Are You Busy or Productive?

Hello Happy Souls,

As the end of the semester nears, I can’t help but feel a little pressure and stress. Deadlines are approaching and time is ticking. For some, graduation is only a few weeks away. Although these times are very exciting, they can be very exhausting as well. I’ve noticed myself feeling mentally exhausted, and sometimes physically fatigued as well.

I’m learning that some of this exhaustion comes from my anxiety and thinking way too much. But, I’m also seeing that I feel overwhelmingly “busy”. I cannot seem to balance things, why is it so tough?

Well, there is a difference between being busy and being productive. There are many times when we become stressed out because we are overwhelmed with things. Some things that should not stress us out. Things that are not benefiting us or adding value to our lives. Things that are stressful and annoying to us. This is being busy. Busy is unhealthy.

Being productive means you move with intention. Each of your actions throughout the day are intentional. You are mindful of what you are doing and you are present in the moment. Plan your day but allow yourself to go with the flow. You are able accomplish big and small tasks. This is productive.

Can you think of where this relates in your own life? Ask yourself, are you busy or productive?

I know that I have been way more busy than productive lately. It has killed my creativity, slowed my motivation and spiked my anxiety. Being productive makes your day feel more accomplished and valuable.

I’ve started to attend a yoga class to help lower my stress and combat my anxious feelings. During one of the classes, the instructor said something that really resonated with me. She was talking about how so many people say they do not partake in yoga because they don’t have the time. This made me recall all the times I have said I don’t have time for things like exercise, yoga or meditation. Then, she said that after they started the practice (yoga), they found they were actually wasting a lot of their time watching Netflix or being on social media.

This made me step back from what I was doing with my life to evaluate what things that are heavy and wasting my time versus what things are adding value to my life and bringing me joy. I quickly realized that I do not have time for things that bring me stress. Of course there will always be day-to-day, unavoidable life stressors, but any extra stress must be removed.

For me, personally, stress only negatively impacts my health and mental state. It makes me very overwhelmed; therefore, I must do things that are meaningful and intentional or I become busy.

Once again, there are going to be stresses in life we cannot stop from happening, however, removing the ones we can control only creates more room for positivity. This is my point. You can choose to be busy with tasks that stress you out or you can choose to be productive with tasks that motivate you.

My Challenge for You:

If you are reading this post today, I challenge you to make a list of you daily activities. Anything from Netflix bingeing to reading a book. Then, examine what items on your list may be bringing negative stress in to your life.

  • Can you remove something?
  • Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the “time”?
  • Are you motivated to finish your current to-do list?
  • Are you making time for yourself?

These are just a few of the things I have asked myself lately. These questions have made me understand my current situation and where I need some auditing in my routine. I’ve been wanting to start yoga and meditation for over 3 years now, and now I’ve finally started. I dropped the BS and figured out what was needed in my life.

Challenge yourself to start something new, and do it for yourself. Try something that scares you! It’s okay to let go of anything that no longer suits you. Remove negative stress and add more positive stuff. Understand that this is your life and it’s yours to make. Tomorrow is not promised, so why live in the future. I am learning that living in a future mindset creates anxiety and stress. Enjoy the present moments of your life. Start making decisions for yourself and start doing the things you want.

I hope you can realize some of your own stressors after reading this post and begin thinking about where you could make changes. Thank you for reading PYM. Stay on the look out for the December newsletter coming out next week. If you want to subscribe, you can do so on the right of this page.

xo, Lyss

Fall to Winter Fashion on a Budget

Hello Pretty People,

I’ve had many people ask me where I get my clothes, and I’d like to think I follow fashion fairly well. I love keeping up with trends and incorporating some of my own. Although I love clothes, it can be expensive to keep up with every trend, especially as a college student. Not everyone has a budget that allows for shopping every season. So, I’ve decided to create little guide for the girls like me!

Now, I know we always see these types of posts on “fashion for college students” and then it shows $100 leggings and $150 rain boots that you actually cannot afford. You know exactly what I mean…

Well, this is not that fashion guide. This is for the legit college girl who cannot afford fancy clothing brands just yet. We will get there one day, but we got to get the degree first. These are the ways that I stay on top of fashion without breaking the bank.

Shop Deals:

The number one way I can afford fashionable pieces is by shopping deals and sometimes shopping out of season. For example, I found these super cute grey booties at a boutique in the Spring, they were only $20 but I knew they were perfect for Fall. Now, they are one of my staples for the Fall + Winter.

I love brands, but sometimes the best way to shop is by style not brand. Stores like Zara + H&M may not scream rich girl, but you can find all the same trends as the high fashion brands at these stores.

Jeans/pants aren’t seasonal:

There is nothing better than a new pair of jeans. But, one tip I recommend is not buying jeans every season. Sure, there will be styles you will want to purchase but jeans are timeless for the most part. A light wash, a dark wash, a ripped jean and a colored jean; that’s all you need to survive. Jeans are jeans, no one will notice if they are new or old.

Jeans are one thing I will spend more money on. High quality jeans last a long time and as I said, the don’t really change too much. Unlike a shirt, jeans cross seasonal trends well. Any unique style pants are a great way to mix it up too!

Shop Styles:

I mentioned this tip in the first point, but I am mentioning it again because it’s not always about the brand name. If you like Steve Madden shoes, check out Target for similar styles. If you like J. Crew stuff, check out Old Navy. If you are looking for modern trends like Gucci or Burberry, check out Zara or H&M. I found a quilted vest, cashmere (look alike) sweater and a black + white flannel all under $50 at Old Navy. I also snagged some Steve Madden looking sneakers from Target for only $20. They are all great quality too!

Something Borrowed:

A final tip is to borrow items from a friend or family member. This is not something I do on a daily basis, but when I am attending an event or something special, I will sometimes ask a friend for an outfit. Instead of spending $50-$100 on a new dress, I’ll shop my besties closet to see if there is something that fits the occasion. If I’m going out and feel bored with my own clothes, I will sometimes ask to borrow something too! It’s an option if you are really looking for something new but do not have the money.

I will share some of these items below, along with outfit ideas. Simply click on the brand name in the parenthesis to shop for yourself.

My Fall to Winter Outfits

Black + White Flannel (Old Navy, $15), AE Ripped Jeans (Similar AE Style, $30),

Grey Wool Hat (Similar Style, $20)

Caramel V-Neck Sweater (Old Navy, $12.50), Olive Green Quilted Vest (Old Navy, $17), Same AE Jeans, Boutique Blanket Scarf (Similar Style, $17)& TOMS Wedges (Similar, $50)

Turtle Neck (Gap, $17) & same Green Vest from above

These outfits shared above are all basically using the same pieces. I wanted to show you how it easy it can be to style just a few basic pieces. This vest allows you to mix up any outfit. I wore it with three different pieces here; paired with a turtle neck, a sweater and a flannel (not pictured). You can also layer with the flannel, although it is not shown above, I could easily layer the flannel over my sweater. I also accessorized with my blanket scarf, which is another Fall/Winter wardrobe staple. This wool grey hat has also been my go-to accessory for the season. It not only covers a bad hair day, but it also protects your hair from the wind and rain (it’s been a rainy season in Michigan). Plus it’s pretty cute!

Once again, most of these tops were under $20 and they are easy to mix and match. My jeans are from last Fall, proving my point you do not need brand new jeans. My TOM wedges are about 2 years old too! These are my favorite Fall shoe, along with my pair of grey booties I mentioned earlier.


Being fashionable does not have to be expensive. You just have to be confident in your style and realize you may not be able to afford everything you want. I always say it’s not about where you get the clothes but how you style them that matters. Whether you shop at Goodwill or Prada, if you wear it proud, no one will question you.

I proudly wear my inexpensive clothing because I’m not worried about attaching my identity to a brand. I don’t need brands to define my personality or style, and neither do you. Just wear what makes you feel most beautiful and comfortable.

I planned to make a video with this post, but with the rainy weather we’ve experienced in the mitten, I had no luck. I hope you still enjoy this post and I hope it works as a guide. These are just my fashion secrets on a budget. Shh…don’t tell anyone 😉

Thank you for reading PYM.

xo, Lyss

To the Girl with “No Friends”

Hi There Beautiful,

As we begin to grow up and our lives begin to change, we notice that people come and go from our lives. From high school to college to post-college, our friends change. People walk out of our lives for various reasons, some unknown reasons.

For the past couple of years, I have struggled with trying to find a friend group. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have many friends.

I have friends, of course. But, I feel I have never had a friend group that hangs out all the time. I have many friends but they are not one group of people. I’ll grab coffee with one, workout with the other and so on. It’s not like we all hang out at once. They come from various backgrounds.

Recently, I had two people walk out of my life for almost no reason. One girl said that I was too busy and didn’t make time for her, and the other straight up ditched me and gave no explanation. She completely ignored my texts.

Okay, I must be crazy!? Why did this just happen…

Well, as I always say, your vibe attracts your tribe. It also repels those who do not belong in your tribe. We can’t forget that it works in both ways. People are going to come and go in your life, but the real friends stick around. They don’t walk away just because you get busy.

Understand that life isn’t always about having a big friend group. It’s about surrounding yourself with genuinely good people who lift you up and support your dreams. As I said, the friends I do have come from various backgrounds. This makes my friends very dynamic. They each offer me something different. One inspires me to keep working toward my dreams because she is relentlessly working towards hers and she understands the hustle. Another is already kicking ass and she offers me so much motivation and wisdom.

Friend groups aren’t bad, but having less is sometimes more. Managing lots of friends can make you very stressed when you are hustling to make your dreams a reality and working hard everyday. When the timing is right, lots of friends will come into your life. When you need time to build yourself, your energy will weed out the ones who don’t understand that.

Just trust the process, and believe that everything happens for a reason. The people that walk away from you are not meant to be a part of your journey. We learn from those who come into our lives and we learn even more when they leave.

Understand that you don’t have to have a bunch of friends. 4 quarters are better than 100 pennies, remember that. You want to make valuable connections and you cannot do that when you are trying to nurture 100 different people.

Make an effort to be a good friend, invest in people and make meaningful connections; but don’t ever force a relationship that’s not meant to be. I’m learning to be a better friend, and I think we all are working on this. Be positive and confident, your vibes will guide you to the right people.

Thank you for reading PYM today!

Stay close to people who feel like sunlight.

xo, Lyss

 

Inspirational Quotes for After Finals

Hello Sunshine,

This one is for my fellow college students who just received their final grades for the fall semester. I am here to tell you that you are more than your grades and one exam does not define you. It’s easy to get caught up in the importance of an education, and don’t get me wrong it is important, but you have to go easy on yourself sometimes. College is not for everyone but if you have a passion for something that requires a degree, it is beneficial to you. College teaches you a lot, and even if you find yourself getting lost, it’s not the end of the world.

Sometimes there are useless classes that you must take in college, but I think the experience of college as a whole, teaches you a lot. You have to look beyond the grades and look at the actual lessons you are learning. Freshmen year of college I finished with a 3.4 GPA and took a few “dumb” general education courses. Beyond my grades though, I was thrown into being an adult. I was on collegiate cheerleading team and I lived with a stranger. I had to learn lessons beyond the classroom that I would not have learned without taking the leap to attend college. Each year I am faced with new tasks that challenge me and educated me on this game of life.

So, if you are coming out this semester not where you want to be grade wise, that’s okay. You have another semester to make up for it and everything will be okay. You have to tell yourself this sometimes, everything has worked this far. Today I thought I would share some inspirational quotes to keep your spirits high for the holiday.

Inspiration for after finals:

It’s okay: First thing I have to tell you is “it’s okay”, whatever happened last semester is in the past and now you are here. It’s okay! You can move forward now and continue to do great things. Once again, your grades do not define who you are.

You’re not alone: Next important thing is you’re not alone. Millions of college students just finished finals and they  may have also received a crappy grade, but hey they’re still pushing through. You are not alone in this world, even though it may feel like it from time to time.

It’s not what happens, it’s how you handle it: This semester might have been the worst or maybe it was the best, either way, how you handle it will impact your mood. So, if you didn’t do so hot, you’re better off just accepting the circumstances and moving forward with an optimistic attitude. Otherwise, you will just stress yourself out and next semester will not be any better if you start with a poor mindset.

You’re doing alright, champ: Well, I’m here to tell you that you are doing alright. Look at yourself, you are a beautiful human being who is attending college to further educate yourself. You probably are working on top of school or maybe you are super involved with a club on campus; either way, that is a lot of time management. Your final grades may not have been what you wanted but hey you’re human, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing great!

Some things are not important: Don’t sweat the small things. You just have to keep moving forward and keep growing into the person you want to be. Don’t let the little hiccups impact your whole journey.

Give yourself some credit, you’ve come pretty far: enough said!

Don’t look back: Lastly, don’t look back on this semester. It’s over and you have a new opportunity to accomplish something amazing. Don’t waste this new opportunity worrying about a missed opportunity. You must live for the now!

I hope these quotes were able to help you overcome that after finals stress and worry. Just know you are so smart and you are still growing. Believe in the fact that things will turn out even when it seems like they won’t. You’ve made it through every bad day so far, just keep swimming. A new year means a new semester to accomplish great things. You’ve got this! Relax over this break and prepare to crush it next semester.

Thank you for reading this post today! Make sure you stick around and check out some of my holiday inspired posts to get you in the Christmas spirit. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and safe travels too! Share this post with all your fellow college friends who may be feeling a little down after a long semester. Thanks again for reading!

Happy Thursday.

xo, Lyss