let’s have a quick chat about motivation. I’m in grad school. I get it, girl, trust me. I am on the motivation struggle bus too! I’m super busy. I have deadlines to meet, clinic sessions to prepare for, group projects to work on; all while trying to be semi-healthy, grow friendships, thrive in community, get more than 4 hours of sleep, work, spend time with family, have a social life, blog, attempt to exercise, paint, read, and just live life well. Often times I find myself running out of steam or loosing site of the purpose of why I am doing the things I am doing. Sometimes I just can’t, okay. Reality is this: We won’t always have high motivation to accomplish our goals, but we can always push ourselves just a little extra to help spark ambition when we lack the drive.

whether it’s school, work, your health, or just your general desire to do better, here are my TOP 5 TIPS FOR MOTIVATION and LIFE GOAL CONQUERING:

  1. BE UNCOMFORTABLE: I already see you rolling your eyes; don’t hate me yet.Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to think differently, therefore causing you to act differently. You need to be challenged to stay motivated. So go take that spin class or challenge yourself to a week of cold showers. I’m going to link this youtube video. (this channel is all about challenging your mind and body to be better and do better)
  2. SET GOALS and TRACK YOUR PROGRESS: Know what you want, make a plan to execute it, and then track your progress. This will keep you accountable, and can help motivate you if you need to put more work in to accomplish your goals.
  3. SMALL STEPS INSTEAD OF BIG ONES: If you’re prone toward procrastination like me, it might be a good idea to break your big goals into small benchmarks. This keeps you from being so overwhelmed by huge goals, and it helps facilitate better motivation. You’ll find over time that small steps will lead to big changes.
  4. KEEP DISTRACTIONS AT BAY: We’ve all been there. You get home, you’re tired, you sit on your couch and pick up your phone. Scroll, Scroll, Scroll. You look at the time to suddenly discover an hour has gone by. One tip that really works for me is setting parameters about how long and what time of the day I will engage with social media. This helps me keep comparison from stealing my joy, and it helps with my time management skills so that I can work on the things that really matter.
  5. BE KIND IN THE MESS UPS: You made all this progress, had a great week, and then bam you take your eyes off the prize. Maybe you didn’t go to the gym today or had time to work but chose not to. It’s okay, there is always tomorrow. Speaking positively about yourself and showing yourself grace is so important—-and leads to long term success.

Okay, sis, that’s all the tips I have (for now). Now, GO SLAY YOUR GOALS. #yougotthisgirl

lately list/life update

hello beautiful humans! how are y’all? here is a little life update for ya: so yes, still in grad school, still stressed. finding community at church, which is awesome. currently over caffeinated. made a bookstagram: @riahreads go follow if you’re into reading romcoms like me. learning navigate certain relationships in my life have been a little tough, but that’s okay because we’re over here tryin’ to learn how to love people well, even when it’s hard. very hard. I recently discovered the whole Enneagram thing. I’m a type 2 wing 3. (it’s cool i guess??) wishing y’all a happy Mardi Gras, and here’s hoping you ate a lot of king cake while the gettin’ was good.

^^^me resorting to posting a pic that was taken months ago because I haven’t made time to take any pics :((((((


  • making: time for family and Nals.
  • cooking: more like baking. lotsss of brownies.
  • drinking: too much coffee (is that a thing?)
  • reading: lots of romance. because feb was the month of l-o-v-e.  
  • wanting: a break (thankful for ya mardi gras)
  • looking: at the sky, like hey when are we going to get sunshine again? (spoiler—we got some today!!)
  • playing: Sucker by the Jo Bros. they are backkkkkk
  • wasting: time by scrolling too much on the insta. [guilty]
  • sewing: haha, um…i’m not qualified enough for this one. (same as last time–no improvement)
  • wishing: warmmm weather. the beach!!
  • enjoying: my tuesday night lifegroup. tuesdays always are a struggle, but lifegroup makes it all better.
  • waiting: for another break. i know, i know I’m trying to enjoy school 😉
  • liking: cinnamon in my coffee
  • wondering: why this semester has literally been the craziest (from bats to really hard tests)
  • loving: the book of Ezra.
  • hoping: for fresh blooming flowers without the allergies that come along with them.
  • marveling: at how awesome my parents are. they seriously rock.
  • needing: to have patience with others, even if i don’t understand their actions.
  • smelling: my doterra balance essential oil
  • wearing: scrubs and slp sweatshirt
  • following: all the authors. go check out r.s. grey she’s my fav.
  • noticing: that the Lord is faithful. all the time.  
  • knowing: that it may feel like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You. (go listen to this song).
  • thinking: i have a lot on my to do list.
  • feeling: thankful and very loved.  
  • bookmarking: coffee makers on amazon.
  • opening: my new kindle. it’s suppaa fancy.
  • giggling: at all the bachelor memes while still silently in shockkkk. #fencejump 

hope you enjoyed the list. i first saw the idea from sydney, here.

In way of pictures all I have to offer you is pics of Nals. She’s way cuter than me any way.


-this quote from jess connolly on prayer: “talking to God is better than talking to your sister, watching Netflix, drinking coffee, exercising, chocolate, sex, reading fiction, searching on Pinterest, or doing your makeup.”

this super cute floral heart wreath for valentine’s day that i found at the target (pronounced TAR-jay if you’re southern and extra like me)

-sweet talks with friends about life & struggles & Jesus

-anything remotely Mexican, but particularly food

-warm tea in a sweet mug

-Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook

-tiny NYC coffee shops

-the SHE podcast by Jordan Lee Dooley. go here to listen.

-encouragement and wisdom from others sisters

-the book Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (sooo good, I’m such a sucker for a good romance novel)

-my new cozy socks with little pink hearts on them

-Psalm 27:14

hello 2019//lately list

hey there friends…wow can you believe January is almost already over?? i’m shook 😉

i’ve been thinking & praying & searching for my word for 2019. i think i found it. brave.

i recently heard these two verses that, wooowww, just really spoke to me:

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13

He has a plan for us, y’all. He is with us. He loves us. He is good to us.


  • making: smoothies. handwritten notes. little doodles on my notes.
  • cooking: semi-healthy food. #newyearsamestruggles #trying
  • drinking: water. lotsss of water.
  • reading: so much. most notable: Love Does by Bob Goff
  • wanting: more time for slow and intentional mornings
  • looking: at bookstagrams. i kind of love them, that i even made my own.
  • playing: my Español worship playlist on spotify. always on repeat.
  • wasting: paper. i need to do better.
  • sewing: haha, um…i’m not qualified enough for this one.
  • wishing: for fresh blooming wildflowers
  • enjoying: intentional and encouraging conversations about Jesus with friends
  • waiting: for grad school to be over. haha tryingggg (barely) to enjoy it.
  • liking: my morning gym time (gasp, i know–who am i?) and 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie Downs
  • wondering: why God made sunsets so beautiful
  • loving: Nala behaving better and more family time
  • hoping: that I’m honoring Jesus with my actions.
  • marveling: at how beautiful the little things are, like the sunrise on my way to work/school
  • needing: to learn Spanish ASAP
  • smelling: lavender essential oil and fresh lemons
  • wearing: alllll the cozy sweaters
  • following: new baking recipes
  • noticing: that my feet are always cold.
  • knowing: that the Lord is good.
  • thinking: about resting tomorrow. yay for a holiday.
  • feeling: grateful. at peace.
  • bookmarking: healthy soup recipes.
  • opening: a new toothbrush. it has a unicorn on the handle 🙂
  • giggling: at all the chick-fil-a memes and trey kennedy vids

hope you enjoyed the list. i first saw the idea from sydney, here.

also, UPDATE.

I went to NYC & back to Mèrida, MX this winter break. they were both magical experiences. i’m grateful the Lord let me go. here are just a few of my favorite pics from the trips:

one last thing, i ended 2018 on a really great note. my goal for the year was to be more intentional. i think this was definitely a challenge, but mannn the Lord used it to grow so many of my relationships with others. so with that being said here is a picture of my life group:

if you aren’t already in community, i encourage to get involved. it’s so important to have a group of believers to share with and do life (literally) with. i wouldn’t be a part of this group if i didn’t listen to God, take a step out of my comfort zone, and be intentional about seeking community. it’s life changing y’all. no joke.

praying 2019 is full of blessings and joy for ya.


tis’ the season// gift guide

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME Y’ALL. cue hours of hallmark movies, hot cocoa, christmas lights, snuggly sweaters, carols, the grinch on repeat, and lots of love.

I’m challenging myself to blog once a week in December (my own version of blogmas haha). I thought it’d be fun to show you all my little Christmas decorations around my cozy apartment, and share a fun gift guide (for both guys + girls).

But, first a little life update: my first semester of grad school comes to an end tomorrow after I take my last final and comprehensive exam. hallelujah! I have a nice long break for the month of December and the first of January. on my travel agenda are: NYC and Mèrida. 

alright, time to get into the holly jolly of it all 😉 



Slide View: 1: 52 Lists for Happiness Journal

for the friend trying to be more intentional in the new year this journal is perfect for her// picture & link here


this scratch off world map is perfect for your world traveling friend// picture and link here

3.  THE GIFT FOR ANYONE (literally)

image 0

give a customized gift box that has little bit of everything to make anyone happy// picture and link here 


Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock Red/Charcoal, One Size

enos are perfect for those who like to do a little exploring or just chill outside (this is one of my brother’s favorite things!)// picture and link here


Knock Knock Personal Library Kit (15000)

this personal library kit will be perfect for the bookworm in your life. i love the nostalgia.// picture and link here


PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer

this i-phone sanitizer is the perfect gift for the friend wary of germs// picture and link here


perfect for the wine lovers in your life. this cool gadget cools and aerates your wine while also being being a stopper and pourer.// link here 

8. FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER (or wannabe) 

Slide View: 1: Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 Viewfinder Instant Camera

polaroid originals for your friend who loves pictures// picture and link here


Bathtub Tray oobest Bamboo Bathtub Caddy Tray with Extending Sides Adjustable book holder with Premium Luxury Tray Organizer for Phone and Wineglass (Natural Bamboo Color)

part of taking care of oneself is making sure to relax, and this bathtub tray is the perfect addition for the most passionate self-care enthusiast// picture and link here 


this coffee carafe is perfect for your friend who “just can’t” without their morning coffee// picture and link here 

hope you got some inspo for gifting this year. see ya next week for my next post!



it’s okay

hi there friends! like wowwww it’s been a while since I’ve wrote a post. sorry about that, i blame grad school ;).

this has been something the Lord has placed on my heart lately, and it’s also filtered throughout majority of conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks:

it’s okay, to not be okay.

so often we feel like we have to project to those around us that we have it all together. like we have to pretty up our struggles with fake smiles and muttered, “i’m fine’s.”

for me (and i think maybe for you too), i don’t like showcasing my weaknesses. my current weaknesses especially. sure i don’t mind sharing what Jesus has already brought me through, but talking about what I’m struggling with right now in this moment?…no thank you, i’ll pass. 

what i’ve failed to realize for so long is that allowing myself to be vulnerable with others can create an opportunity for “grace to fill the gap” ( as Steven Furtick says). it opens up a space for my brothers and sisters in Christ to share in the burdens of this world with me. we are not alone in this, friends. take heart in that.

i’m reminded of Nehemiah, chapter 1. in commentary by Charles Spurgeon, he talks about Nehemiah’s heart being with the Jewish people through the hardship and struggles they were facing, even if he himself was not at that moment intimately acquainted with them.

At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem….When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:1-4 MSG) 

its okay 2

God designed us to share our burdens with each other. We are meant to have open, vulnerable, and honest community.

let’s stop being afraid to share. let’s stop being afraid to be real. i’m tired of the stained glass charade.




hi, friends!

on Saturday I turned twenty-two (YAY!? haha). Here are 22 things life has taught me so far:

1.  be confident in who you are. if you’re a little weird, be a little weird. 

2. there’s nothing coffee and Jesus can’t fix. truth y’all.

3. your hurt isn’t an excuse to give up. 

4. momma knows best, so just call her first.

5. be kind. 

6. no one is perfect. not you, not anyone. so, stop expecting them to be.

7. go out and explore. travel. lots. see the world God created for you. 

8. love like Jesus. we don’t always get to choose who is around us, but we do have the choice to love them. 

9. if you’re wrong, just admit it and move on.

10. watch the sunset, it’s beautiful.

11. find what you’re passionate about, and then pursue it.

12. always say, “yes, ma’am,” “please,” and “thank you.”

13. when in doubt, girl, pray it out.

14. be grateful for what you have. you have no idea how many people in this world do not have clean water or food or clothing or shelter. you are blessed, don’t take it for granted. 

15. sad? nothing Chick-fil-a nugs and a little blast of Shania won’t cure. 

16. serve others. volunteer. donate. i don’t care, but find a way to do something that doesn’t revolve around you. 

17. don’t rush so much. savor the little things.

18. long walks are the best way to clear your mind. 

19. can’t decide what to watch on Netflix? Gilmore Girls is always my answer.

20. it’s okay to ask for help. you aren’t a freaking superhero.

21. quality friends are better than a quantity of them.  

22. embrace Esther 4:14. no matter what you’re going through or what stage of life you’re in, God created you to be there for a purpose. 


praying for another blessed year. i’m beyond grateful for this beautiful life.