A Book That Will Change Your Life

Now, I have to say, this title may be a little exaggerated. However, I can assure you that the book I am referring to will change your perception on your life and on your daily decisions.

What book am I referring to…? The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley.

One of my goals for this year (2017) was to read more. By read more, I mean actually start and finish more than just one book a year. And of course when you are writing goals, you are supposed to be specific, so I said I wanted to read a total of five books. The books I chose were a balance between enjoyable novels and thought provoking “self-help” books.

I was not sure what “self-help” books I wanted to read. (To be honest I cannot stand most self-help books because they are either extremely repetitive or complete common sense). So I decided to ask my dad, who reads a new book almost ever week, for some suggestions. When he pulled The Principle of the Path from his book shelf, he immediately said, “This one, you need to read this, in fact, hurry up and read it so I can read it again.”

Since he was super insistent on me reading this book, I thought, why not? Well I am sure glad I did. Andy Stanley did an amazing job with taking a simple concept, making decisions, and digging deep to shed clarity as why our daily decisions are so important.

The Principle of the Path is all about our attention, decisions, and destinations. It is all about our decisions chose the paths we take and ultimately the destinations we end up at. Sometimes are decisions are clear and easy and other times our decisions can be muddied by our emotions. If we understand that every decision we make is a step in a certain direction, and we learn to trust God to make our paths clear, it is possible to end up at the destinations we desire.

This book has completely changed my perception on life. There are so many little decisions that I make almost everyday that I used to think of as nothing. Now I look at these moments as big steps in a direction towards or maybe even away from what I want. For instance, I want to be fit and slim. I want to work out and eat right, but every time I decide to sleep in or buy Oreos from the grocery store, I am taking steps in the wrong direction. These little decisions may seem small and insignificant, but in the end, if I want to be fit, I have to make the right decisions that will lead me to that destination.

This is just one of many examples that this principle applies to. Andy gives multiple examples from his own life, lives of those around him, and the bible. It was nice to read a book that was so relatable. I have been able to see this principle play throughout my life and how it played out in my past decisions, so now I look at all my daily decisions in a different light.

One thing that has opened my eyes through reading this book was, If God has amazing plans for my life, and he knows the right paths to take and decisions to make, why would I not drop everything and follow him? I mean think about, why would I not desire the unconditional love and abundant wisdom that God is offering me? Why would I pass up the opportunity to lead the life God has planned?

Obviously all of this is a lot easier said than done, but the hopeful thing is that we do not have to have our lives figured out. We do not have to be afraid of the unknown future because 1) we can predict our futures based on the decisions we have been making and 2) we have a God that we can depend on to lead us in the right direction if we would just lean on him.

This kinda seems like me just ranting, but in all honestly it is hard for me to put into words the effect this book has had on me. Especially in a season of my life where everything I am doing now dramatically effects my future (don don don), understanding this principle has given me some clarity on what to prioritize, the right decisions to make, and the destinations I want to end up at.

Anyways, I really encourage you to check out the book, and you never know, it really could change your life!

One Of My Summer Playlists

So first of all I feel as though I need to explain the title of this blog just a little. I say “One of,” because let’s be honest, I make playlists ALL the time. To me, there is no ‘one’ summer playlist or party playlist, there are thousands of playlists for every season of life, sad, mad, in love, indifferent, chill, tired, the list goes on and on.

This playlist I am going to share in particular, is one I have been meaning to make for awhile. I say that because recently (and by recently I mean the last couple of months) I have been obsessed with a lot of RnB and kind of jazzy alternative music. For example, Steve Lacy, Rex Orange County, Cosmo Pyke, Mike Edge, then for the more RnB Noname, Ravyn Lenae, GoldLink, Kali Uchis, SZA and Thundercat. So basically, I have listened to the same songs, and genre for awhile, and I miss my other music.

This playlist features raw beats, meaningful lyrics, a soulful kind of rap (my favorite kind). I’m talking Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, the Roots, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Domo Genesis, Anderson .Paak and a few others. These artists are some of my favorite, and I think they are definitely some of the best in the music industry. I also included a couple of new songs and new artists that I am really into right now.

So here is the list of all the songs on the playlist I so cleverly titled, “Cool” 

  1. Gold – Gold – BROCKHAMPTON
  2. Doves In the Wind (ft. Kendrick Lamar) – Ctrl – SZA
  3. Dynamite! – Things Fall Apart – The Roots
  4. The World Is Yours – Illmatic XX – Nas
  5. Canal St. (ft. Bones) – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. – A$AP Rocky
  6. Doo Wop (That Thing) – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
  7. IFHY (ft. Pharrell) – Wolf – Tyler, the Creator
  8. Lather – Body Wash – Mndsgn
  9. California Love – All Eyez On Me – 2Pac
  10. Chum – Doris – Earl Sweatshirt
  11. YAH. – DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
  12. Slow Jamz – The College Dropout – Kanye West, Twista & Jamie Foxx
  13. Get Bigger / Do U Luv – Yes Lawd! – NxWorries
  14. SMUCKERS (ft. Lil Wayne and Kanye West) – Cherry Bomb – Tyler, the Creator
  15. I get Around – Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. – 2Pac
  16. It Was a Good Day – The Predator – Ice Cube
  17. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) – Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life – Jay Z
  18. ELEMENT. – DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
  19. Still D.R.E. (ft. Snoop Dogg) – 2001 – Dr. Dre
  20. Poetic Justice (ft. Drake) – good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar
  21. Gin and Juice (ft. Dat N***a Da) – Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg
  22. Dapper (ft. Anderson .Paak) – Genesis – Domo Genesis
  23. Scared Money – Yes Lawd! – NxWorries
  24. Fire Fly – Camp – Childish Gambino
  25. Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers Ubiquity

Anyways, if you like any of these songs, or are a fan of Hip Hop/RnB, or you just want some good music to hangout and listen to, then check out this playlist!!

My Morning Routine

First of all, what is a morning routine?? Well let me tell you.. a morning routine or at least a routine is first defined by Merriam-Webster as “a regular way of doing things in a particular order,” and secondly (my favorite) it is defined as “a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way.”

Routine is something I hate. Don’t get me wrong, some routine is great to have. It allows you to have a schedule and some consistency in life, but most of the time routine is just flat out BORING. I am the kind of person that loves change because when things in my life are growing and changing, I know I am growing and changing too. Why get stuck in the same old routine when you can experience many fun cool things by switching it up every now and then??

So, what is my morning routine? Good question, I don’t have one. I mean of course every morning I wash my face at some point, eat breakfast, and do some of the same things, but it is when and how that changes every time. Some mornings I go for a run 30 minutes after I wake up, others I get in the shower first, some mornings I brush my teeth first, others I was my face, sometimes I use my Fresh soy face cleanser (which by the way is AMAZING), others I use just baby soap, some mornings I make myself an entire breakfast, others I am lucky to get a cup of coffee on the way out. Each morning is a different morning, and honestly I think it makes my life a little easier and little more fun.

I am not going to lie though, I love watching different YouTubers’ morning routine vlogs. Except lets be honest, unless you just work from home (and not even a stay at home mom has time to do all of the things these women do) there is no way to do these same “morning routines” every morning. Just for fun, here what the majority of YouTubers’ morning routines consist of

  1. Wake up
  2. Stretch for 5 minutes (think of things you are blessed for, take a moment to breathe)
  3. Spray on my essential oils to wake up and energize your skin
  4. Force yourself to drink an apple cider vinegar drink that is disgusting BUT increases your metabolism
  5. work out for 45mins, if a good day, then an hour
  6. shower (using only organic shampoos and conditioners)
  7. wash face (with 10 different cleansers and oils and moisturize with completely organic $100 moisturizer)
  8. make coffee (do a few little workouts while your coffee brews)
  9. maybe sit down read a little, blog a little, respond to some emails, one girl said “I just turn up the music and have a quick dance party to really put myself in a good mood”
  10. make breakfast, a nice organic egg white sandwich with avocado, spinach, and a whole wheat english muffin
  11. time for make up ❤
  12. then get to work!! which is typically blogging

Okay, I will admit, I sounded really bitter typing this out.. but I promise I am not. I mean, good for these people, I would love to have mornings like this all the time, but in reality I can’t which is okay.  I like my morning changing because it allows me to have a lot of flexibility and few unfulfilled expectations.

Overall I try not to be a creature of habit and that includes setting a specific morning routine that I quickly get bored of. I try to switch it up a little, give myself a break and sleep an extra 30 mins and skip breakfast, try new face products, change up my work out routine, eat something that’s not organic, or don’t make my bed up that day. But in the end it doesn’t matter if you have an extravagant morning routine or an unpredictable one, what matters is that you find the routine (if any) that fits you the best and prepares you for the day.

 

My first semester in Austin

For starters, I am from a fairly small, desertlike, and very boring town, and for the last 4 maybe 5 years I have been waiting for the day that I could finally escape. My escape was college, specifically the University of Texas because 1) it’s the best school in Texas and 2) it is “conveniently” placed in Austin.

I have visited Austin many times, and each visit I fell more and more in love with it. Upon each visit, I had a glimpse into the life of an Austinite. Since I live here now, all I want is to live like an Austinite lives. I do not want my life at UT to blind me from the amazing city I now live in.

I have now been in Austin for about 5 months, and I can confidently say that I have taken advantage of a lot of what Austin has to offer. So here is a list of some “Austiny” things I have done since I have I been here…

  1. DJ Z-Trip Show on 6th with our newly pierced noses img_0379
  2. Ramen Tatsu-Ya (btw DELICIOUS!!) ps. We have been to a ton of other places but too many to put in this blogimg_0336
  3. Zilker dates

 

4. Kanye West Concert

5. ACL Weekend 2 ft. Kendrick Lamar

6. Cool wall art appreciation ft. graffiti park

7. of course… THRIFTING ft. the amazing Blue Velvet Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

8. and last but not least, UT Football game

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There are other things I have done such as, eaten brunch (lots of brunch), watched a Hip-Hop freestyle battle, hiked Green-belt and relaxed in the creek, many art shows, weekly visit to Epoch coffee, shopped at Whole Foods (love that place), and overall roamed the city and admired its beauty.

Austin has so much to offer, and to me, it takes stepping out of your comfort zone, living freely, taking risks, adventuring, and immersing yourself into the community to truly take advantage of all the city has to offer.