2018 Holiday Playlists

Click to discover playlists that we most definitely get you into the Holiday spirit!

I have been working on creating these for a while now since it is never too early to crank up the Holiday tunes. There are three playlists I have created for this Holiday season and I cannot wait to continue adding songs to them as I discover more throughout the next month. Follow the links, crank up the volume, and get yourself into the Holiday spirit.

I hope you love these as much as I do. Enjoy!

Xoxo, Lexie


Pop Christmas Essentials

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Country Christmas Essentials

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The Reason For The Season

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Gratitude

I can’t believe it’s already November. Oh, how time flies when life is crazy, busy, overwhelming, enjoyable, and beautiful all at the same time. November also marks the month where many celebrate Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays because it has the ability to shift the mindsets of many to focus on the good, the positive, and the beautiful things in life. Imagine what would happen if Thanksgiving was more than just a day. What if it was more than a season? What if it was a way of life?

Gratitude is a three-part post I have created for this month where we will take a journey together to better understand the following:

  1. What is gratitude?
  2. Benefits of gratitude…
  3. How can you practice gratitude?

We have been given the beautiful opportunity to wake up with breath in our lungs, so why not use those precious moments focusing our energy on the beautiful things in life. Being thankful and expressing gratitude has become such a powerful aspect of my life. I can’t wait to jumpstart the “Thanksgiving season” by having you all read this three-part series.

Before I share part one, I want to leave you with a question:

How often do you show gratitude?


Part One: What is gratitude?

When someone approaches me and asks me to name things, I am grateful for, I have no issue spewing out a list.

  • I’m grateful for my family and friends.
  • I’m grateful for the opportunity to further my education.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to seek readily available medical attention when necessary.
  • I’m grateful for my health.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to write.

Even in the event where they ask me to elaborate and answer the question of why I am grateful, I once again have no issue.

  • I’m grateful for my family and friends because they are my biggest support system who constantly shower me with love.
  • I’m grateful for the opportunity to further my education because the ability to continually learn allows me to continuously expand my knowledge.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to seek readily available medical attention when necessary because there are many who are unable to seek such assistance.
  • I’m grateful for my health because they are many who are struggling with sickness on a daily basis.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to write because it is my creative outlet, therapeutic go-to, and allows me to share love and light with the world.

Alright, so maybe it’s easy to list things off you are grateful for but what exactly is gratitude?

Gratitude is essentially a positive emotion that is evoked when an individual receives, acknowledges, and shows appreciation for both the tangible and intangible things in their life.


Part Two: Benefits of gratitude…

The benefits of gratitude are seemingly endless. Practicing gratitude provides benefits across an array of areas in life.

After a great deal of research, I narrowed it down to the top 7 benefits:

  1. Increased energy: we spend less time focusing on the negative and it, in turn, provides more energy to focus on the good.
  2. Better health: Surprisingly enough grateful people are more likely to take care of their health.
  3. Reduced stress: When you focus your energy on the right things your body is able to activate relaxation.
  4. Better sleep: I personally spend 10-15 minutes before bad completing a gratitude journal and this form of relaxation helps me fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  5. Increased happiness: Gratitude makes us feel more gratitude. Gratitude essentially triggers positive feedback loops that boost our happiness levels.
  6. Reduce materialism: Society has become focused on collecting things rather than experiences and memories. This reduction allows for more time to spend with friends, family, and pursuing your hobbies rather than chasing powers and pursuit.
  7. Promotes optimism: gratitude ultimately helps us develop a more positive outlook on life.

So how do you obtain these benefits? Begin by practicing gratitude.


Part Three: How can you practice gratitude?

It can be so easy to get caught up in the fast lane and forget to take a moment and show appreciation for all you have. Whether you express gratitude often or need to express it more begin with these small steps.

  1. Appreciate everything. It all starts with appreciating every little thing in life. There is nothing too small to be grateful for.
  2. Find gratitude in all challenges. These are the experiences which often help you realize what you have to be grateful for.
  3. Practice mindfulness. If you take moments each day and dedicate it to focusing on what you have to be grateful for it will become a habit you unknowingly practice.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.

So, with all of this being said let’s all begin this season of Thanksgiving with the right mindset and develop habits to continue the practice of gratitude long after this 2018 season passes us by.

Xoxo,

Lexie

5 Positive Habits That Have Changed My Life

What if each of us took the time to become more aware of the bad habits we have? What if we tried to establish positive habits to replace the bad ones?

“Good habits once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” Robert Puller

If we want to live our best lives, we have to create healthy and intentional habits along the way. It can be quite difficult to determine which habits we want to focus on and try to cultivate. Each of us live very different lives which means our habits will vary greatly. If you are looking for some inspiration about what kind of positive habits may work for you, here are five habits that changed my life!


#1 MEDITATION & YOGA

Life can often grow to be quite hectic and it feels as if I become robotic when following my strict, never-ending schedule. I grew up with an understanding of what it meant to meditate and practice yoga. It took me years to realize how powerful and impactful practicing each of these would be. Meditation and yoga provide a great deal of health benefits both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Neither of these practices are easy by any means, however, it helps me take a moment to become more self-aware, less stressed, more focused, and start the day off with the right frame of mind.

* Check out these meditation and yoga apps/podcasts:

Meditation: MindBody and 10% Happier (apps). Hay House Meditations and The Adult Chair (podcasts).

Yoga: FitStar Yoga, Pocket Yoga, and Simply Yoga (apps). My favorite place to do yoga is in a yoga studio. Search up the nearest yoga studio and give it shot!

You can find both apps and podcasts in the Apple Store & iTunes.


#2 KINDNESS

Yes, kindness is a habit and it can be cultivated. Trust me! Focus on spreading kindness every day for a month and you’ll be surprised about how profound the changes in your life will be. Kindness doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simply as asking the barista how their morning is going to letting someone into your lane of traffic.

So, how are you able to develop the kindness habit? Kindness requires the ability to be intentional in your thoughts and actions. Begin each day by making goals to do something kind for another individual. As you go through the motions of your day interact with others in a positive manner, be compassionate, say “good morning”, and smile. These smalls steps of intentionally practicing kindness can eventually turn into a habit. Kindness is a beautiful thing. Spread it.


#3 JOURNALING

I have kept journals on and off for many years now. Writing has always helped me process my emotions and clear my mind. I have found that writing on a regular basis helps me to have a more positive outlook on what is going on in my life. Creating a safe space to manifest your goals, understand your potential, and better your life will change everything. You will become who you want to be, you will manifest the life you want to live, your relationships will grow to be heathier, and your outlook on life will be a positive one.

The first step to make journaling a habit is to commit yourself. Second, prepare yourself. Make sure you have a journal or empty notebook to keep within reach. Third, just write! Write about whatever is on your mind. This is your journal. There is no need to filter your thoughts. Let your thoughts flow and be honest. Once you get in the habit of this it feels so rewarding to take a look back and reflect on how far you’ve come.

My favorite gratitude journal: 52 List for Happiness


#4 DEVELOPING POSITIVE THINKING

There is a great deal of power in positive thinking. Yes, I know it sounds a little cliché so let me explain. Positive thinking cultivates powerful minds. It won’t necessarily lead to success on its own, but it certainly plans an important role in motivating you to succeed. Negativity does NOTHING for you. When you learn to squash the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, you will see yourself begin to flourish.

There are many ways to develop positive thinking skills. The following are a few of my personal favorites. Start by becoming aware of negative self-talk. It may surprise you at how often you talk negatively about yourself or your efforts. Learn to be okay with not being able to control every situation. Positivity will can be cultivated when you surrender to life and all of its challenges and rewards. I find the best way to develop positive thinking is to make my first three points a part of my daily routine. Meditation, yoga, and journaling allows me to stay grounded with myself and accept all life has given me.


#5 TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, we can all benefit from alone time. Life gets crazy, I KNOW! Learn to carve out these small moments of solitude and you will see how it can make a world of difference. I have to remind myself constantly that it’s okay to take a break.

There is immense value in creating this alone time. It doesn’t matter what you use this time to do. It could be exercising, meditating, reflecting in gratitude, or simply taking time to have quiet moment with yourself. Take a few moments, just breathe, and let your mind and body relax. I know it doesn’t seem ideal with the busy lives we lead, however, if we don’t take this time for ourselves we end up becoming mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. When we get to this point we are unable to do our best work. Word hard and push yourself, but never forget to take care of and love yourself. Whatever you have to do for these few moments of solitude, make it happen.


I hope you will take these positive habits into account and begin to think about what you can do for yourself.

Xoxo, Lexie

 

Zeta Tau Alpha Love

Hi loves! This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in my first formal recruitment as a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha chapter here at Boise State University. It was, to say the least one of the longest, most enriching, most exhausting, and most rewarding weekends of my entire life. Watching more than fifty new zetas run home to us almost had me in tears because I cannot wait for them to experience the friendships, endless support, abundant amounts of love, and so much more.

 


This weekend taught me a great deal about myself and my sisters. Just when I thought I couldn’t love these women anymore, this experience opened my eyes and heart even more. When you are a part of something so incredible, enriching, and empowering it is honestly quite difficult to express those feelings accurately to someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to experience what Greek life has to offer.


To the Lambda Omicron chapter:

I am so beyond grateful for all of the memories and experiences we have been able to share since the beginning of our journey. I have never met a group of women that are so willing to hold each other accountable, lift one another’s spirits, motivate each other to achieve our goals and radiate endless amounts of positivity and love. We celebrate each other’s victories and pick each other up when we are feeling down or inadequate. We embrace our differences and empower each other to become greater women. My life would be so different without all and I am so blessed to have you all as my sisters. My love for you all is endless.

 


To the New Members:

Welcome to the BEST sisterhood you will ever have the opportunity of being a part of. The message above pertains to you as well, but I also hope that you are able to feel the kind of love and acceptance I have been able to feel since my journey began a year ago. I hope that you find your best friends, your go-to women, and your future bridesmaids. As your journey continues, you will begin to understand everything I shared in terms of the whole chapter. The friendships are real and raw, the experiences are irreplaceable, and the love is felt on a daily basis. I can’t wait to get to know you all on a deeper level and hopefully make you feel the love I speak so highly of.

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To anyone wrestling with whether to go Greek:

The possibilities, opportunities, friendships, and memories which can be cultivated due to a Greek organization are endless. The friendships you build through a sorority will have a different “feel” to them. It’s possibly due to the shared values or experiences, but regardless of the reason, they are some of the strongest friendships you will ever have. It is a friendship that combines total acceptance, pure love, and endless support. When you become a part of Greek life, you have the opportunity to join in on large community service and philanthropic events where you are able to raise money for your chapters philanthropy.  I could go on and on. Greek life provides you with more than you could ever imagine, and I hope you choose to give it a chance to change your life.


To end my thoughts for this week I will leave you with this.

Greek life is incredible. Zeta Tau Alpha has changed my life. My sisters are my best friends, my go-to girls, and women who empower me to be a better version of myself each day. The love that consumes your life is a kind of love that is quite literally irreplaceable. My hope for every woman is a chance to experience this positive and beautiful journey.

 

Until next time…

Xoxo,

Lexie

20 Things I’ve Learned by 20!

Well, it’s my BIRTHDAY! YAY! I thought it would be fun to begin a new tradition surrounding this specific time each year. This post is filled with 20 different things I have learned in my 20 years. Some of them are important life lessons while others are quirky things I know I couldn’t live without knowing. Since this will become an annual tradition it will be quite interesting to compare my answers each year because of the many things I will experience in my 20th year of life.


  1. One of the most important things I have the privilege of understanding at a younger age is life is meant to be lived, cherished, and embraced. There is simply no other way to put it. Life is a gift and we must cherish every moment.
  2. TRAVEL! Whenever you can wherever you can. Save your money. Set goals to visit new places. If this becomes a priority in your life, you will never think of reasons why you can’t travel but instead focus on how to make your next trip a reality.
  3. Negativity has no room in anyone’s life. Easier said than done is what many of you are probably thinking, however, cutting out the negativity from your life can prove to be incredibly enlightening. You begin to focus less on the bad and more on the good.
  4. BE YOURSELF! It is the greatest asset you have, and you should never conform for anyone or anything. Stop comparing yourself, your life, your body, and your face to others. You were created to be uniquely you and have the choice to be the best version of yourself. There is no one like you so you must take care of yourself and love yourself for who you are.
  5. Everything happens for a reason. Call it fate or destiny, but I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Whether it be a breakup, a promotion, a setback, or failure, it all happens for a reason. Often times a setback becomes a setup for something greater if you just trust in the process and give it some time. Be willing to have faith that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.
  6. Avoiding stress is actually a lot easier than I thought. Over the past year, I have become extremely relaxed, go-with-the-flow and it’s been incredibly rewarding. Less stress provides more time to focus on the good and the happy.
  7. Always be humble. Be thankful for all you have and never take any of it for granted. Don’t boast about the things you possess in life but rather focus on spreading love and positivity wherever you go.
  8. It’s okay to be selfish…sometimes. Often times I become so focused on taking care of others I forget how emotionally exhausting it can be. When it comes to your health it is so important to take time to focus on yourself instead of others. Taking a personal day, canceling plans, or hunkering down for an evening alone may seem selfish to others but never forget to take care of yourself first.
  9. Embrace your inner child. There is often an urge to grow up or move on to the next phase of life so quickly. The inner child in you is dying to be let out. Resume the things you used to do as a child when you sang in public at the top of your lungs, twirled around the store, and stopped just to watch the butterflies. Learn to not care what others think about because more often than not no one is watching because they are too focused on themselves.
  10. Say “I love you” often. I think this is a phrase that often goes unused and should be overused in the right context.
  11. Not everyone is going to like you and that is OK! I used to consume my time trying to understand why certain people didn’t like me until I realized it didn’t matter who liked me and who didn’t. As long as I was living an honest, authentic life and tried to spread kindness wherever I went that it didn’t matter at all.
  12. You will never regret the things you have done but you will regret the things you didn’t do. Okay well maybe there will be a few things you may regret but overall, I can say with great confidence that I began taking this very seriously this past year. I took risks, went out of my comfort zone and spent money I probably should’ve saved. All of those ended up providing me with some of THE BEST experiences and memories I have ever been able to create.
  13. Carbs are the greatest food ever created. You don’t want to fight me when it comes to my carbs and a big kudos to those who are on carb-free diets.
  14. Be kind to everyone always. This world needs more kindness and it all starts with how each of us interacts and treats those surrounding us.
  15. Say yes to new experiences. When you say yes, the possibilities have the potential to be endless.
  16. Always keep dreaming. Never in my wildest dreams did I think some of my biggest dreams and aspirations would come true, but they did, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Working to make sure your dreams come true to give you something to always look forward to. Never stop dreaming and achieving.
  17. Although I have had little luck with relationships in the realm of dating I strongly believe in the importance of being patient. Being single allows you to focus on yourself and gives you much needed time to better understand who you are and what you want out of this life. It gives you time to do things alone, explore new hobbies and interests and consider your core values and beliefs. I believe it is and will be worth the wait no matter how long it takes, even if I seem quite impatient most of the time.
  18. Water is the greatest drink you will ever find.
  19. Money is best spent on experiences, not things. I ended this summer with exactly $8 in my checking account and that would’ve freaked the old Lexie out, however, I have learned that money is replaceable while memories and experiences are not.
  20. I am slowly learning where my passions lie and beginning to put a great deal of thought and energy into them. Focus on your passions, work your hardest and who knows maybe one day you will be able to turn it into a career.

I am so excited to see what this next year brings me as I head into my twenties optimistic of the great things to come.

Xoxo, Lexie

4 Ways to Invest in Yourself

As my 20th birthday quickly approaches my thoughts have been largely focused on the importance of investing in yourself. It seems that these late-teen and early-twenty years are often filled with great uncertainties. This leads many of us to begin to question our friendships, intentions, jobs and even ourselves. These are crucial years where investing the necessary time to discover what you want your next step in life to be should become a top priority. If you make the decision to invest in yourself now it will eventually become secondhand nature and may very well be the best thing you can do for yourself.


YOUR HAPPINESS COMES FIRST

Happiness is a choice. It is so easy to get caught in a rut and decide to stay there instead of focusing on a way out. You must make the decision to choose happiness over all else. It is completely acceptable and encouraged to take the necessary time to discover what you need to do to feel the happiness you may be lacking. Don’t allow your circumstances to hold you from finding every reason to be grateful and when you choose to focus on the positive aspects of life instead of the negative, great things begin to unfold. Choosing to invest in yourself in this way maintains great value as you deserve to live your life feeling fulfilled and happy.

“When I wake up in a bad mood, I try not to stay in one. Learn to make the best of what you have.” – Faith Hill

BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE 

Investing time in building your confidence is so crucial. When you know your worth and value others will begin to take notice based on the way you hold yourself. This can be done by working to develop a personal understanding of your worth. When you know your worth you begin to gain the courage needed to speak your truth. The more you understand your worth and love yourself, the more confident you will become when it comes to sharing that love with others.

“Anything is possible once you believe you are worthy of achieving it” – Jason Pockrandt

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MIND AND BODY

When you are feeling like crap it becomes difficult to invest in yourself. It is so important to take care of your health and one  I struggle with quite often. Focusing on fueling your body with the necessary nutrients to stay energized can be difficult. I try to focus on eating the healthier options, but honestly fried chicken, burgers, and quesadillas are really hard to say no to. It is also important to exercise daily. It is very difficult to find time to do this when it isn’t a part of your daily routine. Take the first step and start small. Working out is not necessarily something I look forward to, however, when I choose to view it as an avenue of stress-relief it becomes less of a chore and more of an opportunity to better myself along with my physical and mental health.

“Your own personal health is your own personal choice, all the way down the line” – Melissa Etheridge

DEVELOP PERSONAL SKILLS

Is there a particular hobby or skill you have always wanted to try? Why not begin to develop that skill right now? Now is the time! Learning new skills or working to further developing and maintain your current skills can lead to incredible opportunities. You may end up meeting new friends along the way, creating beautiful memories, and investing in the things that make you happy. You never know until you try when it comes to working on current skills and developing new ones.

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice” – Brian Herbert


Although investing in ourselves is an effort, I can promise you that when you begin to do so a whole world of opportunities begin to open up. When you invest in yourself emotionally, physically, and more, it will allow you to become a greater version of yourself. Greatness inevitably attracts greatness. What will you do to focus on and invest in yourself?

Xoxo, Lexie

 

 

 

Biggest Dream Achieved!

This isn’t a post I would normally share, however, I wanted to share this one for myself. I want it to serve as a reminder of the greatest day of my life and one I will truly never forget.

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On July 8th, 2018, the day I had been counting down to finally came around. I had traveled more than 20 hours to meet someone whose music and example has helped me through so many moments both good and bad.

I had the privilege of a lifetime to meet Faith Hill and Tim McGraw during their 2018 leg of the Soul2Soul tour. It was by far the best show I have ever been to. Faith and Tim along with their entire crew made the VIP experience more incredible than I ever thought it would be. Directly after the meet and greet, as I was shaking and crying with excitement and happiness, I was so surprised to learn that the autogenerated ticket that I got when I purchased this package had placed me directly in front of Faith’s entry point onto the stage.

The show is filled with energy, power, incredible vocals, and an endless amount of love shared between these two lovebirds. I am headed to their show again tonight and I can’t help but feel so lucky to see them once again.


Below I will share my feelings and thoughts that I wrote directly after the meet and greet and show! Oh, and of course my cute meet and greet photos will be included!

I shared this on my Instagram the day after I had met them.

“I don’t think it will ever fully hit me that last night happened and my biggest dream came true. Last night will forever be engraved on my heart. I truly don’t think people understand how much this experience means to me. Faith’s music has been something I have leaned on and grasped to through every good and bad moment in life. It was a constant when nothing else was. My biggest dream in life came true last night on July 8th, 2018. I got to meet her face to face. I was the first in line and had to stand in the empty meet & greet room until they appeared from behind the curtains. The only thing I could think about was how insanely gorgeous she was. I have always seen photos but never thought a human could be that beautiful! I wore a dressy gown and heels and right as she walked in she exclaimed: “you are so beautiful sweetheart, what’s the special occasion?” I said the occasion was meeting her and she went straight a hug. I also got lucky enough to get a solo photo snapped with her. I woke up this morning and could still smell her rose scented perfume, I sat there wondering when it is going to hit me like a ton of bricks that I met one of the biggest role models in my life. She is so real and authentic and her example in everything she does pushes me to be a better and stronger woman every single day. Faith, I am completely mesmerized by you and am so grateful I got to stand right in front of where you performed on stage last night. Until we meet again…I love you Faith Hill & thank you for making this the greatest day of my life, forever and always.
Xoxo, Lexie ***Also, I have had so many people dm, text, call, and comment saying that I could pass as Faith’s daughter and let’s just say if that isn’t the biggest compliment idk what is.”S2S070818SouixFallsM&G(2of17).jpg


My meet and greet experience:

I was the first one in line tonight and Aubrey was the sweetest at calming my nerves. I talked to her about her birthday and the Salt Lake City show next week. When it was finally time some of the staff help open the curtain and Faith walked in first and let me just tell you…FAITH IS EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL IN PERSON OH MY GOSH! Faith was the first to walk in and see me and was like “oh my gosh you are so beautiful sweetheart, what’s the special occasion?” And I said “you”. I was so awestruck that I practically forgot my name for a few seconds. She goes “awe, aren’t you just the sweetest thing” and then went straight for the hug. She said, “My name is Faith, it’s so nice to meet you”. Tim also introduced himself like that and asked me what my name was. It’s so sweet how they make the m&g’s so intimate. Faith’s hug was everything I could have ever wished for and more. Tim’s handshake was amazing and I got to get two. I was able to snag a photo with the both of them and one with just my girl Faith. We lined up for the photo and she goes you want to be in the middle. I said of course & then I looked her on the eyes after the photo and we kept talking. She then pointed at the camera as if we were going to take another picture. I said, “wait, can I get a photo with just you too?” She said “of course!” Y’all HER HUGS ARE AMAZING and she smells SO GOOD & now my dress smells like her. I was so starstruck and could barely get out any more words but Faith was so sweet about it. We talked a little more and then Faith gave me one more hug and Tim gave me a hug/handshake. My entire life is complete. I have met the woman that continually makes me strive to be a better human each and every day and it was more than I could’ve ever asked for. So damn blessed that I was able to get this opportunity and I will never ever  take it for granted. Faith & Tim, I LOVE YOU❤️You are truly my heroes and I am ready to scream every single song at the top of my lungs.


I just wanted to say how grateful I am for their music and the power that it has. Faith’s music makes me feel so empowered and her example only exemplifies that empowerment more. I am so blessed that I was able to save up the money to make this opportunity possible. I worked to make my biggest dream come true and it was the greatest decision I have ever made. If you ever get the chance to witness their gifts in person, don’t let it pass you by.

I will remember this all:

“FOR THE REST OF [MY] LIFE”!

About to head to my final show of the 2017-2018 Soul2Soul tour right now. So many mixed emotions yet still so excited! I will keep you updated!


Xoxo, Lexie