07.07.17 – Weekly Recap & Exciting Updates!

Hello everyone, happy Friday!  I hope you had an absolutely beautiful week, and are feeling inspired and excited for the weekend!

It’s not often that I write a recap post, but I wanted to chat with you all a little bit today and share what’s been going on!  I started a new job as well as a summer class, and I finally felt like I was getting back into a routine when it hit me… the dreaded creative slump that we all encounter every once in a while.  You know the feeling!  After some sweaty workout sessions, a meditative slow flow, and a much needed digital detox, I finally found my way out and decided to create a new little addition to Simply Tess!

So here it is… I created a YouTube channel!!

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How to Enjoy Finals Week {& Still Get an A}!

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone!!

I am currently finishing the second to last day of my junior year, and I am so excited for summer vacation!!  This week was basically finals week for me, and even though I don’t have any written exams this semester I know the feeling all too well!  While the week is usually filled with high stress and caffeine levels, it’s important to take time to soothe your mind, body and soul!  I wanted to share six of my top tips on how to enjoy finals week, because for most of us it’s the dreaded week that we wish didn’t exist!  Also, be sure to check out my Final Exam Study Tips / Managing Stress post for a little extra inspiration!

Take A Break

Relax your mind for a while, and take a break from studying!  You deserve time to yourself without worry.  Studying is only successful if your mindset is, so take breaks to refresh your being!  For every 2-3 hours of studying, give yourself an hour break in between and do something that you enjoy! 

Go Outside

Is there truly anything better than fresh air and sunshine?!  Head outside and listen to the birds, smell the flowers, watch the clouds, and enjoy your surroundings!  There is no better way to destress than by emerging yourself in nature, and I guarantee your mood will be completely lifted!

Spend Time With Friends

Plan a coffee date, go for lunch, or even throw on your comfiest clothes and have a study session!  Spending time with friends will leave you smiling and laughing, which will boost your energy and lower stress and anxiety levels!  Even when you’re having a busy week, always make time to spend quality moments with the people you love!

Stock Up On Snacks/Drinks

(Vegan + gluten free rosewater & pistachio ice cream, I’m in HEAVEN!)

Throw all of the health/wellness advice out the door for this post, because finals week calls for your favorite snacks and drinks!  I promise the week will be much more enjoyable if you stock up on delicious treats, because who doesn’t love to have a snack (or a pizza!) after a long day of cramming?  You deserve it!

Detox

Finals week will most likely cause a lot of mixed emotions, so definitely take time to detox during the week!  Detoxing your mind, body and soul will remove any toxic energy, and will release all of those emotions as if a weight is being lifted.  My favorite ways to detox are to meditate, take a bath, take deep breaths, take a nap, light a candle, and go to hot yoga!

Treat Yourself

After a long day/week, treat yourself to something that makes you ecstatic!  Whether it’s retail therapy, your favorite meal (my go-t0 is sushi!), a road trip, or a day at the spa, do something that is going to make you as happy as you can possibly be!  You worked hard, and you deserve it!

Definitely make sure you head over to A Touch Of Tulle, and check out her post for her top tips on how to survive finals week!  Good luck, you can do it!!

Love & Good Vibes

Tessa

Today’s Inspiration

A Week in the Bahamas {Places to Visit & Travel Tips}

 

Happy Wednesday everyone!! It’s like the saying goes, it truly is better in the Bahamas!!  Doug and I spent a week visiting islands, exploring new places, and meeting some of the most incredible people from across the globe!  We set sail on Royal Caribbean, and let our minds, bodies, and spirits relax and detoxify as we cruised across the ocean!

Two of the islands we visited were Nassau/Paradise Island and Cococay, and I wanted to share some incredible places to visit as well as some travel tips that will help make any cruise/vacation run perfectly!!

Nassau

Fresh coconuts on the island, YUM!!  My goal for the cruise was to drink out of a freshly cut coconut, and it did not disappoint!!  Also, if you like this outfit, check out all of the details here!  This dress is under $30 too!

Welcome to Nassau Bahamas!

My favorite row of colorful shops and buildings!

Pompey Square is a historic landmark, and during the 1700s it was the scene of slave auctions.  The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation is located on the square, and it is a commemorative space to visit and pay respects!

Majesty of the Seas, our cruise ship!  We are completely sold on Royal Caribbean, and are already planning another cruise for next year!  I’m thinking maybe the Cayman islands, St. Thomas, or maybe both?!

We took one of these smaller boats over to Paradise Island, and our tour guide was so fun and energetic!!  For only $4, you can’t beat it!

Paradise Island

The most incredible yacht club with a beautiful view!  My family and I are fellow boaters, and have been our entire lives, so this was very fun to see!

Dairy free and gluten free ice cream, YUM!

We didn’t spend much time on Paradise Island, but it was fun to walk around Atlantis!  Both Islands are full of palm trees and the most vibrant colored buildings, and it was truly an incredible experience!

Cococay

Welcome to Cococay!!  This was Doug and I’s favorite day, and our favorite place that we visited!

The cutest floating tiki bar!!  A definite must-visit on the island!

We walked out as far as we possibly could in the incredibly warm water!  Pictures cannot even represent how beautiful the island is, and this was by far our favorite destination!

The middle of the island was filled with lush greenery and animals, and there were plenty of chickens roaming around!!  So cute!  One chicken ended up sitting underneath the chairs behind us!

The most beautiful week with my best friend, we made memories that will for sure last a lifetime!

Travel Tips:

  • If you’re taking a cruise, make sure you pack essentials on a carry-on!  They will take your bags to load onto the ship when you arrive, and you want to make sure you have everything you need!  In my carry on, I kept Doug and I’s passports, IDs, and wallets, a swimsuit for each of us, sunscreen, my polaroid camera (and film!), both of our sunglasses, chapstick, gum, a book, my Birkenstocks, and our phone chargers. Our bags didn’t get delivered to our room right away, so we changed into our swimsuits and lounged by the pool before our departure!
  • Bring cash and cards!  We paid cash for almost everything on the islands, but a few places only accepted card as the form of payment.  Also, if you’re paying with cash, make sure you receive your correct currency back in change!
  • Don’t buy the wifi package!  Unless it’s an absolute necessity, try avoiding using the wifi offered by the ship.  Doug and I used the entire cruise as a digital detox, and it was the best thing we could’ve done!
  • Book any excursions beforehand!  The prices increase A LOT if you decide to book an excursion the same day, so look into packages and deals before you depart!
  • Invest in a passport!  This may not be necessary for some cruise lines, but having a passport makes everything so much easier!  We were told we wouldn’t need a passport, but then it ended up being a requirement in order to make it through customs.  Thankfully we brought ours anyway, but make sure you do research just in case!
  • Relax and recharge, and enjoy every moment!!

Love & Good Vibes

Tessa

Today’s Inspiration

06/28-07/05 Recap: Travel, Modeling, Fitness & Life Update!

Hi everyone, I am FINALLY back after my small hiatus!  It was so incredibly weird not posting, but I absolutely loved having some time to really enjoy my vacation and surroundings without technology!  It was a short “digital detox” if you will!  Since it’s been over a week since I’ve posted, I decided to break this post down day by day and share my story with you all!  Each day was filled with adventure, and I made the most incredible memories while discovering so many new things!

TUESDAY 06/28

Work, work, and more work!!  I feel like that’s all I’m ever doing nowadays!  However this day was special because my grandma returned from her trip to the United Kingdom!  She brought back a ton of postcards, artwork, menus, and so many other incredible things that transported me to a foreign land that is absolutely beautiful!  She had the most wonderful time, and actually met up with my cousin who was also traveling oversees!  This was my favorite postcard of the bunch, and she sent another one that should arrive shortly!  I can’t wait to see it!!  You all know my obsession with travel, so hearing about her trip was incredible!

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WEDNESDAY 06/29

Today was amazing because I was finally able to see my best friend, Ally!  We spent the afternoon at our favorite place Le Bon Macaron, and grabbed some sushi while talking about her trip across Italy!  If you follow her blog A Touch of Tulle, you already know about all of her adventures and her incredible style!  I lived vicariously through her while she was away, so it was incredible hearing her talk about her adventures!   Ally was generous enough to bring me back some authentic Italian chocolate, and a beautiful authentic Italian leather cross body handbag that is stunning!  She is amazing, and the greatest friend I could ever ask for!  Also, our move in date is coming up next month, so definitely stay in touch for more of our adventures!

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Later that evening I had a photoshoot with the amazing company BeCause of a Casewhich is an incredible brand to represent!  This company uses a portion of proceeds from each phone case sold to improve mental health, which is absolutely amazing!  I was lucky enough to model with two other women for the website, and show off their amazing message and products!  I actually received the “Lattes” case, which is perfect for my coffee addiction and goes towards a great cause!  Not to mention, it’s absolutely adorable!  Check out their website to see a familiar face on the home page, and to purchase your very own case!

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After the photoshoot, my mom and I visited Tallulah which is a gorgeous wine bar & bistro!  Since the shoot was located in the beautiful city of Birmingham, it was only necessary that we enjoyed some wine/dessert outside!  The city was full of live music and incredible views, and I will definitely be dropping by more often!

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THURSDAY 06/30 & FRIDAY 07/01

I decided to combine these two days, because both days were filled with work!  However on Friday, Doug and I packed up the car and headed to my beautiful hometown, Manistee!  My love for Manistee is unreal, and it was the first time I’d been there in years!  We met up with our best family friends for dinner, and spent the evening dining and catching up!  Doug and I actually spent the entire weekend on my parent’s 4600 Maxum SCB, so it was absolutely perfect and we had the best views of the lake!

SATURDAY 07/02

Rise and shine!!  This morning my friend and running buddy Levi and I ran the Firecracker 5K!  We had so much fun running together, and it was the perfect start to the morning!  We ran on multiple roads (and hills, ugh), and actually ran a huge loop right next to Lake Michigan!  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I actually took runner up for my age group!!  Okay granted, there were only two people in my age group, but runner up sounds MUCH better than “last” in my opinion!  Out of 300+ people, Levi and I took around 180th so I was incredibly proud of us!  Especially since it was his very first 5K!

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After the race, we grabbed breakfast and I headed over to the local Craft Show with my mom and her friend, Melissa!  The boys all spent the day at the car show, golfing, and doing other man-things, while we enjoyed shopping and grabbed lunch!  I picked up some amazing, handmade items from the Craft Show, and of course some goodies from the local boutiques downtown!  We had the most delicious lunch at my new favorite place, The Fillmore Coffee & Brews, and I actually ended up stopping by with Doug for lunch on Sunday!  The Fillmore makes every single food item fresh as soon as you order, and you can 100% tell the difference!  We ordered fresh-made salads, homemade hummus and pita chips, and I couldn’t resist getting a soy vanilla latte!

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That evening Doug and I spent time with my parents and our friends, where we had a huge BBQ, watched the Olympic trials, and played Texas Hold’em while snacking on homemade kettle corn!  The perfect day!

SUNDAY 07/03

Doug and I started the morning/afternoon at The Fillmore, and packed up the car and headed for a day trip to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival!  We attended the Cherry Festival last year as well, and this year there was even more excitement!  We arrived just in time for the incredible air show, and spent the afternoon on our friend’s boat!  We also watched the beach volleyball tournament, and walked around the beautiful city with our good friends!

That evening Doug and I, my parents, as well as our family friends, loaded onto our 4600 Maxum and we set out to Lake Michigan to watch the Fireworks!  We grilled, had drinks, and enjoyed each other’s company on the beautiful lake while watching the incredible sunset before the fireworks began!  The firework show was spectacular, and the perfect finale to our vacation!

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MONDAY 07/04 & TUESDAY 07/05

Happy 4th of July!!  We spent the morning watching the local parade, which was absolutely incredible!  The Scottville Clown Band made a special appearance, and the entire town put on the most fantastic parade I’ve ever seen!  Afterwards Doug and I grabbed some lunch at the local pub, packed our bags, and headed back!  It was more than upsetting leaving Manistee, but I’ll be heading back later this year for another 5K, and for the Christmas parade!  I cannot even wait!!

After a long car ride, we made it back and spent the evening relaxing and watching HGTV and Joe Kenda Homicide Hunter!  I made multiple mugs of tea, and actually began writing this blog post!

On Tuesday, Doug and I watched Finding Dory and enjoyed some delicious salads!!  Tuesday was a lazy day for me, so I enjoyed a bit of rest and relaxation before heading back to work today!  I also started working out again after taking 3 days off, and my body definitely felt it!!

I hope you all enjoyed this recap of my past week!  Again, I apologize for not blogging, but sometimes a digital detox is necessary in order to really enjoy yourself!  I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and it’s filled with lots of love and good vibes!

xo, Tessa

Today’s Inspiration

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Detoxify Your Life

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Today I’m sharing some tips and inspiration with you all to help remove negative energy and people from your life…

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