MONDAY THOUGHTS // REFLECTION

Our summer has been busy.
Between going through some personal struggles at the beginning of our summer, to balancing a new schedule for all of us - I barely noticed that it will soon be July in just a few days.


| DANCE RECITAL |


This was the second year my oldest daughter danced for our local dance studio, and the first year my youngest daughter danced for them. They always end their dance year with a huge recital - and it's always so much fun. Just like last year, I was full of emotions. I don't know if my girls will continue dancing, but I'm extremely proud of how hard they work and perform in front of hundreds of people.




| SUMMER SCHOOL |


Our school district offers a month long summer school - I like to think of it more like a summer camp, they do special activities that they wouldn't do during a normal school day. I love this program because my children get extremely restless during the summer, so it's perfect for us.
My oldest daughter loved being with her friends, it began about a week after school ended and all of them acted like it had been years since they last saw each other - so funny! My youngest daughter is officially a Kindergartner. I was nervous that first week - but of course, I had nothing to worry about and she enjoyed school just as much as I hoped she would.




| IT FEELS A LOT LIKE SPRING |


There has been SO much rain and very little sunshine.
One great thing about rainy days are the beautiful sunsets.




| LAKE DAYS |

We have only been able to head to the lake once this summer - so far. I didn't like being too far away from the girls while they are at school, and like I said it's been raining like crazy. There is so much water in the lake, even the benches and signs are in the water!




| READING |


On those rainy days - being home with just my little one - I've been able to read.
One of my favorite summer reads has been Me and Earl and The Dying Girl - it's such a hilarious, coming of age story. I would definitely recommend checking this one out!




It's been a busy summer for us over here.
I hope July is full of a lot of family time making memories before school starts back in August.
Have a great week.


xxo


#GODOFLY

It's hard to talk about our feelings.
There are the good ones that are easier to share, but the bad ones - those are the feelings that are hard to talk about.

When I began writing my previous blog - Twist & Sprinkle - my hopes were to simply share my recipes for the world, but it quickly became something more than that. I realized that I had a bigger platform to do a lot more, so I began writing about my life and all my experiences. A year later, it has led me here to Simply Nicollette - where it is my hope to inspire others through my story so they can find strength to share their own.

So -
I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful person who has helped inspire me each day as I continue to share my story. Her name is Ariadna and she is the founder of The Always Believer.

Ariadna was one of the first people I instantly connected with. I fell in love with her writing and her many inspirational posts. I felt like I could completely relate to everything she said, and her words were exactly what I needed on those tough days. Our exchanges through comments soon turned into a friendship - and everyday I feel incredibly lucky to have found her and The Always Believer. I mean.. how lucky are we to have this wonderful 'blog world' where we can connect and inspire each other - even when we are millions of miles away from one another?

Ariadna is here to share a little bit of her story with you, as well as her amazing #GoDoFly movement.
So - Please join me in welcoming her to Simply Nicollette.



Hello Team Flyer!

 
I am Ariadna Arredondo, founder of The Always Believer. I am a happy-go-lucky girl who is making her own dreams happen, forever positive and overcoming obstacles along the road. Being a bit shaken down due to life circumstances, I've managed to get back up, get going and get strong. I love to help people, make them laugh and feel wanted. You deserve to shine and follow your passion. This is what I am all about, plus telling you the truth you want to hear.

My childhood memories aren't too sweet as my house was a bit rough to live in, I remember shouts and cries. Don't get me wrong, I also have sweet memories at Disney World and bike-riding. As a 9 year old, my mom and I started to move around the world. My life took a big turn as she took us for the ride of our lives. From moving cities to changing continents, from living in random couches to living with other families, we did it all.

Moving on, as a child I was sexually abused by a family member and a couple other random people too. As a teen, I was anorexic, depressed, self-harmed and moved out at 17, living anywhere I could find. And from there, moving forward, I found myself through my early 20s and got myself back up. It took me some time to shake memories off, to forgive my parents and to be where I am.

I started The Always Believer because since I was a child all I could say was 'Always Believe'. And from then on, all I did was that. I always believed that there was a way out, there was an inch of light around me, there was always a way to be saved. For those moments that I thought it was going to be the end, all I did was believe... And from there, I did. I did something to get out, get up and get back at it.

This space I created are for all those who think they can't, I am here to tell you that you can. I am here to believe in you, to help you grow, to push you forward. This is another reason why I created #GoDoFly. I wanted to share real life stories of hardships, any kind of them, all sorts of them and that no matter what, we are able to overcome them. You got to believe first of all, then Go for it, Do it, and that is when you will Fly away... therefore #GoDoFly.

Always Believe,

Ariadna Arredondo




Ariadna...


Has telling your own story helped others to tell their own?
Yes, it really has helped others come out and tell their own stories. Not only in a first hand environment, such as sitting around with friends or even in therapy groups, yet also writing about it and hitting that publish button. It has really been something I am proud of because all I want is for people to feel comfortable, be brave and know that it is going to be okay.

What is the most important thing you have learned since starting #GoDoFly?
Throughout #GoDoFly, I've learned even more that no matter what your story may be, you still want to feel accepted, wanted and feel free to be yourself. The stories that I've heard are all inspirational, whether they are starting your own business or being transgender, it really shows that no matter the case, you are able to push forward and be who you are. I think that this is a really important thing to remember because it means everyone is valid.

What inspires you about other people's stories?
Their desire to continue. Their stories are inspirational at all times, no matter the struggle. I admire that they are brave enough to tell them and that they are willing to share them to help others. It inspires me to keep going on and making my own dreams come true. It inspires me to work harder so their stories can be told far and wide to spread the love even further.

What are your hopes for #GoDoFly?
For #GoDoFly, I want to see it soar. I want to be a part of a bigger movement to help as many people as we can and raise money for charitable causes. I want to make a change and be it too. With the help of this movement, much like many others, the world will have another positive mark. As this movement gathers all these stories together, it will express the bigger message which is that we are one. Hearing inspiring stories from all around the world, knowing that there is a way to get up and that we have each other is the main goal. It is my magic in the making.


Read More From Ariadna Here



---


I want to thank Ariadna for sharing her story here on Simply Nicollette.
She is such a strong woman and I'm very lucky to call her a friend.
Join us, read other #GoDoFly stories, and share your own story.


xxo


WHO I AM



Have you ever had one of those days where you just don't feel like yourself?
Nothing makes you happy - Nothing makes you upset.
Nothing good is happening - Nothing bad is happening.
You just feel blah.. You are just living to exist another day.
Well - I've had plenty of those days, and those days are tough.

I don't know why I do this, but I always seem to do it. I log onto Facebook or Instagram to scroll through my feeds full of smiling faces, beautiful sunrises, gorgeous flowers, and everything else that makes my day go from blah to awful in an instant. It makes me so angry. I make myself promise to stay off of social media for the rest of the day, but it never fails that I end up logging back on within the hour. I sit there and compare my, now, horrible day to the hundreds of people on my accounts that seem to be having a much better day than I am here on my couch.

I hate how easily all this happens to me - all the comparisons I put myself through.
All the negative thoughts that run through my head as I continue to scroll through my phone.
They don't deserve that! Why can't I buy that? Why can't I live there? How are they so lucky and I'm not?

I hate that I allow myself to even think this way - but I let these thoughts fill my head every time, and it drives me insane.

All these thoughts make me feel less like myself than I already feel.
It's frustrating because I don't know what I should do with myself when this happens - how I should make myself feel better about my own life, instead of sitting around being so concerned about everyone else's lives. It's their life not mine - that guy is just himself, that girl is just herself.. & I am just who I am.




For a long, long time - I have expected things to magically happen for me.
I expected to live in a luxurious home with nice things by living my life as I always have, the same. I dwelled on the past and all the missed opportunities that had passed by. Every thought I've had helped me decide my own fate - helped me be more of a dreamer than a doer. It's led me to this moment of pain in my life.

It has taken a lot of bad days of feeling like someone else to realize just how bad my attitude towards life truly was. I've had such a bad attitude throughout my whole life, especially since entering my twenties. I never look at the bright side of things, and negative thoughts fill up my mind instantly.
And -
Those thoughts, those negative thoughts, those are the things that have led me into such a negative reality. This negative outlook on life has truly affected me and I never realized how much until recently.

I am more than these nasty thoughts in my head.
I can be both a dreamer and a doer.
This was the lesson that I learned on that bad day - It is me who has the power to feel like myself again, to bring myself back, and to change my own life instead of wishing for someone else's. I'm the only one that is able to achieve things for myself. I am the only one to make things better for myself, make them worse, or keep things exactly the same.

So -
If you're having one of those bad days today, I hope you know that you aren't alone on those feelings.
Remember, today may not be good - but tomorrow will be better if you make it better.
As cliché as it is - Think positive thoughts.
When something bad happens, try not to curse and be angry about it.
Bring in good energy.
Have a good attitude - allow this attitude to bring you a great reality to live in.


xxo