A weekend in Charleston

Hey busy bees!

I'm so excited to be sharing something a little different on the blog this week. Instagram polls are my favorite way to get an idea of what my audience would enjoy reading about, and a while back, my followers voted to learn more about our trip to CHARLESTON!!! If you know me well, you know Charleston is my FAVORITE city. I’ve been for Bachelorette parties, couples weekends, girls weekends, and I took my Mom over Spring Break last year for her first trip!

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I've been to Charleston four times and is truly my FAVORITE place. The best food, historic homes, views and shopping EVER!!!

If you haven't been, make it one of your goals this year to go! The best thing about Charleston is you can do a lot in a weekend.

I am no EXPERT on Charleston, but if you're looking to plan a weekend, I can definitely give you some tips and some epic spots. I'm keeping my tips short and simple, because I've read a few blogs on Charleston and it can be overwhelming! 

Enjoy and don't forget to share with any friends that might be going! 

Let's get started!

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When is the best time to go?

In my opinion, the best time to go is in the early Spring or Fall. A local told me that April and October are the busiest times in Charleston. It can get really hot in the Summer, so just be mindful of that! 

I have personally been in April, May, June and July. My husband and I will be going for the first time in the winter, this January, for a wedding! We can’t wait!

Throwback picture of my Bachelorette party in Charleston. We stayed at the Embassy Suites.

Throwback picture of my Bachelorette party in Charleston. We stayed at the Embassy Suites.

What are some great restaurants?

1. Magnolia's

Classic comfort food, amazing service, exceptional food. Last time I was there I got the buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, fried green tomatoes, and a white chocolate ice cream scoop for dessert. 

2. 82 Queen

We had a private room here for my Bachelorette party. Can be a little pricy but offers amazing traditional Southern food and impeccable service. Beautiful, historic restaurant. 

3. Fleet Landing

Awesome seafood on the water! 

4. Poogan's Porch

One of the best restaurants in Charleston. I love going for brunch! MUST EAT HERE!

5. Husk

Definitely pricey but one of the most beautiful restaurants in Charleston! 

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6. Callie's Hot Little Biscuit

There's a standalone restaurant and there's also a small one inside the Old City market. I LOVE their pimento cheese biscuit and iced coffee. YUM!

What are the best bars? 

There are SOOO many and half of them we just stumble into! These are some of my favorites that we manage to hit every trip! 

1. Prohibition

2. The Rooftop Bar at Vendue

3. Stars Rooftop and Grill Room

4. Uptown Social

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What are some things I should do while I'm there?

1. Go shopping on King Street

2. Tour a historic home

The Nathaniel Russel house is my recent favorite, but my Mom and I also visited the Aiken-Rhett house! 

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3. Visit a plantation

I can't personally speak to this, but it's next on my list. I want to do Magnolia! 

4. Go to Folly Beach for the day

5. Go to the Waterfront park and see the iconic Pineapple fountain

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6. Do a carriage tour

If you're an animal lover, sorry if this offends you, but I have done a tour almost every time I've visited Chucktown. It's a great way to explore the city without walking too much (especially when it's hot!) Old South Carriage company is what we usually use. They claim to take very good care of the horses and the horses go to nearby plantation to run and play a few times a week so they can take a break from shifts! It's really fun and a classic Charleston thing to do!

At my Bachelorette party in Charleston, my girls and I did a carriage tour!

At my Bachelorette party in Charleston, my girls and I did a carriage tour!

7. Go to the Old City Market 

Find some souvenirs, meet some locals and find other awesome handmade goods!

8. Eat all the pimento cheese.

And biscuits; just do it!

9. Walk the Battery and see the most beautiful homes, overlooking the water! 

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10. Go to the Farmer's Market on a Saturday (seasonal) and check out local vendors, tents with awesome food, coffee, and more locally made items. When we went, there were also street dancers and musicians! 

11. Visit Rainbow Row! It's a row of beautiful, brightly colored, historic homes! It's a Charleston icon!

11. Do a haunted jail tour or haunted walking tour! I dd this a few years back and it was SO creepy and fun! There are lots of street vendors that you can book with. We did it through Ghost City Tours, I believe.

 That's all I've got for now! I'd love to hear YOUR favorite places in Charleston so I can add to my list! Comment below, and don’t forget to tag or share this post with a friend for an upcoming trip!

xo,

Danise

REAL TALK: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Pregnant

Let me start off by saying that I am no expert! I am just like millions of other moms out there, but I did create this platform to help other women. I’m excited to dive into this topic and shed some light on my personal experiences and connect with other moms that may have experienced some of these things!

You may resonate with some of my stories, or maybe you didn’t experience what I did at all!

EVERY SINGLE PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT.

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Trust me, I was the google queen my entire pregnancy and one person’s symptoms are not necessarily yours.

Everyone wants to share their experiences and stories and if I’m being completely honest, people with good intentions completely freaked me out by sharing sometimes.

This is not what this blog is about!

This is just to give some insight and share some things that I would’ve wanted to know before I got pregnant so it wasn’t a surprise!

Here goes!

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

  1. Pregnancy anxiety (especially the first trimester)

    I wasn’t prepared or ready for this. When I first found out I was pregnant, first I didn’t even think it was REALLY HAPPENING. Then once it sunk in I was terrified. Not about becoming a mom or bringing a child into the world. I was literally terrified that something was going to happen to the baby. We told our parents and close family members at 4-5 weeks, and some friends that we could trust because we were SO excited, but also because my anxiety was sky high. We chose to tell our family because if something DID happen, we would be devastated and would need their support. Once we shared the news, my anxiety lessened but I still had days where my anxiety was really high.

    I could write another blog post on how I tried to manage it, but I really focused on saying positive affirmations, journaling my feelings, tracking my emotions, and reaching out to friends who already had babies. It’s so important to not hide it or be ashamed of it. I think most of my anxiety came from hearing my friend’s stories about their miscarriages and knowing how common it really is. That doesn’t make it any easier or better to deal with.

    Just know that anxiety at the beginning, especially up until the 12 week mark is NORMAL and it will be okay. Don’t hesitate to reach out to others or talk to your doctor if your anxiety worsens or feels unmanageable!

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

2. Sharing your big news

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There is no right or wrong time to tell people when you’re pregnant! When you’re pregnant, a lot of people have opinions on things and you have to do what feels right. Some people choose to wait until the 2nd trimester, and others share when the test has dried! YOU and YOUR PARTNER need to choose what feels right.

There is no reason to be ashamed if you’re so excited to share the news. There is also no reason to feel bad for waiting to tell your friends and family. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and that’s okay.

3. It can be isolating

Again, this was something new to me personally when I became pregnant. The first trimester I was honestly too tired to function and I had no energy to go out with friends and do my normal things. I found out memorial day weekend of 2018 so it was even harder that it was Summertime and I felt like I was “supposed” to be doing all the things, when all I really wanted to do was sleep. Can I get an amen?

Once the fatigue wore off, I realized what a weird (but totally exciting!) time pregnancy is. I couldn’t do my normal happy hour dates with friends and I really didn’t have any other friends pregnant at the same time. Pregnancy is filled with so many emotions and there is so much going on in your body (and mind!) that I felt a little disconnected at times from friends. It wasn’t anything they did; I Just feel like pregnancy made me a little hermit crab this Summer which was another thing I wasn’t expecting!

It’s like this strange time when you’re not yet a mom with a baby, but you also are stepping into a new stage of life and have different needs than you did before!

It really helped to have friends that would text and reach out to check on me and see how I was feeling, and rely on my husband to talk through everything with. Of course family was there for me 100% and at the end of the day, I had to release pressure I was putting on myself and just lay low. It’s a season of life and it’ll pass! But, it could be isolating at times, especially in the Summer when I wasn’t working and stayed home more often.

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

4. You will fall in love with the baby the first time you hear it’s heart beat (or before!)

It sounds cliche but it’s true. Ross and I were so nervous about our 8 week appointment (again, first-time parent anxiety!) but we were so excited to see the baby.

It was a completely surreal moment to get my first ultrasound and see that little bean on the screen and hear it’s heart beat. I will never forget looking over at Ross’ face and seeing it light up when he saw the baby. What a relief, and so much love.

It gets better and better with every single appointment, and I can only imagine the love I will feel when we meet our sweet baby for the first time!

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

5. Your mind will be going 100 MPH, all the time.


Throughout the different stages of your pregnancy, your mind will be going all the time. At first, it was concern about the baby and the anxiety I had surrounding the first trimester. Then, it was excitement about sharing our news on social media and getting to the 2nd trimester. Then, it was our baby registry and shower details. Then, it’ll be decorating the nursery, washing the clothes, finding daycare/sitter, etc. The list goes on. I can’t even imagine how my mind will be right before I deliver!

Again, this is totally normal. I was kind of like this when I planned my wedding! It’s all you can think about because it’s such a huge and exciting time! Overthinking and talking about the baby non-stop is totally normal!

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6. You will not feel like yourself all the time

I felt like I put a lot of pressure on myself at times throughout my pregnancy. My anxiety threw me for a loop, the fatigue made me feel guilty that I was sleeping all day and I also felt bad that I just wasn’t feeling myself energetically!

As a mom-to-be, you’re going to need support from your husband and your family as you grow a human inside of you! You’re not going to be yourself and that is OKAY.

Maybe you won’t be up to cooking dinner like you normally do.

Maybe you have zero energy for the grocery store and decide to get them delivered instead.

Maybe you say no to going out to dinner with a group of friends because you’re just not feeling up to it.

Maybe you’re moving or changing rooms in your house to prepare for the baby and you get frustrated because you can’t help out as much as you want to.

Maybe not fitting into your old clothes or looking in the mirror and seeing changes in your body makes you feel insecure.

Maybe you get overly emotional about something and have a melt down with your husband.

Been there, done that. Guess what? It’s okay.

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

7. Lastly, it’s the happiest and most exciting time of your life!

From watching your belly grow, to feeling your baby’s kicks for the first time, pregnancy is such an exciting time! I have enjoyed every minute of announcing our pregnancy, planning our gender reveal, counting the days to our doctor’s appointments and getting little gifts in the mail from friends and family. It’s just so special! Get ready to be in the center of attention, and own it! People love pregnant people!

It’s crazy how much I love my son already, and I can’t wait to meet him in just a few months.

I’m going to end this post here, at 22 weeks pregnant!

There may be a part 2 to this blog post because I still have a way to go!

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For now, these are the ones that have stuck out to me the most and I can’t wait to hear from YOU about some of your experiences, and if you could relate to any of these.

Tag a mom-to-be that might resonate with this article, or share online, because lets face it, it just feels better when you know you’re not alone!

Click here to learn more about my business as a life coach, and see how talking to someone outside of your circle can transform your life or business! Want to know more about me and my journey before getting pregnant? Click here!

xo,

Danise

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Your Identity Map Story

Hi busy bees!

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Yesterday I was at a literacy leadership meeting and the literacy team started us off with an activity I’ve done several times throughout my personal growth and development journey. It’s always a great feeling when my career as a reading specialist and literacy coach ties in with my coaching business.

The team shared that we would be making identity maps.

Identity maps are a great activity to do with students to tie in social-emotional learning, but is also a powerful personal growth activity!

Identity maps allow you to map out important event’s in your life; some that you may not have thought of in quite some time. We are quick to block out aspects of our past that are painful, but it can be eye-opening to see how your pain launched you into something better and made you a stronger version of yourself.

Each time I do an identity map, I think about what has each brought me to where I am today.

They shared some amazing examples ranging from an identity road map from birth to present. Think of a road going across the paper, and simple graphics/words/illustrations mapping out important events in your life.

Another example I loved was a a glacier with traits that people see on the outside, and traits that no one sees below the surface. The outside traits go on top of the iceberg, and the deeper ones were written below the surface of the water.

Yesterday, I chose to do the identity road map.

The activity reminded me of how fun and empowering it can be to look back on where we’ve been and feel empowered to keep moving forward.

I’m telling you this because as a life coach and designer, my passion is helping women live intently, fulfill their dreams, and be productive in the things that truy matter.

Identity maps can be an amazing activity to pinpoint where you’ve been and where it is that you’re going. Now today, I’m going to share how to make one with you! I’ve created a simple template you can use to do this.

One of my favorite identity maps also came from Amber Lilyestrom’s Ignite Your Soul Summit event. The reason why this one in particular is so powerful is because she had us start from birth to present and identify the HIGHS and LOWS of our lives. The way we indicated this was by dotting the good/happy events ABOVE the line, and the hard times BELOW the line. This allowed us to truly “connect the dots” of our stories and honor every version of ourselves.

The beautiful thing about this map was that after every low, there was a rise.

For my identity map, I invite you to think about ten high and low points in your life and how your story has lead you to where you are today.

After doing your identity map, think about the following questions:

  1. What are the top moments where you chose YOURSELF and your dreams?

  2. What were your biggest lessons learned during the low points?

  3. What are some high points that came after the low ones?

  4. Where are you ready to go next in your life or business?

  5. What fears keep holding you back?

  6. What are you ready to receive and call into your life next?

Ready to dive in? Download the template here and complete it by Sunday evening for a chance to win a $5.00 Starbucks gift card!

All you have to do is complete it and tag me over at @busybeecoach on instagram or @busybeeproductivityco on Facebook. Share on your story or feed for a chance to win! If you tag a friend who might like this activity as well, double your chances of winning!

It’s been an honor to touch base and share with you today! If you’re ready to invest in yourself and your own personal development journey, email me today for 50% ANY of my one to one coaching packages.

This is a huge deal that I’ve never offered before. I’m ready to partner with women craving positive change, and who want to end 2018 the best way possible.

Working with a coaching, joining a group coaching program, attending live events and doing these activities have made me a better, stronger version of myself. Are you ready?

Contact me here!

xo,
Danise

How Do I Start Working on Myself?

Hi busy bees,

I'm coming to you from my family's vacation house in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina! We are here for the week for a family vacation, and it's been just what the doctor ordered. 

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It's been a "different" Summer for me, for sure! If you missed my announcement, my husband and I are expecting our first baby in February! We are so thrilled and excited. At the beginning of the Summer, I had absolutely NO energy and slept pretty much all day. It was really weird for this busy bee to be so worn out, but I just embraced it and am finally feeling better now that we're in the second trimester! I'll have to write a blog post about my pregnancy another time!

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Photo by Remy Thompson Photography

Anyway, after a few long walks on the beach, I've been feeling really inspired to connect with you guys and answer a question that has been resonating in my coaching sessions and conversations with friends. 

The question of: How do I start working on myself? 

I went to the Made for More Movie by Rachel Hollis with my friend Faith and the theatre was PACKED with women. It reminded me of WHY I do what I do. This inner work and these conversations MATTER. The thing I hear over and over is, I see women talking about personal growth, but how do I start working on myself?

If you're anything like me, I like ACTUAL steps that I can implement into my life. Forget the fluff stuff; I want to REALLY know how to make a change.

If that describes you too, this blog post is for you! Are you ready to make a change? Let's dive in.

1. Pinpoint an area of growth. 

Grab a journal or find a quiet space. Think about your life and ask yourself what you need more of. What doesn't feel right? What are some things you'd like to change?

So many people think personal growth is for women who want to start businesses. It's not true! No matter what YOUR life path is, or what your work in the world is, personal growth is key to fulfillment. 

Let's face it, no one is perfect. We ALL have things we want to get better at, change, and work on. So what are yours? These are your areas of growth. Now you can start thinking about how to build positive habits, set goals, and make changes around them. 

2. Get inspired.

Sorry if I'm a broken record guys, but the only way to make a change is to get inspired! 

My favorite ways to get inspired are:

  • attend a live event
  • find a self-help or personal growth book in your area of growth. Is it motherhood, your career, starting a business, or nutrition? Find your passion and plug into those who have gone before you.
  • listen to podcasts
  • work with a coach

3. Step outside your comfort zone and try new things.

This one goes with number two, but I can't stress this one enough. If you want to start working on yourself, you've got to try new things. The things we are most afraid of are the things that are going to push us to grow. What are some things you've been wanting to DO or TRY?

For me, it was finding a church. I talked about it and researched churches in Richmond for almost a year before I had the guts to go try it out. It took me going to a live event to say OKAY, I'm really going to do this. But, I am so happy I did. 

Don't let fear hold you back. 

4. Set goals and make a plan.

Remember your areas of growth? Set goals and create an action plan to make the changes you're craving. If your goal is to buy your first home, work backwards and make a plan. If your goal is to finally launch a business, again, work backwards and plan out the steps that need to happen! 

5. Prioritize your time. 

How many times do we say we want to do something, but say we don't have time? This is something I work with my client's on, ALL THE TIME! 

The thing I suggest most is scheduling time into your week to work on your goals, and complete the above steps. Maybe it's Sunday morning or evening. Maybe it's getting up an hour earlier before work. 

You've got to make time for YOU. It's not easy, but once you start carving out the time for yourself, you will see the benefits! 

6. Never stop growing and self-reflecting.

This one also goes with number 5. After you've set goals, made a plan, and scheduled the time to make it happen, don't forget to keep self-evaluating. 

Ask yourself, how am I doing with my goals? Did I accomplish what I said I would? 

Is this still a goal I truly desire, or is there something better for me that's come along?

And of course, once you've achieved your goals, it's time to set new ones! We are never perfect and our work is never done. 

And that's it! 

As always, if you found this blog post helpful, I'd love for you to share with your friends or someone else who might want to see this!

I am scheduling coaching clients for the Fall, so if you'd like some one to one support and accountability to FINALLY make some positive changes, you can email me here. I offer free consultations and have coaching packages to fit any budget. How are you investing in yourself and your personal growth?

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Thanks for being here!

xo,
Danise

How Saying No Can Change Your Life

Hey Busy Bees! I'm so excited to dive into this topic today! I made a poll over on my instagram about what you'd most like to hear about and the overwhelming vote was how to start saying no! 

Why is it so hard for so many of us to say no to things we really don't want to do?

If you're anything like me, it comes from a need to please others.

This is something I've worked on over time, and I've already begun to see the benefits. 

How can be purposeful, fulfilled and productive in the things that truly  matter if we are scattered in 10 million directions?

This idea was completely solidified in me when I read Essentialism by Greg McKeown! In the first few chapters, he talks about an essentialist mindset vs. a nonessentialist mindset. Essentialist prioritize and focus on what's truly important, and non essentialists try to do ALL the things. This diagram makes it really easy to see how we're spending our energy, and where it is going!

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Mckeown says that "only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter."

How many times do we feel completely spread thin and feel like we're not REALLY getting anything accomplished?

The key is being in touch with your mission and your unique work in the world, and prioritizing your time. How can you cut down on the extra fluff, or the things you don't really want to says yes to?

It starts by saying no.

Greg McKeown says that there are 3 steps to say no gracefully. The steps are:

Step 1: Affirm the relationship. e.g. “It really is good to hear from you.”

Step 2: Thank the person sincerely for the opportunity. e.g. Thank you ever so much for thinking of me! It sounds like such a brilliant project. I am complimented that you thought of me.”

Step 3: Decline firmly and politely. e.g.For several reasons I need to pass on this at the moment.

Source: https://gregmckeown.com/blog/how-to-say-no-gracefully/

Remember, if you don't prioritize how you spend your time, someone else will.

Whether it's your friends, your job, your business or your volunteer work, it's so important to prioritize what's important and stand in your power to say NO to things that don't serve you. 

The truth is, we can't do it all.

When we try to do it all, we feel stressed and overwhelmed. We feel unsatisfied and frustrated.

When we do less, we feel fulfilled and productive. Less is really MORE!

The last tip I'll share is to ask yourself the following question when you are about to make a commitment. That is, "Am I choosing to, or do I have to."

Of course we all have non-negotiable things like work that we have to do, but outside of that I invite you to think about the question. Are you saying yes because you don't like confrontation or hurting people's feelings? Or is it because you really want to invest your time in it?

Time is our most precious asset, so how are you spending it? 

How will you put this idea into practice this week? Your first no might not be easy, but it will get better over time!

I know you can do it!

xo,

Danise

 

 

Compassion over Reaction

Hey busy bees!

I'm excited to share this blog post with you guys this week. I think it'll hit home for many of you, and this is something I had to plug into and practice a lot this week.

I'm going to be talking about compassion over reaction.

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It's no secret that things don't always turn out the way we expect them to. That's life. But that doesn't mean it's not frustrating.

Shit happens.

You get into a car accident on your morning commute.

Your program launch for your business doesn't take off the way you've hoped.

You're not booking as many clients or getting customers this month.

You're finances are far from perfect.

People annoy you or do something to hurt you at work.

To dive in more to the friendship side of things-

How many times are we disappointed by the way others treat us?

We say things like "I'd never do that" or "I can't believe they would think that's okay." 

That's where the idea of compassion over reaction comes into play. I shared a little behind the scenes of this over on my instagram story (@busybeecoach) and I got a lot of feedback from my followers! How can we turn off the reaction button, ie. anger, frustration, stress, expectation, etc. and choose compassion. Or choose love.

Our job is just to love people, and not to judge them.

Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves because we are guilty of judging others. So how could we not expect them to do the same to us?

Shannon Kaiser, in her book "Find Your Happy" she says, 

When we react, we block ourselves from receiving guidance and clear direction on how to move forward with grace and ease.

She says that our reactions are simply fear based thoughts, and we should reframe that way of thinking into one of compassion and love. 

It's no secret that people disappoint us. It happened to me this week. But when I found myself getting frustrated, I could literally hear Shannon Kaiser's words in my head and I thought about how I could change my perspective and come from a place of love and understanding. I thought about the other persons side, and tried not to take it personally. It wasn't easy, but I kept saying Shannon's mantra in my head and it TRULY helped me process my feelings and feel better about the situation. 

She says to ask yourself, "How can I see this situation with more love?"

Wondering how you can put this into action? Here's the mantra from Day 7 of her book, Find Your Happy:

 

I choose to see all situations with more compassion. I am responsible for my outcome and if there is a situation I don’t like, I can lessen the frustration by seeing the situation from a new perspective. I let love lead the way as I choose to perceive everything with more kindness...I no longer react to frustrating circumstances, instead, I choose to be more compassionate with myself and others.

Just, WOW! Right???

I hope you found these words powerful and helpful. I challenge you to be self-aware when you are reacting to circumstances out of your control and ask yourself the questions presented here today. How can I see this with more love?

I'm sending you lots of it!

I highly recommend Shannon's book. You can buy it on amazon here! 

Message me if you buy it so we can be accountability buddies!

xo,
Danise

To schedule your breakthrough call with me and take inspired action towards your goals, click here!