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Fresh New Life Goals for Spring

At this point, I’m as tired of apologizing for my absence from Hello Gorgeous as you probably are of hearing my “sorry’s”.  After a very transitional past two months (actually, more like past year) we are finally back home in LA and in our new home.  Here’s where the plot thickens…  We’re in a basically empty new home.  Someone had the bright idea of starting from scratch with the furniture since it was a new space.  Hint: it wasn’t Matt.

Anyways, I’ve been knee deep in wood, linen and rug samples, and quite honestly, I’m enjoying every second of it.  We’ve been in design mode since we arrived back home.  It’s really perfect timing when you think about it.  Personally, I associate Spring with fresh starts, new goals and clean slates.  Yes, that’s what New Years is all about, I know, but I never seem to really get motivated to start things up until the temperatures start to warm up.

I wanted to do a check in with my Gorgeous Girls about fresh, new goals for 2017.  Many of you set goals on January 1st, but many of your goals have changed in the past few months.  This is a great time to reassess what you realistically want to achieve over the course of this year.

Fresh New Goals for Spring Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Fresh New Goals for Spring Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Fresh New Goals for Spring Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Fresh New Goals for Spring Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Fresh New Goals for Spring Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

What are my goals for 2017?  I’m so glad you asked!  I want to focus on our home.  I want to create a space that is warm, inviting and cozy.  With all of the traveling we do, I want our home to be our haven.  When we return to our house, I want to walk in the door, take a look around and uncontrollably sigh out of relief to be there.

I also want to make my health a priority.  I have barely exercised at all of the past year.  Honestly, it’s embarrassing.  Heart disease runs rampant in my family, so I can’t afford to not take care of myself.  I’ve been running with Matt the past couple of weeks and started doing yoga at home.  My goal isn’t to lose weight, but to be healthy and toned.

I try to make healthy choices about my diet pretty consistently (of course I like to splurge as well) but I want to buckle down even more this year.  I plan on including more fruits and veggies in our menu.  I share a lot of my recipes on Snapchat and Insta-Stories.  I recently posted a Healthy Breakfast Ideas YouTube video, so check that out if you missed it.  Let me know if you’d like to see a blog post or video about what I eat in a day or what’s in my fridge, as well as more recipes.

I plan to be more consistent with scheduling time for my daily devotions as well.  I have to remind myself that my body is my temple.  God gave me only one body and put me in charge of caring for it.

Let me know in the comments section what your goals are for the rest of 2017.  I’m considering sharing some of my home design process on my blog with y’all, so let me know if you’d like to see some of my design inspiration.

Photos by Kara Coleen.

What I’m Wearing:

Top: Sold Out; similar ruffle top here, here, here and here  //  White Jeans: Hudson

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32 Life Lessons for my 32nd Birthday | Girl Talk Tuesday

Today I turn 32.  Thirty-stinkin-two years old.

The way I see it, I have two ways to handle my birthday: curl up in a ball on the couch and drown my “I’m getting older sorrows” in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s OR I can choose to be positive and reflect on the life lessons I’ve learned.  If you know me even a little bit, you know I picked the second option.  I LOVE my birthday.  I always have.  Who wouldn’t love one day a year that is your day?  It’s the day other people celebrate your life with gifts and cake.  Two of the best things in life, if you ask me.  I don’t just love my birthday, I love to celebrate and make other’s birthdays special too.

32 Life Lessons for my 32nd Birthday | Girl Talk Tuesday

Birthdays are a big deal in my family.  Love of birthdays definitely comes natural to me.  Mawmaw LOVED her birthday.  She wanted everyone to know that she was the birthday girl.

I decided to merge Girl Talk Tuesday with my Birthday to create a special Tuesday meets Wednesday post this week.

32 Life Lessons for my 32nd Birthday | Girl Talk Tuesday

32 Life Lessons:

  1. 30 wasn’t as scary as everyone makes you think it is.  In fact, I still feel like I’m in my 20’s.  Age really ain’t nothing but a number.
  2. Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.  You can deliver bad news or criticism in love without being harsh.  It’s not what you say as much as it is how you say it.
  3. Never stop learning.  Just because you finished high school/college/whatever, doesn’t mean that the learning stops there.  The most successful people are those who are the first to admit they don’t know everything because they are always willing to learn.
  4. Love hard.  With your whole heart and without conditions.
  5. Nothing takes the place of real conversation.  In this day and age of technology, it’s so easy to go days at a time with only having conversations via email and text.  The problem is that you can’t hear the emotional inflections or read body language.  I get that we’re not all blessed to have every conversation in person.  But nothing replaces making a real connection with someone and that just simply can’t be done over text.
  6. Save more than you spend.  Another one that can’t always be done, but I’m a firm believer in putting away money for a nest egg, rainy day, retirement, whatever.  My mom always taught me you don’t spend what you don’t have.  A new handbag feels great, trust me I know…  But being financially stable and responsible feels a whole heck of a lot better than any accessory you’ve been eyeing.
  7. Treat Yo Self.  Not to totally contradict myself in #4, but sometimes you really do need to splurge on yourself.  Maybe that’s a new pair of heels, a piece of cake, a mani or maybe even a bubble bath.  Just know that it is okay to treat yourself from time to time, especially as a reward.
  8. Put down my phone.  My biggest distraction in life lives in the form of an iPhone.  My iPhone contains everything that keeps me from being productive, all in one device.  It also keeps me from connecting with my husband and even can cause me from just experiencing life.
  9. Prefer your spouse.  You won’t like your spouse every minute of every day.  But you do have to love them every minute of every day.  A good marriage is a marriage built on love.  A great marriage is also built on love as well as two people who prefer each other over anyone else on earth.  You have to make a choice every morning to prefer your husband over anyone else.
  10. Less tv, more books.  My Pawpaw always called the television, the “Idiot Box.”  Kinda ironic seeing on how I grew up to marry an actor, isn’t it?!  There is something to be said about wasting tons of time on trash tv (you know what I’m talking about!)  Of course there’s nothing wrong with tv!  But being married to an actor has caused me to take a look at what I’m consuming as a viewer, that the time I choose to sit in front of the tv be something that I really enjoy, I learn from…  Not mindless tv.  I feel so much more fulfilled when I use my brain to read a book than I do when I watch yet another episode of Real Housewives, and I love me some Real Housewives of OC.
  11. You need a good girlfriend.  Your husband can be your best friend, but he’ll never be your best girlfriend.  Chances are he doesn’t care about what color nail polish you wear or what dress you saw at the mall.  We girls were created to be emotional and relational, which are beautiful things.  We just have to learn which conversation topics should be saved for our girlfriends in order to spare our poor hubbies.
  12. Podcasts and audiobooks are an amazing thing.  I was super late to the game on these two amazing inventions.  Now, there’s no looking back.  I almost always have an audiobook or a podcast going at all times of the day.  I love taking in information while doing work or driving.
  13. It’s okay to not be the best.  This one is a daily inner struggle for me.  When I do something, I want to be the best at it, regardless of what it is.  Call it a competitive nature, if you will.  When I see someone else doing what I’m doing better…  Then I immediately feel like a failure.  I’m learning to stop measuring my results according to what others achieve.
  14. Success isn’t measured by your bank account.  We grow up believing that you need to have the best to be the best.  Better grades mean a better job which means more money.  Success in your career is a great thing, don’t get me wrong.  It’s success at home, with your family and your friendships, that make for a truly happy life.
  15. Cooking can be fun.  I have several girlfriends who don’t enjoy cooking.  I grew up in a family of really good cooks.  Every family gathering you could count on some good food, it was a given.  When I moved out to LA, my entire family was back East, so I had to either figure out this cooking thing on my own or eat every meal out.  I looked at cooking as a fun hobby and I love being able to create interesting and fun new meals.  I don’t really ever dread having to go home and cook dinner.  I like being able to try new things.  Sometimes I get it right and others, not so much.  That’s okay though.  Matt loves that I love to be in the kitchen whipping up new recipes.
  16. Stay hydrated.  I get pretty intense about drinking water.  I count my intake every day, and I stick by it.  I’m a firm believer that your skin and your body directly benefit by staying hydrated.
  17. Dogs make life better.  Read this post if you want to see all of my reasons why.
  18. You’ll never regret chasing your dreams.  But you will regret it if you don’t chase them.
  19. Make sleep a priority.  The saying, “You can sleep when you’re dead” is for the birds.
  20. Be the first to apologize.  Even if you don’t want to or don’t feel like you’re in the wrong.  Find what you did incorrectly, and apologize for that.
  21. Always ask for forgiveness.  Saying you’re sorry isn’t enough.  It’s not a true apology with asking the one you wronged for forgiveness.
  22. Have dessert.  Maybe not after every single meal…  But life is short, order the dessert.
  23. Marriage isn’t 50/50.  Marriage is 100/100.  You have to try your best every single day to give 100%, 50% won’t cut it.
  24. Be careful who you give your time to.  Be choosy who you allow into your heart.
  25. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.  The best conversationalists are really just the best listeners.  Work on listening to what is being said instead of formulating your response.
  26. Fresh flowers and a scented candle make for a cozy home.  Fresh flowers add color and life; candles add warmth, glow and scent to a room.  Both help to create ambiance in the home.
  27. When you look bad, you’ll feel bad.  Taking care of your body and appearance lift your spirits and your self esteem.
  28. Take your vitamins.  I can tell a difference in the way I feel on the days I take my vitamins.  In this age of processed food, it’s impossible to get all of the nutrients our bodies need in our diet alone.
  29. Cherish your grandparents.  I grew up believing that my Mawmaw was invincible.  She was the strong matriarch in our family.  It was almost as though I couldn’t comprehend the thought of her not being here one day.  I’m so glad I have the many memories I do with her.
  30. Don’t settle for less.  Don’t settle for the wrong relationship, the wrong job or even a wrong friendship.  God’s way is always better than what we could have ever planned for ourselves.
  31. Being a giver is so much more rewarding than receiving.  Serving often benefits you way more than the person you are serving.
  32. Coffee is essential for life to even begin each morning.

    Please leave a comment below with some of your most valuable life lessons, whether practical or heartwarming.  I love so much reading each one of your comments.  I’m thankful for the time you take to join me on this journey each week!

    What I’m Wearing:

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15 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep | Girl Talk Tuesday

tips for getting a good night's sleep girl talk tuesday angela lanter hello gorgeous

I hope y’all had a wonderful Halloween celebrating with family and friends.  We were lucky enough to spend the weekend with friends at home in LA and had such a great time!

Now that Halloween is over, I feel no shame being in full-on holiday spirit!  I’m listening to Christmas Classics as I write this, lol!  Anyone else like to celebrate Christmas for as long as possible?!

Last week, I spent the week at home alone in LA and had quite a bit of trouble sleeping those first few nights.  Whenever Matt’s away, I find that my sleep gets off track due to my nerves.  I took to Snapchat and asked what some of your favorite sleep hacks are and got some great responses.  I also had a few of you ask that I write a blog post and share the wealth of info.  Today, we’re going to dive into tips on getting a good night’s sleep.

tips for getting a good night's sleep girl talk tuesday angela lanter hello gorgeous

I’ve been very blessed in that I’ve been a great sleeper most of my life.  I’m the type of person who can fall asleep pretty much anywhere.  I definitely require my solid 8 hours though.  If I get less than that, I’m running on E most of the day.

When I don’t get enough sleep, I get sassy.  It’s basically the sleepy version of being “hungry”.  We don’t operate at our optimal level when we’re tired, and sometimes we can barely operate at all when we’re exhausted.  When you’re well rested you think better, act better and look better.  Our bodies were designed to require rest in order to recharge, but sometimes we get busy and put that necessity on the back burner.

If I polled my regular readers about their sleep habits, I would bet good money that the majority of us would say that we feel like we’re: A) regularly tired and B) don’t get enough rest.  My question is, why don’t we do something about it?  I know, I know…  We’re busy.  We have all of these demands and not enough hours in the day.  Let me ask you this though. what’s more important to you in the grand scheme of things?  Your health or your to-do list?  For me, it’s definitely my health.

Here’s the thing…  Studies show that those of us who sleep more, live longer.  In fact, I’ve read that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are more likely to suffer from serious diseases.  Don’t believe me?  Google it for yourself.  Bottom line?  Sleep is essential for our bodies.

Here are some tips and tricks that help me to wind down and get a good night’s sleep.

15 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Take a long, hot bath.  If you read last week’s post about dealing with menstrual cramps, then you know that baths are my cure for almost everything.  There’s something so relaxing about a hot bath before bed.  If you have a hot tub, that can do the trick (minus the bubble bath).  A lot of times, my inability to fall asleep is due to a stressful day or situation, so the ability to soak in the tub and relax can help to melt away the worries of the day.  Here’s my favorite bubble bath.
  2. Lavender Oil.   I’m a big supporter of essential oils.  I’m not highly educated on all of the different brands, types, blends or uses, but one oil I’m very familiar with is lavender.  We use this by sprinkling a few drops on our pillows at bedtime, add it to our bath water or apply several drops in the palms of our hands and inhale deeply.  I feel like this calming scent really does help me unwind.  I was recently sent this amazing pillow spray that smells divine and you should absolutely check it out.
  3. Blackout curtains.  Are you sensitive to light?  Or do you have a wonky sleep schedule due to work?  If so, investing in a quality set of blackout curtains can help you stay asleep longer.
  4. Sleep mask.  This one is a must for me.  I started snoozing with a sleep mask a couple of years ago and now there’s no turning back.  It helps me to stay asleep longer by keeping the light out of my peepers.  It also deters me from checking the clock or my phone throughout the night.  I love this sleep mask from Slip and I’m currently using and loving this sleep mask from This Works.
  5. Sipping hot tea.  I’m not a tea drinker, but my hubby is.  There are certain blends I will drink on occasion, but this is one thing that is highly suggested for troubled sleepers.  The most popular choices are Sleepy Time Tea and Chamomile for bedtime use.
  6. Getting on a sleep schedule.  I am the worst at this one.  I can easily stay up past 2am every night just futzing around on the internet, reading, working or watching tv.  One of the most suggested tips for those who struggle with getting good sleep is having a regular bedtime and wake up time.  I desperately want to set this one into action, but with Matt’s filming schedule being all over the place every single day…  That is almost impossible.  Maybe one day I’ll hang up my night owl ways and practice better sleep discipline!
  7. Creating a peaceful, comfortable sleep environment.  This one is so important and the most personal.  I say it’s personal because what is peaceful and calming to me may not be the same for you.  First off, your bedroom should be a place of relaxation.  That means your walls should be a calming, and most likely neutral, color.  Same with your bedding.  I’m a huge advocate of splurging on quality bedding.  You spend more time in your bed than probably any other one place every day of the week, so it should be luxurious!  For me, luxurious means sleeping in a big, white, super soft cloud-like bed.  That also means investing in a good quality mattress that checks all of your boxes.  Candles in my bedroom really helps to create a peaceful, spa-like ambiance that I love.
  8. Comfortable temperature.  Once you get married, this becomes an issue if one of you likes to sleep in the cold and the other doesn’t.  I hate being cold at night, but I also hate waking up having a hot flash in the middle of the night because the temperature is too high.  Finding your perfect sleep temperature is important for a peaceful sleep.
  9. Limit caffeine and fluid intake.  For me, I know not to drink coffee after 6pm or 7pm if I’m wanting to get in bed at a decent time.  That’s a no-brainer…  But the thing I often forget?  Drinking too much water too close to bedtime.  I hate waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom!  This is another one I need to be cognizant of!
  10. Don’t eat too late.  You’re not going to get good sleep if you’re feeling full from a big meal.  In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with indigestion if you eat too heavy at bedtime.  Keep an eye on the time when you’re having your dinner to allow plenty of time for digestion before your head hits that pillow.
  11. Exercise regularly.  I usually get my best sleep when I’m physically tired.  Exercise helps to keep your body in a better sleep rhythm.
  12. Create a bedtime routine.  I find that having a routine that I do every night at bedtime prepares my brain for shut eye.  It’s like I’m reminding my mind to wind it down once I start my nighttime routine.
  13. Cut out eye strain before bedtime.  It’s much harder to turn off your brain and relax your eyes if you’re laying in your pitch dark room staring at your lit up laptop screen or cell phone for 30 minutes.  Do you really need to read one more political Facebook post that will only leave you feeling annoyed?  Nope.  Skip it.  Go to bed, social media will be there, along with all your Facebook friends dirty laundry, tomorrow morning.
  14. Get a grip on your stress.  If you’re stressin’ about something as you hit the hay, chances are you’re not going to be able to get that restful sleep you so desperately need.  Check your stress at the door if possible.
  15. Listen to an audio book, spa music or sound machine.  Listening to peaceful music or an audio book knocks me out in less than 5 minutes usually.  It’s not something that I need, unless I’m on an airplane or in a noisy hotel.  Some people do need sound help in order to sleep.  Check out sound machines on Amazon or even a small fan to create white noise.  Or if noise is a distraction, consider training yourself to sleep with ear plugs.

I’ve read mostly negative information about naps during the day.  I’m a big napper.  I learned that hobby from my Mawmaw, who regularly took her siestas (as she referred to them).  I personally think nap time should be a part of our normal day, but clearly I’m not in the majority with that one, lol!

You’re up!  What tips, tricks and hacks do you have and use to get a solid night of sleep?  I love hearing from you!  I learn so much through your comments both on here and on social media.

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