so I can remember things. So I can remember what I was doing that day, what I was working on at that point in my life and what I wanted at that moment. With some major life changes coming, I wanted to make sure I was writing things down, remembering, keeping track of things. Also, several people have told me I have to blog from the island once I move, so I figured I should start now.

I feel the most commonly asked question is inevitably, “What are you going to do with your life?” Quite frankly, I’m tired of answering that question. We hear it from the time we are in elementary school when they ask us what we want to  be when we grow up. Once you reach high school, you have to know what you’re going to college for, and once you graduate college it is the ONLY question you’ll hear. As I type this, I received a text asking just this question. And this is my only answer, the only answer I’ll ever give because even my grandmother still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life.

Photo May 24, 13 57 47 (1)