What Is Your Calling?

What am I meant to do for a career? What path am I supposed to take? Is it weird that I have no clue?

So many people have these questions! I’m sure at one point in everyone’s life they had to question if they are doing what they were meant to do. In fact I was struggling with this myself for several years SEVERAL. I had so many interests but none of them were “of the norm” or what people thought could give you an income at that time.

In high school it seemed like everyone was applying for colleges and they seemed to have an idea of what they wanted. One thing is for sure, I was not one for following in someone else’s footsteps. To be honest.. I tried and let’s just say me and learning the inside of the human body don’t mix. For years I did random jobs that honestly wasn’t fulfilling this need I have to create things. So how did I get from there to here?

My husband and I were talking one day about how when you’re little you tend to gravitate towards certain things. Sometimes before you can even do anything else. There’s something programmed in us that make us who we are and what we were meant to do.

1. Writing – when I was much younger and I learned how to write, I used to carry around big notebooks and sit and write and write and write until my fingers had blisters on them. I would fill up the pages and buy a new notebook to write in. Unfortunately I don’t have those notebooks anymore.. but I wish I knew what I wrote in them.

2. Art specifically drawing & painting – I remember my sister being super into art too. We used to watch Bob Ross together and paint.

3. Photography- I remember taking photos and editing them to make them look super cool. I wasn’t sure what I liked more taking the photos, being in them, or editing them. Now sometimes I do all three!

4. Fashion Designer – I specially remember sketching clothing ideas and I remember drawing a coat and asking a family member if they would wear this.

So I’m not a Fashion Designer… yet.

All of these things are a part of me and I realized that I’m doing all of them now (#1-3)!

So if you’re feeling stuck.. unsure of what is going to happen next. Maybe all it takes is remembering what your passions are. Do you like helping people? There’s jobs for that! Dancer? Singer? Artist?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make money from doing these things because that is not true. As long as you are persistent and you have a clear vision of what you want. You can make it happen!

I know I haven’t posted..

To be honest..

There’s a lot of stupid reasons why I haven’t been writing.

#1 Reason being I’m a so called “influencer” and people always tell you, you should only be writing or doing something that holds value or no one will pay attention to it. – this is extremely sad but also partly true. These days if you aren’t talking about something beneficial to the person they most likely won’t care about it.

This honestly sucks for people like me. Creators like me.. artists.. writers.. story tellers. Everything is becoming so saturated that you have to be extremely unique or at least know the right people in order to even get noticed long enough. When people heard that you could start making money on Instagram everyone gravitated towards it. Who doesn’t want to work from home and get free things right? It’s that kind of mindset that ruined our reputation.

Now it doesn’t matter if you’re creative or not. Now it doesn’t matter if you spend hours putting together a photo shoot. I see tons of people that literally just take a selfie with a product now. What creative thought process went behind that?? You did it just so you can get something for free?? Because that’s not what the rest of us are out here doing. We stand for something. For an artistic outlet, cruelty free products, sustainable fashion instead of fast fashion.

There’s a reason for what we do and I feel like a lot of people don’t understand that. Now it’s hard to see the difference between someone who truly stands for something or who stands for nothing (thank you algorithm). So I’ve been frustrated about this in case you can’t tell and I know I’m not the only one.

After writing that I realized something..

the only way to try and make a difference is if I don’t stop. Sooner or later people will see the difference between the two… right?

#2 writing has always been a passion of mine. Writing.. drawing.. painting..photography.. editing.. all things that make me, me. I don’t have “hot new tips to get insta famous” or “hottest celebrity style you need to copy right now”

I’m not the “it” girl.. the “how to girl”.. unless if it’s how to style your new  Fall boots then I got you girl!

I used to consider my blog my own diary of things that I love, thoughts I had.. places I’ve been.. and if people wanted to know more about what I was liking or writing about then great! If not then who cares? Like I said before.. writing is a part of who I am.

I got into this.. what’s the point attitude. Then I thought that was stupid. If it’s something I love then why not do it anyways? Maybe only one person will read this blog post but that’s fine.. (hi mom!) at least I can say I’m doing what I love and love what I do and that’s something not a lot of people can say.

So I’m back. writing about life and stuff.

Gain your Imagination Back

When you were a kid did you ever jump on the furniture to keep from falling in lava? Did you stare at the clouds and imagine what shape they would turn into? When we were kids, imagination was second nature to us. Creativity was unlimited, I remember making up songs and drawing photos of whatever came to my mind. Unfortunately as you get older, its easy to lose that inner kid.. that special spark of imagination. These days having imagination is still important but not as easy to obtain. Fictional writers need stories, photographers need creative vision, artists need imagination to fill their heads with ideas.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was to play video games. I was an avid gamer. That is one thing that hasn’t changed about me. I still LOVE to play games! Especially ones that are cartoon related like the Disneyland one I’ve been playing recently, and here is why..

  1. There are a lot of things in this world that are stressful, I like to handle stress in a healthy way and playing games is a great way to unwind!
  2. Along with stress… sometimes you just need to get away for a while but you don’t have to money for a vacay right now, this is a way for you to be in a different world and trust me, you wont be thinking about what happened at work while playing games! I know I don’t.
  3. IT GIVES ME INSPIRATION – as a blogger and content creator, this is such a big one for me! Will these games give me photo ideas directly? ehh im not sure, but what it does do is prepare my mind to think creatively and get my imagination going. I always feel super pumped about work after spending a little bit playing games!

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In case you want to check out what system I use I will link it below! The Xbox One S is All Digital, meaning you don’t have any discs to mess around with or loose or scratch up. It is all right there in that system for you which is one of the reasons why I love this system!

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Here is the link for the Xbox One S All Digital

I hope you enjoy it and gain some imagination!

*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Xbox and the InfluenceHer Collective.All words and opinions are my own*

Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover

Today I got an email asking if influencers should work with non profits then explain why or why not. This got me thinking a lot about what an influencer really is. A few days ago someone wrote an article about influencers and how they are ruining certain things… including poppies… in a field…. in Cali. That article said nothing but rude and terrible things about influencers. I’m guessing they at one point had an issue with one and decided to group all influencers into one category saying that all influencers are bad.

Both of these things inspired me to write this. 

What is an influencer? What is their purpose? Honestly I’m not sure what people think. But here is what I KNOW

Influencers want to inspire people! Some inspire you to mixup your wardrobe and try something new. Some take photos in the most beautiful locations – not to make you jealous or not make you wish you were there but to inspire you to get off of that couch and go explore this beautiful world. Some create captivating content that makes you daydream. Some want to make a difference in this world to make it better for all of us. No matter what the reason.. everyone’s main goal is to inspire you in some way.

So should influencers work with non-profits? YES! definitly! As long as it is something they are genuinely interested in. Think about all the GOOD that could come of this! Being an “influencer” myself, I have wanted to use my profile to do something amazing and life changing. Rather that is helping people come to Christ, inspire you to chase after your dreams, or maybe just encouraging you to be a better person. Some might say that is a big goal and too much to ask but I don’t think so. Yes this platform is great for outfit inspo or photography inspo which is what a lot of my photos are about, but along with that can be captions that change someones life. Influencers are more than people showing you outfits, they are more than the ads that they do ( we do ads to make money to keep posting the beautiful content you all love! ), they are more than pretty people in pretty locations.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion, if you still don’t like influencers after reading this then I’m not sure what to tell you. Influencers have the chance to make a change for the better. They have a chance to give people hope and optimism. They need to use this as a tool to make our world better. I know I will. – New life update – Currently searching for awesome non-profits that want to work with me to make a change for the better.

Also…in case you haven’t heard.. you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

 

xoxo Leah

10 Tips for Deployment or Long Distance

When my husband and I first met and after a few dates.. he told me he was going into the Navy. I remember being completely terrified by that, if we were to continue being together, I would have to learn to be alone for long periods of time. Our relationship was so new and he was getting ready to leave for boot camp. I wont go into details because that is an even longer story, so to keep things simple and short.. I wasn’t prepared for that life at the time and I was still so young.

As time went on I thought about him often and wondered where in the world he was. As crazy as it sounds I knew he was the one I was meant to be with all along. I just wasn’t ready and to be honest neither was he. When the stars aligned and we finally were able to be together, we had to spend some time apart. He got stationed in California and I was in Indiana. When we got engaged a few days later he had to leave for special training. I have been very fortunate to have him home for a long while now and hopefully for even longer. I wish I could tell you it gets easier but from my own experience and from experience from spouses that have been through this many times, it doesn’t. I think the only thing that changes is that you have been through this before so you know the motions. You know how to be alone and how to handle things alone.. but as far as the feeling you get when they are gone, that doesn’t get easier.

So what can you do to make things a little better? Here are some tips I discovered that helped.

  1. Go to the store. Pick out a super pretty journal. Write down all of your feelings every day (sometimes I wrote in the style of a letter to him). – I did this and although it might seem depressing, it actually helped me the most! Sometimes it might feel like no one around you knows what you’re going through. Especially if you don’t have any friends that are also military spouses (or friends handling long distance relationships) To be honest most of the time I wrote in my journal I cried but crying is a good thing. It’s important to not hold your feelings in. When I was with him finally, I took the journal and shredded it. Completely ripped it apart. It felt good to do it but some days I wish I would have held onto it.
  2. Write actual letters to each other! – There was nothing more exciting than getting a letter from him. Unless if it was a phone call of course… or a skype call.. but letters are the best.
  3. Meditate – not only will this help you clear your head but it will relax you soooo much. I use the Calm app and there are so many different sessions to choose from… anxiety, emotions, even if you can’t sleep they have sleep stories designed to help you get some good rest!
  4. Do things “together” – if you are both into books then read the same book, if you are both into movies or a tv show then watch the same one. You can even do these while on the phone or during a skype call.
  5. Have your own adventures – I know doing fun things without your significant other isn’t the easiest but it does help make the time go by faster than sitting at home.
  6. Take up a new hobby – This is the perfect time to find something new that you would love to do! Maybe your artsy so you want to start drawing (I did that a lot) or maybe you want to start a book club, maybe you want to be a blogger? Those things are fun and also time consuming.
  7. Come up with a list of things you want to do together for when you are finally together again! – this would be a buildable list that you come up with through the whole time you are apart. As fun things arise, write them down so you can enjoy it together!
  8. Connect with others going through the same thing – this helps on so many different levels. Not only do they get how you feel but you can help each other get through it together (now lets not be weird and don’t go seeking attention from the opposite sex, that is how bad things happen, hopefully everyone is smart enough to know that).
  9. Get into shape – Working out is a GREAT way to deal with stress or just to stay busy! Plus I’m sure your significant other would be happy to see you looking healthy too! Get a gym membership or use the one on base. Some gyms offer classes like spin class that might be more up your alley if you aren’t comfortable with the machines (not sure if on base gyms have anything like that but I know for sure off base gyms do).
  10. Volunteer! – Helping others is such a great feeling! If you love animals, see if any shelters need help, or your church, maybe even babysit if you enjoy kids, or a dog walker! They are so many opportunities to volunteer and you get to make new friends in the process.

I hope this helps you! I know it can feel like you are so alone but I promise you, you aren’t!

Real Talk: Skin Cancer? Gene Mutation?

I’m not writing this so people can feel sorry for me and I’m not writing this to get attention. I’m writing this because I want people to know that we are human and things happen to us on a daily. I feel that as an “influencer” or “blogger” that I need to share things like this in case you are going through it too. I want people to know that bloggers on instagram aren’t perfect. We don’t have perfect lives. I’m hoping though that by writing this, at least one person will be changed..encouraged..inspired..humbled. I don’t want any one of you to think my life is perfect or that I’m perfect, I promise you that I’m not.

About a year and a half ago, someone in my family was diagnosed with skin cancer. since my family’s skin is so pale, being in eat sun for long periods at a time without protection can be very dangerous. I know so many of you love tan skin. I’m not saying that you can’t love that. All skin colors are absolutely beautiful! But that’s just itALL of them are. When I was young and people were starting to date, some guys didn’t like me because of my pale skin. which made me feel like I had to tan and I had to be like other girls. First of all… I shouldn’t have cared what guys liked at that age anyways but everyone else was dating so blah blah… I know I’m side tracked but man I hope I have a girl some day so I can teach her that she doesn’t need a guy to feel good about herself. Ok back to my story. So of course I went to the tanning bed and I went a lot because it would fade so fast since I’m naturally pale. As I got older I started to not care and started loving my skin color the way it wasbut unfortunately it was too late for that. Once my family member got checked for cancer then I did too because of my history with tanning beds. This past summer I found out that I had skin cancer. Obviously a whirlwind of emotions but I’m bringing this up now to hopefully help others. You do not need to be like everyone else. You do not need tan skin to be pretty. You do not need to change your body because some  loser likes you better that way. It is not worth it I promise you.

This part is a little more personal but I’m going to share it anyways. When I was a kid I found out that I had a gene mutation that makes it easier for me to get blood clots. At the time I was told because of this there’s a chance that I won’t be able to have kids. Thank goodness as time went on this gene mutation became more well-known and now with the help of science and God there’s a very good chance that I can have children. The reason why I’m bringing this up is because when I found out about my skin cancer, I found out that I had another gene mutation. This mutation can cause my freckles to be cancerous at any point in time for no reason. So I will be best friends with my dermatologist!

Well now that you know my medical history… totally kidding….maybe. I just don’t want to be one of those people who are “ashamed” of something like this happening to them. I want to be an open book and share this with you guys that its ok to be real with people. I stopped thinking about people “trying to be up in my business” and just started telling people things because if I could help at least one of you then I did my job. Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor and don’t be afraid to tell people what is going on in your life. It could save someone else life! if any of you still go to the tanning bed please at least get a dermatologist so they can make sure you are healthy. my freckles looked like normal freckles. It doesn’t have to look super crazy for it to be cancer and I’m not trying to scare anyone but this is a serious thing that people do die from. Which means we do need to take this seriously and we do need to take care of our bodies. Use that sunscreen people!

I’ve been told that I look like Bella from twilight so I’m just going to stick it out and be a pale little vamp. on a side note, in case you forgot… God made YOU. He made you and he doesn’t make mistakes. You are beautiful! 

 

xoxo Leah

This One Is For The Dreamers + Pep Talk

A while back I remember just going through the motions at work and through my week just so I can get to the weekend. Basically I was only living for the weekend, which is only two days out of the week for most people. TWO DAYS. You guys, this is crazy. I feel like this is something a lot of people go through but instead of coming up with a solution, people just complain about it. I know this is true because I have done the exact same thing!

I know a lot of you enjoy your job and if you do then that’s GREAT! That is so incredibly awesome that you got into the right career and just love every minute of your job. I hope that there are a lot of people out there like this! Unfortunately I know there’s a lot of people who don’t like their job. I think it’s important to sit back and wonder why. Maybe your job is mediocre and you are just numb to it now. I am here to tell you right now that life is wayyyyyy to short to be doing something you don’t LOVE! People say “well it pays the bills”… and although that may be true.. but what kind of life is that? Is that a fulfilling life? I agree that you have to start somewhere, I worked in retail for a long time but then I questioned what I was doing and why I was doing it. This is why I started Blogging and being a content creator instead. Was the transition easy? Definitely not. But will it be worth it in the end? Absolutely! I have had people ask.. “How do you have so many followers? Where do you get the time to make content?” I’m telling you guys right now that if you feel like you just don’t have time for your dreams then it isn’t going to happen for you. You have to MAKE time! If it is that important to you then you will come up with the time to make it happen.

Lets think about it.. if you love your job then you most likely won’t get into that work slump that others get into. If you don’t love your job right now but you are working towards your dream then there’s a chance you probably won’t feel that slump as much, because you are going after your dream.

The most important thing that can help you is your MINDSET. Mindset is so extremely important and I didn’t even realize this until another successful blogger said it to me. After I changed my mindset then things just started to fall into place. So – 1. Getting into the right mindset can change your whole outlook on things. Without this, it might be more difficult to succeed. Your mind is so extremely powerful!

2. Believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself then who will? You need to believe in your dreams in order to make them a reality. None of this..”well someday..maybe.. when I have time.” -this is not going to get you anywhere. When I recently visited my home town someone I knew mentioned that they watch my husband and I on social media and see that we have traveled out of the country. So I said well you know life is just too short. Then they said yeah I will probably just be stuck in this town forever. GUYS this is not ok! Unless if you are completely content with being there then yes that is ok, but if you have big dreams and you want to travel and see the world then you cannot be telling yourself these things.

3.Patience. Your dream might not happen right away and that is OK! Things like this can take time especially if you are trying to do it on your own! Please do not give up if you aren’t seeing results right away. Great things take time and what is a better feeling than knowing you took the time to make your dream a reality all on your own? I keep getting emails from modeling agencies saying they want to sign with me if I pay a certain amount for them to manage me. I turned them down, do you know why? Sure if I took their offer I could be modeling and going to fashion shows but If I am patient then I can accomplish this over time, when I feel like im ready. Plus I’m being smart and saving money. That money I’m saving can be put towards traveling.

4. When in doubt, seek other successful people for help. It is more than ok to ask for help. Some people might not answer you and help you which will force you to figure it out on your own or some people will help you and set you up with the tools you need. Personally, I like finding things out on my own. Your dream doesn’t come with an instruction manual which might seem freaky but honestly its the opposite! This is the learning curve, this is how you learn about the business you are getting into.

There is nothing I love more than encouraging others to go after their dreams! If you have any questions or comments let me know!

“The harder you work for something, the greater it will feel when you achieve it.” -unknown

We’re Moving!!

Moving is extremely bittersweet… 

and to skip the mushy stuff please refer to paragraph 4

That is probably the best way to describe this situation. Being a military family moving is inevitable, at least in most cases. We had a feeling the Navy was going to send us somewhere new, it took SO MANY MONTHS to find out where. During those months I did my best to keep busy with other things and try not to think about it too much since we weren’t sure when they were going to tell us where we were going.

My husband Chris came home one day and said he wanted to tell me the news in person. Once he told me we were moving to Washington state, I have to be honest, I had so many emotions running through me. At first I was upset, California has always felt like home. Leaving here just seemed unreal and I couldn’t picture us being anywhere else. This was our first home together, this is where we got engaged, this is where we learned more about each other. We have shared so many amazing memories here….but instead of saying bye to it, were saying see you later. I know for a fact that we will be back, maybe not in the area we are in now but I have a feeling that California will always truly feel like home. As I was feeling sad about leaving, I also was imagining our new adventures. I was thinking about seeing the most beautiful green trees, seeing wildlife while out camping/hiking, and the joys of creating a new home. I also had a lot of questions… how are we getting up there? Do we move everything or does the military help? When do we leave?….how much time do we have left here..?

We found out we were moving when we got back from our trip to Europe this past summer. Now it’s January and I still have all of those feelings. However, I am excited for the future. I might be attached to this place but im attached to my husband and best friend even more.. he is my home. Where he goes I go. California wouldn’t be home without him.

*Paragraph 4 – Moving on… so if you skipped down to this part were moving to Washington state, where its super green, sleepless in Seattle, the only natural rainforest in the United States…twilight. Yeah that Washington. Did you guys know that the military packs things for you?? Do you even know what that does to my ocd? Trying to go with the flow while also standing to the side saying …maybe you should put that picture in that box instead… Also going to try to make sure my big awesome mirror I have DOESN’T BREAK, if anyone moving my things is reading this.. probably not but that’s fine. Apparently we do a “Pre-Pack” or “Trial-Pack” or what I like to call it..”the house is going to be a mess for a few weeks pack” to see which of our things are going where.. with us in the Jeep or with them.

At least we are going to make an adventure out of this. We get to drive all the way up the entire West Coast! Which means we are going to do a lot of sight-seeing so if you don’t have me on instagram you probably should @leahmmiles . Going to start planning our trip a little later today. I will be sure to record any awesome food places or places to see along the way and make a blog post about our trip once its done! We are also completely redecorating our new place so a blog post of home decor will most likely be happening soon!

If you have any questions about the moving process or any military spouse tips or if you’re a military spouse who has moved before let me know! I am still constantly learning new things about all of this!

Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!

 

 

Electric Toothbrush Review

Got a new electric toothbrush today…it cleans well and that’s the tooth!

hahaha ok now that I got the joke out of the way…

To be honest, and If my husband is reading this, he will agree.. I hate going to the dentist. The smells, the noises, the toothbrush and poking… it’s all just uncomfortable. Which reminds me I need to schedule a dentist appointment. So when I was asked to do a review on an electric toothbrush, I had to think about it. I haven’t used one before and like I said before I don’t like the tools the dentist use, so why would I want to use one? I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and try it, hoping maybe if I use it then I will get use to the dentist.

The electric toothbrush I was sent is by Smile Brilliant called cariPRO Ultrasonic. The first thing I noticed about this were all the different settings! I was so worried that since my teeth are very sensitive that the vibrations would be way too harsh. There is a “sensitive” setting on the brush and that one is my favorite! I can’t rave about this enough, the brush itself is great for all types.

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The first time I used the brush, I noticed that the vibration paused. I thought it was a glitch or maybe I put the head on wrong (the heads are replaceable! Yay!). For a few days I couldn’t figure out what it was.. until I started reading more about it and realized that when it pauses, it’s telling you to move on to a different section. I have never been good at reading instructions when it comes to new goodies. I just get excited about it and completely forget to read the manual, with that being said.. please remind me not to buy anything from Ikea. I love the fact that this tells you when to switch to a new area, not only do I forget but this feature makes it great for kids too!

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After using this for over a week now, I noticed that overall my mouth feels cleaner. My teeth haven’t felt sensitive using it, I find myself brushing my teeth longer than I did because of the pausing of the brush. With all of that being said, this brush is a win in my book! I will link the product down below if you would like to try it out yourself, did I mention this could be a good gift too? If you have any questions about the brush feel free to ask.

Use code: michelle20 for 20% off!

Enter HERE for a chance to win this toothbrush!

Smile Brilliant Website

Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush Heads

*I was gifted this product however, all thoughts are my own*