Stop and Smell the Hydrangeas

Stop and Smell the Hydrangea

With Amalia’s first birthday approaching and my family making our holiday season plans already (what?!), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how fleeting time can be. Sometimes I want to take the clock and shake it to slow down! So far that hasn’t worked out so well, but what does work is working on being more present to enjoy every moment instead of trying to rush through already rapidly moving time.

It’s easy to look back and think about “the good old days”, but what’s harder is appreciating those days for what they are when you’re in them.

I’ll write about this more in Amalia’s one-year update but one of my biggest regrets in the last year has been to focus too much on what’s next as opposed to relishing in the current. Anel and I were so excited for her to sit up, stand up, speak, eat food, etc, that I think we often missed how special certain phases really were.

Whenever we have a second kid (God willing!), we have both promised ourselves to be more present for every moment. Except maybe that two week gassy stage at four weeks. I’d be fine to rush through that one LOL.

In the meantime, here are a few of my tips for being more present this summer.

1. Hide mindless apps: Two weekends ago I hid Instagram from the front page of my phone and buried that app deep in the depths of my third page folders. I found myself opening my screen to mindlessly scroll, but when I saw it wasn’t there, I was reminded to take a break. It worked wonders!

During the work week I’m all about staying on top of social media and responding to DMs and creating content for Instagram Stories. But on the weekend, taking a break is good for me. I’m happier when I do a scroll in the morning and one at night and maybe post a few stories and one photo and call it a day.

If I’m constantly on there I get major FOMO and it also takes away from time with my family. Do you guys ever feel that way?

2. Enjoy the ride… literally: When I’m driving, I often tense up and worry about getting where I’m going on time and don’t ever just enjoy the alone time. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been mindfully choosing a Podcast ahead of time to listen to if I have a drive that’s more than 10 minutes, and that helps a lot. It keeps me calm and not worried about the ride so much. Right now, I’m loving Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations, the goop Podcast, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye, and my friend Grace’s Bad on Paper. If you have other recs, let me know!

3. Make realistic to do lists: I have always been a bit heavy handed with my to-do lists and then feel disappointed in myself at the end of the day when I don’t finish everything on the list. This summer, I have been consciously creating lists for my days (I always make them the night before) that are realistic and doable. If I finish early, I add more tasks and then feel extra badass that day! How does that make me more present? If I know completing all of my tasks is possible then I don’t rush through everything just to check a box. This is a Type A crazy person situation, I realize…

Unrelated to this topic, I have to mention that this adorable striped skirt is on major sale right now and it’s so so so cute!

Tee / Skirt (on sale!) / Pumps / Necklace c/o

Tee / Skirt (on sale!) / Pumps / Necklace c/o

Photos by Julia Dags.


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  1. Katherine said:

    Last Sunday I left my phone at home when I went to brunch and the beach. It was so nice, not looking at my phone when eating with other people and on the beach just sitting and relaxing. I often scroll through my phone at night and feel it giving me anxiety! I don’t know why we do it to ourselves. I am going to try and do Sunday’s with no phone.

    ps. love the outfit!

    7.12.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I need to actually do that. That’s a commitment and I love it!

      7.12.18 · Reply
  2. Caitlin said:

    I love this outfit on you Julia! So summery and cute! I also love your app tip. It’s crazy how much anxiety comes from our dang phones. I’ve been trying to check apps and email less at night and on the weekends. It really does make a difference.

    7.12.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Caitlin! It really makes a difference but is so hard to do. It’s funny how just moving an app can help so much.

      7.12.18 · Reply
  3. Allie said:

    I started making realistic to do lists a few months ago and it has made such a difference! I no longer feel like I put an impossible weight on my shoulders!
    Have a great day! xAllie

    7.12.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Exactly! Great minds 🙂

      7.12.18 · Reply
  4. Katie said:

    Love this skirt on you, Julia- too cute!


    7.15.18 · Reply