Stories & Spaces: The Month of Self-Love {February}

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and are ready for the week!  It’s supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees in the midwest, and I am so excited for a week filled with warmth and sunshine!  This month I chose the topic for our Stories and Spaces meeting, and I decided to talk about self-love!  Since February is the month of love, I couldn’t think of a more inspirational topic that my blogging tribe and I could share with all of you!

Why is self-love important?

To me, self-love is by far the most important aspect of life!  If you are not fully in love with life, you cannot expect to be able to reciprocate positivity, love, and good vibes.  Falling in love with yourself first is something that can take a lot of time, and removing negative influences such as people, habits, health choices, and thoughts can be the first step in doing so!  Falling in love with yourself will not only leave you feeling empowered, but your overall beauty will shine inside and out!  (I shared one of my favorite quotes that I always associate with self-love at the end of this post)!

How do you find self-love within yourself?

This goes hand-in-hand with removing those negative influences, but also making sure you have a positive mindset about yourself!  A lot of us tend to focus on “imperfect” qualities rather than the countless number of beautiful qualities we have, and each of us are our own biggest critic.  Embrace every single part of your body, and make it a goal to boost your confidence rather than breaking yourself down!  I also believe that comparison is the thief of joy, so allowing yourself to be inspired by others rather than envious/comparing yourself will leave you feeling determined and motivated!

*I challenge you to look at yourself in the mirror, and compliment yourself!  Compliment yourself so often that you can’t help but smile and feel an extra boost of confidence whenever you walk by a mirror!

How do you “treat yourself”?

I am a huge advocate for treating yourself, and designating time each day for “me time”!  I think spending quality time with yourself is incredibly important, and treating yourself to something special (big or small) on a daily basis is a must-have in my opinion!  Occasionally I will dedicate an entire day to a “me day” where I will treat myself to my favorite things!  It starts with two cups of tea in the morning, followed by a cup of coffee, a burning candle, a face mask/pamper session, sushi, macarons, a hot bath, and endless hours of reading/planning!  Taking time each day to treat yourself will leave you looking forward to something, especially if you’ve had a tough day, and it’ll instantly brighten your mood!

What do you love most about yourself?

This is the question I was most excited about asking, because I feel like it’s a question that isn’t asked enough!  I am truly in love with every aspect of my life, and I am so blessed and grateful for the life that I am living!  I absolutely love my outlook on life, my positive/optimistic attitude, my health/wellness, my ability to find joy and happiness in (almost) every single situation, and how organized I am (to name a few)!  I’ve been through a lot during the past 20 years, and I believe each situation has made me stronger, more positive, and has allowed me to make the necessary adjustments to love myself and my life even more!

*I challenge you to write down what you love the most about yourself, and remind yourself of those qualities every single day!  I like to write positive affirmations on a sticky note inside of my planner, and each week I write down a new one based on what inspires me!

Nothing makes me happier and more in love with life than my best friends, so definitely take a look at Paige, Alyssa, and Ally’s posts over on Where the Wildflowers Are, Pretty, Young and Motivated, and A Touch of Tulle!

Make February the month to fall in love with yourself, and to fall in love with the life you’re living!  

Love & Good Vibes


Today’s Inspiration

9 Ways to Beat The Winter Blues {& Get Out of a Rut}

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you had a lovely weekend, and are ready for a wonderful week!  Take today to set good intentions, to motivate your soul, and to cleanse the space around you!  With this cold, winter weather, it’s easy for all of us to fall into a rut and feel a little uninspired.  So treat yourself to something special today, and start your week with some extra good vibes!

While I love winter, the classic “winter rut” is upon us!  Last week I found myself feeling a little unmotivated and a little lazy, so I used this past weekend to recharge and re-inspire my soul!  Doug and I went to our favorite restaurant for lunch, and I picked up some of my favorite macarons and fresh flowers! I also cleansed my entire space, and I couldn’t resist burning my favorite spring/summer candle!

 It’s been far too long since I’ve written an inspirational/motivational post, and these are genuinely some of my favorite posts to write!  I love sharing my thoughts and ideas with all of you, and hearing all of your incredible feedback/ideas in return!  Also since we are in the middle of winter, and spring seems a little too far away, I couldn’t resist talking about some of my favorite ways to stay motivated and inspired during this time of the year!

Get Up & Get Active

Take a walk outside, hit the gym, or dance in your apartment!  Being active not only will help your body feel better, but it will leave you feeling happier and much less sluggish!  Exercise releases endorphins in your body, which in turn will help you feel more positive!  Turn on your favorite playlist, put on your cutest workout outfit, and let the good vibes flow!

Plan a Vacation

This can be anything from a small road trip to jet setting across the globe, and I promise either one will be just as rewarding!  Lately I’ve been spending a little too much time lounging in bed, so I decided to use that time to plan some fun vacations with Doug!  Our first vacation is coming up in February, and my mood has been completely uplifted due to the fact that I now have something to look forward to!  I catch myself thinking about each of our vacations every single day, and it always brings a huge smile to my face!

Pamper Yourself

This frigid weather has been pretty tough on my hair, skin, and nails, so I’ve been setting aside time to pamper myself each day!  I love taking a hot Lush bath, giving myself a manicure, getting a pedicure, getting my hair done, and using my favorite face masks!  Anything that leaves me feeling relaxed and content is a must during the winter, and something I highly recommend!

Develop a Morning & Evening Routine

I am an advocate for morning and evening routines, because I believe they help your mind, body, and spirit realign in the best way!  Allow yourself some extra time in the morning to prepare your favorite breakfast, to read a book, or to meditate.  Each night, try a digital detox, drink some green tea, and maybe soak in a hot bath for a while!  Life can get pretty busy sometimes, so try creating these routines that way you always have a set plan that will bring you joy and happiness!  I have updated morning and fitness routines coming very soon, so definitely stay in touch for those!

Create a Positive Space

“When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life.” – Karen Kingston

It may seem tedious, but cleaning up your space will leave you feeling accomplished and inspired!  I spent hours cleaning up every inch of my space this weekend, and I was truly proud of myself once the job was finished (is that an indication to how cluttered my space was?  Yikes!).  I played my favorite music, my favorite candle was burning, and I treated myself afterward by buying some beautiful fresh flowers for my desk!  If you ask me, fresh flowers, crystals, and candles are a must for a positive, beautiful space!


One of my goals for 2017 is to read every morning and night, and I’m sad to admit that I have not even completed one day of that goal!  Ugh!  I have been reading here and there though, and I have been loving the quiet moments spent in my cozy room curled up with a good book and hot tea!  The books I’ve been loving lately are The Magnolia Story, The Little Book of Mindfulness, A Wilder Life, and Adventures For Your Soul!  Check out my favorite books and magazines, and definitely let me know some of your favorites!

Make Plans

There is nothing more important to me than spending time with the people I love, and I will always put those plans above all else!  I believe making plans with friends/family/loved ones is the most important thing, and I always feel so loved and inspired after meeting with them!  While we all have busy schedules, we always manage to find time to spend some truly special quality time together!  

Early this morning my blogging tribe and I had a fun and inspiring meeting at Paige’s apartment, Lyss and I have a coffee date set in about an hour, and my little/dear friend Lauren is coming over to watch The Bachelor tonight (Danielle M, Alexis, Raven and Vanessa are my faves)!  Tuesday my mom and I have a shopping day planned, and I also get to do some work for VS PINK which is my favorite thing to do!  Thursday my best friend Alexis and I are going to hot yoga and grabbing açaí bowls after, and then Doug will be here for the weekend!  The perfect week with some of my favorite people in the world!

Stay Hydrated & Caffeinated

You all know how much I love coffee and tea, and I love water just as much!  Drinking enough water daily is a necessity, and it truly helps your body in so many ways!  Making sure you’re well hydrated and well caffeinated will not only leave you feeling positive and energetic, but you’ll also be more motivated to complete tasks!  I like to start each day with cold water and a cup or two of hot oolong tea, and I usually drink coffee between one and four days per week.  I try not to drink a lot of coffee, and I prefer the natural caffeination of tea, but I definitely love to treat myself to a soy vanilla latte!  *Tip: try downsizing your coffee for less sugar and caffeine intake, and try a milk substitute!  A “tall” (12 ounces) from Starbucks is my go-to!

Detox & Refresh Your Soul

Take time to meditate, to get 6-8 hours of sleep, and to rest when needed!  Take time each day for some “me time”, and be a little selfish with yourself and your time.  You are your #1 priority, and taking care of yourself is a necessity.  Allow yourself to nourish your mind, body, and spirit, and to love yourself unconditionally!  Take a break from social media, put on your favorite comfy clothes, make your favorite drink/snack, and indulge in your alone time!  “You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.”

One of my goals for 2017 was creating content that I absolutely love, and as I mentioned these types of posts are some of my favorite ones to create!  Thank you all so much for continuing to support me on my journey, each of you are my biggest inspiration and motivation!  Simply Tess wouldn’t be the same without you, and I am forever grateful!

Love & Good Vibes


Today’s Inspiration

Detoxify Your Life


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

Read More

Daily Adventures in J Crew


It’s a chilly, snowy day in Michigan, so here’s an outfit post from my tropical vacation…

Read More

March Favorites!


My March Favorites featuring fashion, beauty, coffee, home, and random…

Read More