MY VISION BOARD + WHY YOU NEED ONE

Manifestation has always been a big part of my life. I have always been a visual person and personally do much better with achieving goals if I see them written out or have them hanging in a highly visible area.

We all know that 2020 has been a whirlwind and full of uncertainty. With that being said, I have often caught myself dreaming about the future and what it holds for my life. Although we are well over halfway through the year, I feel like it is never too late to start working on a new project or envisioning what our next steps are in life.

Why use a vision board?
If you are anything like me, you have goals and dreams that you are wanting to accomplish but aren’t always the best at having a plan in place to do so. Creating a vision board is a great tool because it allows you to conceptualise and visualise what’s rolling around in your head. Personally, creating a vision board was particularly useful because my brain is constantly running in a million differentiate directions and needs reminded of my thoughts.

They make you consider what you really want.
You might think you know what you want until you start creating your board. What you put on your board will make your goals come to life and seem that much more real (It did for me at least). It’s also okay to dream BIG. Allow yourself to create both small and lofty goals. For me, dreaming big has always been scary, but that’s okay. This was a space for me to do so and allow myself to think outside the box.

It helps to expand your creativity.
Creating a vision board can be a creative outlet and allow a space to do so. I have always loved crafting (spending hours in Hobby Lobby or Michaels is a skill of mine), so this was right up my alley. I chose to do a cork board so that I can interchange quotes, pictures and drawings pretty easily. There are so many methods you can choose from, so pick something that suits your style! You can create digitally online or draw something by hand. Your method is totally up to you and how you see fit.

Your board can provide you with daily reminders.
Consistency is key for achieving goals. Have a friend or family member help to hold you accountable by checking in every week. It also helps to know your own strengths and weaknesses in taking the appropriate steps in making your dreams a reality. Push yourself to do more than you ever imagined. Do something to make yourself proud. As you accomplish your goals or “visions,” highlight them and write down the date beside it. Allow yourself to see the hard work you’ve put in and have this also serve as a reminder of when they came to fruition.

For my board, I broke mine down into three categories: personal, spiritual and physical. For each category, I set three to four goals for myself. For example, reading five books (no certain genre) is one bullet on my personal agenda to finish before the end of 2020. Another is to get more involved in the community and to volunteer during my free time. How you categorise your goals are completely up to you.

DISPLAYING YOUR VISION BOARD
Display your vision board in a conspicuous place that will grab your attention throughout the day. The point of having a vision board isn’t to have it somewhere for you to forget about. Take a picture to keep on your phone. Put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. Set it as your lock screen or put a list in your bible. Allow it to resonate your daily thinking and be thinking of ways to help accomplish those goals.

Above all else, remember that goals take time. Be patient with yourself and remember why you created this board in the first place. More likely than not, things won’t happen overnight. The beauty is in the journey and seeing how far you’ve grown along the way. It’s okay to reflect and see how far you’ve come, but remember to keep your sights set on what’s to come.

XO, ALEX

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REID GOT IT RIGHT

On Monday, August 17th, I received the news that Reid Bowyer’s earthly journey had ended.


Reid Bowyer was a man of honor, integrity, commitment and faithfulness. His life was always making much of Jesus. His contagious laugh was one of a kind and big bear hugs were unmatched. He adored his family, served his community and loved watching his Cavaliers play on Friday nights.

He ran his earthy race faithfully and obediently, ultimately meeting his maker face to face in fullness and in complete healing. Reid was freed from a year long battle with Glioblastoma. During his fight with cancer over the past year, Reid fought gracefully and humbly.

Meeting Reid for the first time when I was eleven, I had no idea of the impact he would make on my life. As as my youth pastor during middle school, he made you feel like nobody else at that moment mattered. His mile long grin from across the room would lift your spirits in any situation.

Right before his diagnosis a year ago, Reid lead Chandler and I in premarital counseling and helped us in setting the foundation for our marriage with every intention of preforming our wedding. Sitting with him in Panera over the course of those three weeks, he taught us that marriage isn’t always perfect. Marriage can be messy and isn’t always glamorous, but some of the most challenging things in life are worth the biggest investments.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3

When thinking about Reid and the eternal impact he’s made over the course of his life, Philippians 3 came to mind. In this passage, Paul is speaking to the Christians of the Philippi church and urging them to press on toward a common goal. Paul knew that a race is won only in the present moment, not in the past or in the future. His will was to do God’s will and not his own. Likewise, Reid pressed on with an urgency that was only Heaven-minded. He worked with an eternal urgency.

I can’t imagine this life without his smile or words of encouragement & wisdom, but I know that he was entered at Heaven’s gates on Monday with open arms and I know he heard the words “well done.”

Reid, thank you for everything you have done for me, my family and the entire community of Spartanburg. You served often and served well. Your life was making much of Jesus and in every circumstance. I am so thankful to have known you and to have had you in my life. Because of you, I live intentionally, love more deeply and laugh a little harder.

While I am assured that he is rejoicing with his Savior, my heart has still been extremely heavy this week. It has been heavy for two families that are suffering the loss of a son (& son-in-law), husband and father. Mourning the “Reid-sized” hole in my life will never go away.

Out of loss and grief, however, comes joy. Reid’s death was not in vain. We can be assured that in death comes eternal life. We can sing in the middle of the storm and raise a hallelujah. From the ashes, hope will arise.

Please be praying for Bowyer family in the days to come. My heart grieves with you and would selfishly do anything to have him back with us, but we know that Reid has labored towards the goal of eternity his entire life. He was a good and faithful servant. He got it right.

Until we meet again, RB. In everything, I will stick to the task.

If you feel lead to help support this family monetarily, please consider donating by clicking on the Facebook button below. This family needs your prayers above all else, but this will help to provide for their specific needs in the days to come.

XO,

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OUR PAPER ANNIVERSARY

One year ago (plus a few days), I got married to my best friend.

It has been one year as loving you as my husband. I love this life we have created together far and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. Here’s to a lifetime of loving you and choosing you always.

I will always cherish every little aspect of our wedding day one year ago. From vowing our love and commitment before God, friends and family to that AMAZING soul train line at our reception, it will always be one of my most cherished days and one I find myself thinking about often.

I can’t imagine doing this thing called life without you. Some days, it feels like it’s been decades, and other times, it feels like our wedding day was just yesterday. Chandler, thank you for living, laughing and growing with me this year. Being your wife has been one the greatest joys of my life.

In our bathroom, we have a sign that I use as a daily reminder in how to love my husband. It comes from the (very popular & very convicting) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It reminds me that love is patient, even when we can be short-tempered. Love is kind and looks to uplift others when we are weak. It does not envy, it does not boast and is not proud. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. What a great reminder that although we will will struggle with certain things, our God and our spouse will be always be on our side.

Marriage has taught me that love is a daily sacrifice. Love is a daily decision, not just a feeling. it is sacrificial, unrelenting and transformational.

Life isn’t always easy and the waves can come crashing from time to time, but together, we will always find a way to find the calm, stillness & sunshine. 

Love inspires you to be patient and permission to be human. It teaches you to meet in the middle. Love focuses on the positive and chooses to believe in the best. It forgives, appreciates and celebrates. 

Chan is the perfect balance of spontaneity to my constant preparation and having things always in order. He has taught me that the most fun moments in life are not always (and most likely not) planned. 

His warmth, kindness and composure impress me the most. He makes me feel heard, even when I am babbling on about things he’s heard me talk about 1,000x before or being completely irrational. His

One year ago, I promised to love this man under all circumstances: happy or sad, easy or difficult. I still mean every word. you’re my favorite, forever and always.

Over the last year, we have…
☆ attented two friends’ weddings
☆ visited Miami, Key West, the Bahamas, HHI and Louisville
☆ been to countless concerts
☆ moved to Asheville, NC
☆ bought a new car
☆ lived through a pandemic
☆ adopted our kitten, Belmont


August 3, 2019 will be one of my favorite days in the history of forever!
Happy paper anniversary, my love. ♡

XO,

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SS: Chandler

To the man who is witty, charming and selfless, you are greatly appreciated and so, so loved.

When you came walking into my life four years ago at our Chick-fil-A store in Spartanburg, I had no idea how important you’d mean to me then. From brushing off the constant curiosity of our family and friends as time went on, my conversations quickly went from avoiding the topic at all costs to rambling about our numerous road trips to Braves games and our travels to many concerts up and down the east coast, literally.

You are my forever concert going partner and my favorite is to hear you singing loudly to songs you may, or may not, know all of the lyrics to.
I also love that we share the love of sports and some my favorite time with has been spent has been at games together.

Your heart is invested in the meeting people in their current situation, always looking to pour into those who have a greater need than yours.

You have a great taste in all things Christmas and I look forward to you having our house decked out to the nines come winter time every year. (I get to decorate for all other holidays, right? 😂)

Your Braves and Panthers hats are the staple of any outfit, from your Sunday best to the first thing you put on for a day around the house.
Your childlike spirit and your zest for life excites me to see you as a father one day. You will be the absolute BEST dad.

You value my feelings and validate my rambling tangents even when I don’t make sense. You are my shoulder to cry on and also the best part of my day. You challenge me to dream big on a daily basis and to grow outside of my comfort zone.

You are the reason for so many of my belly laughs and ear-to-ear smiles, as well as a few tears along the way.

No matter how rough the seasons might be, you are my stronghold. You hold me in the quiet, protect me in the stormy and love me mightily when I can’t love myself.
To be loved by you and to navigate this life together will always the greatest gift. “Chandler’s wife” will always be one of my most treasured titles, always.

You are one of the best things that happened to me, always.
I love you longtime.

♡,
Alex in Asheville

SS: Mom

As a project that I’ve been eager to start for some time now, this Spotlight Series will be a way for me to highlight those who have played a huge part in my life and to recognize them in just a small way!
With that being said, the first in my spotlight series will feature…

… my mom!

To accurately depict what my mom means to me will fail to be a full picture of how great of a woman she truly is. For anyone who has been fortunate enough to meet her knows what a truly remarkable lady she really is.

My mom is a woman of character, positivity and prayer.
My mom is a woman of determination and a pillar of strength.

She genuinely uplifts and fiercely protects. She is an advocate for equal education opportunities for all children, and strives for all to succeed in the classroom (& beyond). She is a cornerstone for her family, always extending a helping hand and offering a listening ear.

My mom is a loyal supporter of her Gamecocks and a lover of the color green. She loves lake days and searching for turtles sunbathing on logs.

To the woman whose “larger than life” laugh (and voice) often proceeds her, you are so appreciated and so so loved, Momma bear.

Thank you for ALL you have done for me in my lifetime and for all that are as a person. You are my greatest mentor and an even greater friend. Know that you are fiercely loved and you raised a pretty great daughter. 😉

♡,
Alex in Asheville

SPOTLIGHT SERVICE

With the COVID-19 “outbreak” in full swing and more time on my hands in between working full time, I came up with the idea to start a spotlight series. Over the course of the next few weeks (or months), this spotlight series will include just a way for me to show appreciation in the best way I can for family, friends and others who have helped to shape me into the woman who I am today.

Be on the lookout for the first official highlight of the series in the near future!

♡,
Alex in Asheville

There’s only #oneSpartanburg

“Home is a place where your feet may leave but your heart will always be.”

Growing up in the small and quaint of Spartanburg, SC I feel like it’s only appropriate that it gets the first official highlight!

Spartanburg, known as the ever endearing “Sparkle City,” is located in the Upstate South Carolina and is seated at the crossroads of Interstates 85 and 26. This community is the cradle of economic development in the Palmetto State, making it a great place to live, work, play and invest. It is home to seven different colleges and offers a wide array of outdoor activities, access to the arts and a great nightlife scene.

Below, I’ve highlighted a few of the most popular restaurants, sights and sounds below, so feel free to check any of them out and let me know how you like them!

EATS & DRINKS

→ THE BEACON DRIVE-IN
The Beacon has been a famous Southern landmark since 1946 and has also been home to many presidents’ campaign runs. The Chili-Cheese A-Plenty, a chili-cheeseburger buried underneath piles of sweet onion rings and french-fried potatoes is a must! Their ice cream is some of the best around, too!

IKE’S CORNER GRILL
This compact, but lively joint on the north side of Spartanburg is known for their burgers, hotdogs, fries, onion rings & beers. It’s been voted to have the “best burger” in town multiple times and has been serving the area for more than 50 years! If you’re looking to add some grease to your diet, Ike’s is the place to go!

MONSOON NOODLE HOUSE
If you consider yourself a foodie, do yourself a favor and check out Monsoon! Monsoon has genuinely been my favorite place to eat since I was a freshman in high school and is some of the most authentic Asian food you will ever taste.

FR8 YARD
FR8yard is South Carolina’s first fully outdoor biergarten built entirely from re-purposed shipping containers! Located in the heart of downtown Spartanburg, FR8yard is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, community gathering spot centered around great food, drinks and entertainment creating an all around great time! Relatively new to the community, this was also a go “got-to” hangout to have a drink and some appetizers.

→ DOWNTOWN DELI & DONUTS
This eatery will serve a variety of vibrant and healthy breakfast dishes, a lunch menu chocked full of fresh and wholesome entrees, and the BEST gourmet donuts in town. DDD offers a range of breakfast sandwiches and bagels, a “Quiche of the day,” and a selection of sides.

Other notable restaurants and breweries:
1) Cyclops Brewery
2) RJ Rockers Taproom & Silo

SIGHTS & SOUNDS

→ CLEVELAND PARK
As one of my personal favorites, Cleveland Park is the most visible public park and is located in the historic center of Spartanburg, adjacent to the Northside Redevelopment project. This venue is where my husband and I got engaged and married, so I will always be biased to its’ beauty! Cleveland Park has a newly renovated playground and a beautiful pond, island gazebo, walking trail, waterside amphitheater.

→ BARNET PARK
Spartanburg’s premier outdoor concert and special events venue, the seven-acre Barnet Park plays host to dozens of events each year, from performances by national recording artists to family reunions and company picnics. BP also features a 2-mile paved walking trail, interactive water fountain, 1,036-square-foot picnic pavilion, original sculptures “Exuberance” & “Circle of Friendship.”

→ GLENDALE SHOALS PRESERVE
Glendale Shoals Preserve consists of thirteen acres located at the old Glendale Mill on Lawson’s Fork Creek. The Shoals have plant, animal, and bird life. When the water is low, walk across the shoals, skip some rocks, and enjoy the view.

Thank you for coming by! If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns, feel to drop me a message or comment below.


♡,
Alex in Asheville