Posts in Personal
Stepping Outside of your Comfort Zone

Today’s post is something that has been on my heart to share for awhile now. Basically since we found out that I was pregnant, I’ve been going over and over in my head how to make this space, both my blog and the AM Coffee Collective itself, bigger and better. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about what direction I want my platform to go in. That’s scary. But that’s especially scary when your heart tells you to go in a new direction then the one you’re already in.

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An Honest Conversation about Being a Stay at Home Wife

If you had told me when I was in high school or even college that I would eventually be a stay at home wife (which I'm going to refer to as SAHW for the rest of this post) I probably would have laughed. Who, me? NEVER. But God/The Universe/Whoever is the captain of this ship had other plans apparently. As the end of my time working for the foreseeable future was nearing an end, I began panicking about my new role as a SAHW. Would I hate it? Would I be bored out of my mind? Would I feel happy and fulfilled? There were so many unknowns going into this new role as a SAHW that would cause anyone a great deal of anxiety.

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Welcome to The AM Coffee Collective!

First things first, I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for believing in me, for believing in this community, and for being just as excited about this rebrand as I have been. I did steal a little bit of this post from an email I sent out to the VIPs on Thursday so if you're reading this and it sounds familiar, that's why. But you can scroll on down to check out more of what's new! 

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26 Things I'd Tell My Younger Self at 26

Birthdays are weird for me. I can remember my last truly enjoyable one being my 21st birthday. This year, I've had a lot of feelings about turning 26. I am now much closer to 30 than I am 20 and that's definitely a weird feeling but it's also exciting. 26 is definitely going to be a big year for me because I'm getting married and moving potentially twice before my next birthday. There are so many unknown and exciting things that are going to occur in the next 365 days that it's hard not to be excited about this birthday. (I also get to spend it with my mom for the first time in probably 4 years so that's really fun). 

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#AskDar - Gender Equality, Love at First Sight, + More!

It's time for another round of #AskDar and if your first thought is, "ALREADY?" then congrats, we're in the same boat! I try to do one of these Q + A posts each month as long as you guys enjoy them and submit questions so real quick before we get started a huge thank you to everyone who has submitted questions so far for one of these posts. A small reminder that you can submit a question for an #AskDar post anytime by filling out this form right here!

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I Found My Summer Bucket List from 2012...

I have moved so many times since 2010 that it amazes me what I've kept over the years. Justin and I made the trek to West Virginia/Maryland this past weekend and when we came back with three boxes of wedding stuff, I knew it was time to clear out some boxes that had been left over from switching jobs. At least, I thought that's what they were from. What we actually found was a random mix of stuff I've saved over the years. Notebooks and unused photo albums, birthday cards from friends, and the star of today's blog post: a summer bucket list from 2012. 

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Authenticity and Blogging - A Letter to My Readers

Warning: this post is not the post I had planned to write today. I had originally wanted to share more on my recent trip to Nashville with Y'all but I felt the need to get something off of my chest so here it is. On my last Saturday Morning Coffee post, I talked a little bit more about the upcoming rebrand of the blog and invited everyone to participate in a survey to help with the rebrand. I was so excited to get a feel for what Y'all would think because naturally, your opinions mean the world to me, especially as this blog continues to grow and change. The first response I received was not very nice. In fact, I will go as far to say that it was downright mean. The words used in this particular response were deliberate and chosen because the person knew it would strike a chord with me. Don't get me wrong, I welcome any kind of constructive criticism but this person wasn't even trying to sound like they were being constructive. I won't go too much into detail because it's not important but the part of their responses that really hurt me was this:

They attacked my authenticity. 

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#AskDar - Fears about Military Life, Childhood Friends, Ridiculous Wedding Expenses + More!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog (or hi if you're new!). It's a new month and that means another round of #AskDar! I try to do one of these every month so if you've got a question you're just dying to know the answer to, make sure to leave it by filling out this form

Have I told you lately how good you are at asking questions? The questions I get are never easy for me to answer! These are seriously some of my favorite posts on the blog (and they're actually yours too)! I was so sad that I wasn't able to get one up in February but maybe, if I get enough questions this month, I can do a second one!

I can't believe how quickly March is already flying by. I'm so excited to also announce that those who participated in my 2017 Reader Survey will also be getting a special little email today! Remember when I mentioned that rebrand? *wink, wink* Alright, alright, I'll stop teasing. Without any more delay, let's get right on into this month's blogger Q & A! 

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8 Things to Stop Doing in 2018

I have no idea how, but here we are, three months into 2018. I don't know about you but March is about the time when I realize I'm struggling with those New Year's resolutions. I figured chatting about 8 of the things we need to stop doing in 2018 would be a good way to hit the refresh button on our resolutions. 

I say "we" but I'm mostly writing this post for myself if we're being honest. Let me preface this post by saying that I am guilty of ALL of these things. We are all guilty of at least some of these things because no one is perfect. I don't want someone to ever come across this blog or my Instagram or any of my social media and think "She's perfect, she's got it all together." Because the truth is that I don't! 

 In 2018, I'm striving to make myself a better person and the world a better place. And that starts right here with this list of 8 things I want to stop doing in 2018.  I actually got the idea for this post on Tumblr, something I've been loving a lot lately. I used to practically live on their in the wee late hours of my college days. 

Anyways, I have always wanted my brand to be authentic and real and relatable so I hope this post helps get that message across and gives you some food for thought!

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10 Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

I had an entirely different post planned for today but inspiration struck me recently with those 5 facts about me Instastories everyone was doing this past week. I got tagged to share a few things and that really got me started thinking about what I have and haven't shared with you all here on the blog. A few of the things I mentioned I will be mentioning again because I think it's important to be completely transparent with you guys. These are things only my dearest friends know and some of the things I'm going to write, even they might not know. But we're all about keeping it real here so I thought this would be the perfect way to be reminded of that. 

Sharing this stuff is important to me because I don't ever want someone who is reading my blog to feel like they can't approach me or that I'm not a real person. We all struggle with different things and before I can offer any more advice, I think this is the perfect place to start.

I'm not perfect, there are things that I am absolutely terrified of telling people and I've chosen to sit down today and share them with Y'all.  Some of you may think differently of me after reading this, be that good or bad. All I know is that I've been called to write this post so here goes nothing! 10 things I'm afraid to tell you:

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#AskDar - (Politics in the Military, Starting a Family, Why I Blog + More!)

OMG Y'all, this week has just FLOWN by. Am I right? We are already more than a week into 2018 and I’m still holding on to my butt wondering where 2017 went. (In other news, I have no idea where that little saying even came from but accurate description of how I’m feeling). I’m writing this post our real quick today so I just want to quickly thank everyone who voted in my poll on InstaStories and obviously, super special thanks to everyone that asked me a question for this round of #AskDar! ICYMI: you can ask me a question about LITERALLY anything using this handy dandy form right here and it could get answered on another one of these posts! I’m going to try to keep them rolling at least every other month but could be more depending on how many q’s I get to a! 

I cannot believe I’m leaving to head back to the Mountain Mama (West Virginia for those of you who don’t know) to celebrate my bridal shower this weekend! It is going to be a weekend filled with so much good food and company that I can hardly contain my excitement. My dad is taking Justin on a hot dog tour of my hometown on Saturday and I can’t wait to get his reaction. Maybe I should have him document the adventure for a blog post! HAHA. I’m dying just thinking about the picture, honestly.

Alright, alright, alright! Let's get into this #AskDar Q + A, shall we?

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Choosing a Word of the Year + My Word of the Year for 2018

Choosing a word of the year is not something I started doing until well into my twenties. By this, I'm talking like last year, Y'all. If we're being honest, I had a hard time remembering what my word of the year for 2017 even was. Looking back at some old journals, I think it was GROW. While I didn't mindfully pay attention to 2017's word of the year, I think I did a pretty good job at accomplishing growth throughout 2017.

I'm not sure when this concept of picking a word of the year became a thing but it is a trend that's started happening as an alternative to setting New Year's Resolutions. Some people seem to really hate resolutions and I'm going to be upfront here and say that I am not one of those people. I love setting new goals for each year and I love it, even more, when I get to cross them off of my list. But one thing I love more than setting new year's resolutions is choosing a word of the year. 

For me, choosing a word of the year is even more powerful than picking your resolutions. To me, your word of the year is what you want to get out of your life for the year versus what you want to accomplish during the year. That may kind of sound like the same thing to some people but for me, it's not. Think of your word of the year as the theme versus your actual goals. If you're on the email list, then you already know what my word for 2018 is (psst: you can get on the list by clicking here) because I was so excited to share it that I couldn't help but give a little sneak peak. 

Even though we're already a week into 2018, there's still plenty of time to pick your word of the year. I honestly didn't choose my word until I sat down to write my goals down for 2018. Let's go over a few of the things I did in order to choose my word for 2018!

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Blogger Flashback: Christmas Through the Years 2017

First of all, Merry Christmas! If you took the time to stop over here today then I want you to know how much I truly appreciate it. When I was filling out my content calendar for December, I couldn't decide what to post on Christmas Day. I wanted to post something that everyone could read and enjoy, regardless of whether or not they actually celebrate Christmas.

When I did my reader survey a week or so ago, someone suggested that I do something along the lines of a Storytime video you would see on YouTube. While I don't have a particular story to share with you all, I thought it would be fun to do what I'm affectionately calling "Blogger Flashback". I think this is a series that I can continue to do for all sorts of holidays and events so I'm real excited about it. Anyways, this is obviously the Christmas edition so grab your peppermint hot chocolate, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

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An Open Letter to Every Woman who Said, "Me Too"

This post may include content that could be triggering to victims of sexual harassment and assault.

When I sat down to write today’s Happy Hour post, I had no idea what I was going to write about. I thought about doing another 5 things I’m loving type of post but as I started to type, something didn’t feel right. There has been a lot on my mind this week, specifically the “Me Too” campaign that happened on social media. If you’ve been living under a rock this week then you may have no idea what I’m talking about but on Sunday and Monday, women took to social media and posted a simple phrase, “Me too.”

The phrase was a banding together of women to show how many of us face sexual harassment and assault in our lives and often on a daily basis. Some women shared their stories, and others just shared the phrase. I was one of those people who just shared the phrase. I chose not to go into detail on Facebook about my experience because if we’re being honest, I could start listing the number of times I’ve been sexually harassed and it would take pages and pages to complete.

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Celebrating my Mother's Wedding, Weekend Recap

Hello guys! I hope you enjoyed your weekend AND week. Friday the 13th is always a weird day for me and today is no exception. I completely forgot to write this post! That and a few other things have me a little off my game today but I figured this weekend recap would be a fun way to share some exciting memories with y'all! This is the second weekend recap I've done (you can check out the first one here) and I love doing them. I also like reading weekend recaps from other bloggers as well. If you want to see more frequent weekend recaps let me know! And, if you have a weekend recap from last weekend on your blog, leave a link so I can check it out!

I honestly had to pick and choose which photos to include in this post because last weekend was filled with SO many good memories. I had the honor (LOL) of being the Maid of Honor in my Mom's wedding!

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#AskDar: My First Q & A + Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway!

I wanted to shake things up a bit this week so I hopped on social media and decided to do a rather impromptu Q & A! I love reading (and watching) Q & A's so I figured it was damn near about time I did one on the blog. If you missed your chance to ask me a question make sure you're following me on Instagram and Twitter so you don't miss your chance next time around!

Did I mention one of these amazing ladies is going to win a $15 Starbucks gift card? That's a lot of PSL. Now, on to the questions! 

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