The Art of Saying No

The Art of Saying No


Do you ever feel the pressure to please people but at the same time stick to a schedule that works for you and flows with adequate time to get everything accomplished?

With the way my life has been changing lately (graduating college, working part time, subbing, studying, etc.) I have started to feel the weight and pressure of overbooking myself, agreeing to do to much, wanting to help everyone, and still have time to get done what I need to do in my own life to help my family and study to pass my certification tests.....not to mention my own personal sanity and getting enough sleep. 

I have always been someone who could easily say "NO" when it came to things that went against what I believed, didn't see as right, or were to overwhelming for my introverted personality. Believe me, if you call me and want me to be somewhere or doe something in an hour I will probably say no because that is to short of notice. However, I am also a person who likes to be "helpful"....... I love helping people out, especially if I am the only one available to help them (or that is what they make it sound like). So often times even if I don't really want to do something I say yes because I feel guilty or think I have to. I think this comes from my desire as an "advocate" (INFJ) to find or help a cause.....sometimes I like to be needed. However, this comes with it's share of downsides..........one being that I sometimes find it hard to say NO. 

I HATE to hurt peoples feelings, and I hate letting people down. If someone asks me to do something I always want to help them, a lot of times I will gladly say "YES" especially if they seem like they are in a tight spot. However, sometimes this comes at a cost to my schedule and time. Since I am currently trying to study to pass my two certification tests as well as help my family out with my responsibilities, I have to think about the time I devote to each, in relation to the other things I agree to. 

Saying NO is sometimes hard for me because I feel like I am letting people down (and I don't like disappointing people). In the past when people have made assumptions about me or said something in regards to my character that wasn't true I sometimes take it personally......its part of my nature. But I often loose sight of the fact that it hardly ever is true, and I can't let what others think of me determine the decision I make. I can't let others possible disappointment determine my agreeing to something that I don't have time for. My mom has a saying "What's good isn't always what's best" and I have learned recently that this needs to become a motto for my life:) 

For years I have always been known to tell my friends "It's okay to say NO" (because that is another thing my mom has always said to me) and now that I am put in positions where I have to make decisions based off of my desire to help people and my need to also do what is best for my life and schedule, I realize that I kind of need to start taking my own advice. However, saying NO sometimes takes practice. You know that scene in 27 Dresses where Kevin gives Jane a lesson on saying NO (because she always agrees to to much out of her desire to help everyone which comes at a detriment to her time, emotions, and schedule)..... that's what I have been trying to practice. 

Obviously I am not sharing this to say that we need to just go around saying "NO" to everyone and everything, but the art of saying NO comes with our realization of making choices and decisions based on what is BEST. Often we make decisions quickly without thinking through all the options and logistics in regards to not only what we are being asked, but also in regards to our life. In order to make "wise" decisions and learn to say NO when need be, I have started to ask myself questions:

Do I really have time in my schedule to add this? 
If I agree to this will I still have time to complete my other tasks and responsibilities? 
Will it be a detriment to my health, sanity, and sleep?  
Will this benefit me in any way?
Do I have other plans this week that take up a good bit of time?
Am I their only option or do they have other people they can ask?

Sometimes saying NO means making a hard decision for the right reasons. The more we commit to and say "yes" to the more our schedule gets busy and time gets away from us which inadvertently leads to stress, which isn't good! I have learned that I have to let go of worrying about what the other person will think because if I agree to more than I can handle I am not doing myself any favors. In some instances saying NO can be easy, but often times it is hard when another person(s) is involved. However, at the end of the day we have to remember "what's good isn't always what's best," take a breath, say NO, and move on. 

Do you struggle with saying NO?
How have you learned to say NO?

-Madison

Traveling As An Introvert

Traveling As An Introvert

Skirt: Vintage | Sweater: Faded Glory | Tights: Amazon | Socks: Forever 21 | Shoes: Target |
Jacket: Thrifted (London Fog) | Scarf: Old Navy (old) | Beret: Amazon 

If you have been around this corner of the blogsphere for while and have followed along on my journey you know how passionate I am about sharing who I am as an Introvert and what that means in different facets of my life. Through the last couple of years in learning more about who I am I have learned how to maintain my energy and sanity amidst a busy and sometimes crazy life. Thus, when it comes to traveling as an Introvert, it can be both emotionally and physically draining more than the typical person. 
On my trip to New York in January I learned just how taxing travel can be for an Introvert, but I also learned how to cope with that to keep my energy at a constant level. Not only can travel be fast passed, but it can be stressful, as was our trip the first couple of days. Our original flight got canceled due to weather so all my carefully articulated plans went out the window and I had to rework everything (not to mention we lost almost 2 days of city time). On top of our flight, our first night in New York (really our first 3 hours at 1:00 am in the morning) were not what I had expected at all and emotions were running high as quick decisions and judgments had to be made. All in all there were a host of unexpected things that came up before and during our trip that to the typical personal are a lot to handle, and to an Introvert (INFJ) are even more overwhelming. 
Thankfully, both my best friend and I decided to just breathe and not try to rush or overpack our days in New York. Even though we lost two days (we were able to add two days on) we didn't want to make our trip stressful by over booking ourselves. We ended up only doing 2-3 major tourist stops each day and made it back to our air bnb no later than 7:00pm every night. 
As the personality of Introverts go, being around lots of people for extended periods of time is what drains us. However, even being in a huge city like New York with lots of people and sometimes riding crowded subways wasn't all that draining for me (probably because I like people watching). The thing that always drains me is freaking out when the schedule or day doesn't go according to plan or when I am going non stop 24/7, while mentally thinking about what comes next. I had to learn to live in the moment while in New York, because otherwise I would have missed so many of the important or little things that the city had to offer. 

So....in a nutshell what did I learn about traveling as an Introvert?

  1. Make plans, but be FLEXIBLE: I am a planner, its part of my nature and personality and helps me not stress out about the need to be spontaneous. However, life rarely goes according to "my plans" and I have to be willing to let go and change things up. If I am flexible to change I don't allow stress in. 
  2. Take your time in the morning: Nothing sets your day off to a rough start being rushed! Set your alarm where you have plenty of time to get up, get ready, and eat something (or drink coffee) before you head out for the day. If your alarm just so happens to go off later, don't stress it. Get mentally prepared for the day. 
  3. Live in the moment: this seems like a bit of a stretch because it lends itself to being spontaneous (which I am not), but what I mean by this is enjoy every part of your day. If you are at a museum, enjoy taking in the sights and displays (don't think about the place you need to go next). 
  4. Take time to recharge during the day: Sometimes for me this was just sitting still for 10 minutes on the subway getting caught up in my thoughts. Other times this was stopping for a cup of coffee and taking a moment to be still amidst the constant moving. While this definitely didn't recharge me all the way, it helped me refocus and breathe amidst a busy day. 
  5. Drink your coffee and tea! So I'm basically immune to the caffeine in coffee, so sometimes it's more of a comfort thing, but my mornings and days aren't the same without a good warm cup of Jo! If you are into tea, that's good too. Typically I drink coffee in the morning and tea at night.....it's the start and finish to my day! 
  6. Don't Stay out late: I think this goes without saying....but after a long busy day of travel and sight seeing return back to your accommodations early in the evening. 
  7. Take a Slow lazy night: So during our trip we didn't actually eat dinner out anywhere in the evenings, we made all of our meals at our air bnb and sat on the couch in pajamas and fuzzy socks watching The Great British Bake Off like old ladies....it was great! 
  8. Always take a book: in true Rory Gilmore style always carry a book with you when traveling. You can read it in the car, on the subway, or on the plane....its your best friend. 
  9. You need your music: music lends itself to helping us escape and relax, so every body (especially introverts) need music when traveling. It can help you fall asleep in a new place, drown out the noises of the plane, give you energy, you name it! 
  10. Don't loose yourself: I think we as people can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and through this loose who we are. The same thing can be said for introverts who go somewhere out of their comfort zone. Just because you are traveling doesn't mean you have to stop being an introvert or be more extroverted. Sure, you might have to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone, but you don't have to compromise who you are to still get the most our of your experience or trip:) 


What are your trips for travel?

-Madison

Fly Away With Me

Fly Away With Me

Shirt: Thrifted (vintage) | Dress: Thrifted (Gap) | Boots: Joules | Pin: Shop Luella


I have always been a romantic at heart. Maybe it is due to my personality for day dreaming or years growing up watching Anne of Green Gables and Hallmark movies? I will always be a fan of love stories, cheesy movies, and weddings. If I cry in a movie it is probably because two people finally realized they have feelings for each other, the guy caught the girl right before she hopped on the plane and confessed his undying love for her, or because the guy proposed in the most simple way.....its the sentimental things that get me.

Maybe that is another reason I am a fan of Valentines Day? Or maybe it is because I can wear all the red, pink, and hearts I want without it being weird:) Whatever the true reason I am totally obsessed with this look I put together for this shoot (and to wear throughout February). I ran across this denim dress at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago and at first I wasn't going to get it, but then I remembered this vintage polka dot blouse I had in my closet and knew they were the perfect match! Because it has been so dreary in Texas lately I decided to pair the look with my red Joules wellies and I love how it pulled the whole look together....plus I finished off the look with my favorite Introvert pin. The look gives off a classy, yet girly look which was perfect for this fun shoot:)


-Madison

Books are Bae: My Valentines Day Tradition

Books are Bae: My Valentines Day Tradition



So I started this tradition two years ago where I buy myself books for Valentines Day! Maybe I started it to give myself an excuse to buy all the books I had been wanting to read, or maybe it was to #treatyourself ? Whatever my reasoning it has become one of my favorite parts about Valentines Day (because who doesn't like new books)! 
Valentines Day means different things to different people, whether it is love, relationships, candy, chocolate, flowers, etc. I have always celebrated it in some way that meant something to me. Growing up it was ice skating with our local homeschool group or co-op, making valentines day boxes and delivering cards to friends, but now I tend to take it easy and use it as a self care day or just a day to celebrate me. Okay.....I know that sounds conceited, so when I say celebrate me I mean celebrate my season of life, which is being single and embrace it for what it is and LOVE it (even though many people view it negatively). So if I am celebrating being single why not buy myself books? 
I am quite the connoisseur of books! I have a book shelf in my room busting at the seams and have titles and topics ranging from self help, world view, historical fiction, mystery, adventure, futuristic, and my personal favorite young adult fiction (which has a large expanse of topics in and of itself). So today I thought I would share with you all some of my favorite titles and series I have bought myself and read as well as some of the titles on my list to read (or buy myself this year for valentines day). 
Most of these titles are ones that I have bought myself over the last two years (for valentines day or just because). I LOVE all of them so much and they are all different in their own way. No joke....all of these are titles that I definitely love to binge read :) 
I had heard so many people talk about these books and seen so many bookies on social media with them that I wanted to check them out for myself. The plot itself is intriguing (not to mention the book covers are so pretty) as it centers around a girl (America) who is chosen to participate in the selection, a contest (kind of like the Bachelor or Bacheloret without all the ridiculous drama....well actually there is drama because of a guy named Aspen) to find a wife for the Prince Maxon. The series details the differences in classes, following your heart, stunning ball gowns, battling countries, and making difficult decisions for the good of a kingdom. Predictable, dramatic, and exciting while spanning 5 books and eventually goes onto tell the story beyond the selection! 
I seriously couldn't gush about these books enough! The first book is also being made into a movie and I am sooooo EXCITED! The main character Lara Jean wrote love letters to the boys she loved growing up, then one day the letters are send to all the guys without her knowing and they all find out how she felt about them, and that's just the beginning. There is the best friend and neighbor Josh and then there is the popular high school jock Peter. Lara Jean is a girl after my own heart, she loves to bake and her style is seriously the cutest. The first and second book follow Lara Jean through High School and the third book takes us with Lara as she starts college. These are a charming and delightful read about family, friendship, forgiveness, and growing up.  
There is a lot of debate about this book and story line and I know a lot of people who didn't like it. I read it before the movie came out and loved it as well as the movie. I think while in some people's eyes this book promotes euthanasia, I believe there is a deeper meaning and focus to the book about loving people even when they don't want you to and being there even when you don't support their choices. Louisa is a quirky odd girl just trying to find a job, she has an inspiring spirit and her fashion since would put a smile on anyone's face. The bond and relationship that develops between Louisa and Will is one that truly give you hope, even when there seems like there isn't any and when things don't happen how we would like. 
Just the name made me want to read the book! Cath is the ultimate fan girl of Simon Snow....she reads all the books, goes to all the movies, has all the posters and writes all the fanfiction. When it comes time for her and her twin sister to go off to college life changes and she has to find her way as she and her sister live different lives and she worries about her dad living alone. Throughout the book Cath learns to live apart from her sister and discover her own life along the way. There is a cute barista at Starbucks, loads of fanfiction, fangirl obsessions, and self realization. 
Written by the same author as Fangirl this story is deep, touching, and will probably make you cry. Two misfits from completely different backgrounds meet during high school in 1986 and develop a bound that is worth the risk. It's about first loves, messed up families, courage, determination, cassette tapes and comic books. 
(I'm holding it in my pictures) Oh my gosh this book!!! I started it and finished it in one day (or one night = 4 hours). It's the story of Lea and Gabe and how they fall in love....or finally realize how much they both care for each other, however, the story isn't told from a personal view.....it is told by everyone around them, like the bench, the squirrel, their best friends, and their college creative writing professor who knows the first day she sees them that they have something special. I love that this story is set in college because it makes the story so much sweeter. I love that Gabe is an insanely shy guy because I relate to him so much, but Lea understands that about him and that is what makes their story so special.....the Bench would agree! 
These books are some of the titles that are my list to get (some of them will probably be titles I get myself this year for Valentines Day). A few of them are books written by authors whose books I have read before or new books in a series. They range from adventure, futuristic, inspirational, geeky, love stories, etc. 

I am definitely a girl who loves books and reading....I love escaping into works and connecting with characters and becoming part of their story, going on journeys of discovery and finally realizing what is right in front of them! And as the Introvert that I am books are one of my prized possessions, so Valentines Day always seems like the perfect excuse to add a few more titles to my collection:)

Are you an avid book reader?
Have you read any of these titles?

-Madison 

Top Of The Rock

Top Of The Rock

Sweater: Faded Glory | Skirt: Vintage | Tights: Amazon (fleece lined) | Shoes: Target
Socks: Forever 21 | Belt: Thrifted | Beret: Amazon  | Purse: Vintage Coach 


One of the most well known stops in New York is Rockefeller Center. While we didn’t actually get to spend time exploring Rockafeller center itself, we did go to Top of The Rock and it was one of my favorite things that we did while in New York. Not only is Top of The Rock one of the most frequented tourist stops for pictures, as well as a place that many bloggers frequent, but it gives you the most breathtaking view of the city! There is nothing quite like being 87 stories in the air to viewing the city from above…..so beautiful! Unfortunately, the day we visited Top Of the rock it was a dreary day which slightly clouded our view, but even with the clouds covering the city view it did manage to snow while we were there which we were very excited about!

On this day (Monday) I decided to dress up a bit more (which also meant I made the horrible decision of wearing heels) so I went with a very classy ensemble. The whole look ended up looking like I should be in Paris, but even with its French flair it was still the perfect look for a day in the city. I had seen so many bloggers wearing box pleat skirts and totally forgot I had this vintage suede inspired skirt in my closet. (not featured is the vintage crimson London Fog jacket). I pulled the whole look together with my "matchy matchy" black turtle neck sweater, beret, and belt. 

I will say though, I quite regret wearing heels…..never again! I might have looked cute, but my feet were killing me. Our day started out with plans to take a boat taxi ride to see the city from the water, but through trying to get to our boat dock we walked six blocks only to turn around and head back to the subway because we missed our boats departure and had to get back to the city for our ticket reservation at The Downton Abbey Museum. We arrived back in the heart of the city early enough to stop off at a French bakery (fitting right) for a quick bite to eat (and much needed coffee for me). After our stop to the bakery we headed to the Downton Abbey Museum which was such a dream! We felt like we were in Downton Abbey itself surrounded by the characters, music, prop, and costumes and it was AMAZING! After the museum we made sure to visit Top of The Rock because we knew we wouldn’t have time for it the next day and took in the splendor of New York from above....definitely a memorable day!

-Madison