Summer 2017 Bucket List

While reading, listen to Itsy Bitsy Petit Bikini by Richard Anthony.

Summertime is always the best of what might be.
— Charles Bowden

Ahh, summer. The time of year when everything is a little slower, sweeter, and sun-kissed. There's just nothing like this warm season of reading by the pool, juicy watermelon, salty hair, long lost freckles, ice-cold chardonnay, beach days, and windows rolled down. Don't you just love it? Every city and person relishes it differently, but for most, there is a real excitement that rushes in when the rain and gray clouds of Spring have officially passed.

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I've found that a simple way to really savor each season is by creating bucket lists! These little lists don't add pressure but intention to a time that could easily become filled up and end just as quickly as it began. I always love seeing how other friends and bloggers enjoy the season, so I thought I would share my summer bucket list to get your wheels turning too! Here is my Summer 2017 Bucket List...


Summer 2017 Bucket List

  1. Host an outdoor movie night or see if your city offers movies in the park.

  2. Invest in a new bathing suit and beach towel. (In all honesty, I’m eyeing this cute towel from Walmart!)

  3. Use only summer produce and farmer’s market finds to make a meal.

  4. Make this peach sangria recipe.

  5. Try out a water sport on a hot afternoon. (I’ll be going kayaking!)

  6. Watch a baseball game. (Major league or otherwise...go Giants!)

  7. Make these summer fruit popsicles.

  8. Add something new/freshen up your patio or yard area for dinners outside. (Here's all the apartment patio inspiration you need.)

  9. Visit a local fair. (Don’t forget to pick up some kettle corn!)

  10. Take a weekend road trip somewhere.

  11. Go star gazing.

  12. Swim in a natural body of water.

  13. Make the perfect summer playlist. (This song will definitely be on it. I've been listening to it nonstop!)

  14. Go on a hike.

  15. Get a fresh mani-pedi. (I’m thinking white on the nails and Santorini blue on the toes. What do you think?)

  16. Check out a book or two from your local library. (I’ll be starting Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven soon. Have you read it?)

  17. Enjoy a beach bonfire night w/ s’mores and friends.

  18. Buy a disposable camera and take lots of pictures on a fun day out or vacation.

  19. On a particularly warm day, visit an art museum or observatory. (I'll be visiting this one!)

  20. Send a “Happy Summer!” package to a friend or family member with little things that remind you of summer fun. (Think: favorite magazine, sunscreen, flip flops, beach tote, etc.)
     

What will YOU be doing this summer? Which item from my bucket list are you adding to yours? Share in the comments below!

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April 2017 Favorites

While reading, listen to Alright (One of my favorites) by Jordan Rakei.

I can hardly believe that April is almost over.


It seems fitting to begin this post with a meme:

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Because let's be honest, top ramen-headed JT smiling like that never gets old. As April closes and May arrives, we've been getting some beautiful Bay Area weather! The last few days have been spent soaking up all of the sun, because I know that the imminent "May showers" are on their way. But before May gets here, I have to share with you some of my favorite things I discovered/have been loving in April! Here are my April 2017 Favorites... 


April 2017 Favorites

Beauty & Hair

  • Stila Single Eyeshadow in 'Kitten' | Seriously the perfect brow and inner corner highlight for both cool and warm eyeshadow days! Love the subtle shimmer and pigmentation in this one.

  • Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream | So am I just late to the party on this one? Why aren't people talking about this?! This under-eye cream has quickly become an essential for me. With a subtle peachy tone to it, your dark circles and puffiness disappear! 

  • Fresh Lotus Preserve Face Cream | I have been wanting to try a more lightweight moisturizer for everyday and this one does the trick. My skin feels so nourished and refreshed after I apply it, and the cucumber scent feels so spa-like. 

  • Origins A Perfect World Intensely Hydrating Body Cream with White Tea | A wonderfully hydrating and luxurious body cream that absorbs quickly and keeps your skin feeling soft all day!

  • Sephora Collection Brow Builder | I've been wanting to try a new brow technique that is quick and easy. This Brow Builder adds a nice, long-lasting pigment, while also functioning as a gel and brush - to keep them brows in place! 

  • Herbivore Coconut + Sea Salt Beach Wave Hair Mist | This mist is my go-to for between wash days when I don't want a lot of product build up but want my hair to still have some texture and volume. A few spritzes in the morning is all it takes to bring my hair back to life!

Style & Home

  • Le Specs Halfmoon Magic Cat Eye Sunglasses | I've been wanting a quality pair of black sunglasses that were versatile enough to suit any kind of outfit - and these are perfect! The subtle cat eye is retro without feeling costume-y, and the lenses are nice and dark.

  • Voluspa Japonica French Cade Lavender Candle | My favorite scents are clean and fresh, and this candle is no exception. The perfect candle for Spring, it makes your space smell like a fresh bouquet of blooms!

  • Echo Floral Print Square Scarf | Little scarves add such a cute flair to otherwise simple outfits. I like pairing this one with a striped tee, boyfriend jeans and ballet flats. 

  • DavidsTea 'Birthday Cake' Loose Leaf Tea | I've been trying to cut back on coffee and caffeine (not an easy task for this latte lover!), but this tea has certainly helped. A caffeine-free rooibos blend, this Birthday Cake flavor satisfies the sweet tooth and desire for something warm in a mug! 

  • World Market Gold Fan Hoop Earrings | I've worn these earrings almost every day since I bought them in early April. They add such a cool touch to casual outfits or a black dress for date night! 

  • LC Lauren Conrad Ring Convertible Crossbody Bag in 'Dove' | I received this lovely bag for my birthday at the end of March and I am obsessed with it. It is the perfect sized bag, and the blue-gray color with gold hardware is perfect for Spring. 

  • The Giving Keys Matte Black Mini Key Chain Bracelet | The Giving Keys (a fantastic pay it forward company) makes beautiful jewelry with a message, and this dainty bracelet is perfect on its own or paired with a gold watch.

  • White Hydrangeas | Kind of silly to add to my favorites list, but I've had beautiful, white hydrangeas in my apartment all month, and they have just made me so happy! 

Books, Movies, and Music, & other odds and ends...


Do YOU have any favorites this month? What are you hoping to try from my April Favorites? Share in the comments below!

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March 2017 Favorites

While reading, listen to City of Stars by Gavin James.

Narrowing down this month's favorites was a TASK, to say the least. 


We all know that I love more things than I don't, but March was unusually brimming with new discoveries that I have quickly grown to adore and recommend. It was also my birthday month (holla to all the March babies out there!), and I was incredibly spoiled by my husband, friends, and family. The last week or so has been scattered with fun outings, picking up a little something here and there, and a best friend weekend visit! #BLESSED doesn't even cover it. With every birthday comes a renewed sense of feeling so undeserving but so darn in love with the people and life I've been given. God is TOO good to me, and I'm looking forward to another year of living wholeheartedly for Him! (I also have some new creative endeavors up my sleeve... so stay tuned!)

I pray you all had a lovely weekend, and that this week is even better! I'm looking forward to a classic Bay Area combination of rain/sun in the days ahead, and carving out some time for a morning hike! Now onto those favorites...


March 2017 Favorites

Beauty & Hair.

  • Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette | Aside from smelling like real chocolate (yes, it's true!), this palette is the perfect mix of everyday shadows with a few fun ones mixed in. Plus, the two larger shades double as highlighters!

  • Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Coral | This is the perfect lip balm to have on the go. With a nice dose of color, moisture, and sheen, I know that this lip balm will be a favorite through the year!

  • Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Twinkle | This subtly sparkly compact can double as a blush or highlighter. It's so pretty!

  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Radish | I have finally found the perfect berry shade, and the name is no lie - it is the exact color of a freshly plucked radish. Nothing brings some fresh life to my face like this beautiful lipstick.

  • Philosophy Purity Bath Gel and Body Wash | I have always loved Philosophy's products but I was so pleased to recently discover a body wash in the same scent as my favorite makeup remover. I like my shower products to be really light and clean scented, and this one does the trick while also hydrating your skin beautifully. 

  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Though the name improper, the product is amazing! This mascara adds volume, lengthens, and it's application is quick and easy for the results we all want.

  • E.L.F. Cosmetics Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls | This highlighter is SO pigmented, gives your skin a lovely sheen, and how can you beat that $4 price tag?!

  • Fresh Sugar Lemon Body Lotion | I LOVE this scent, and the body lotion is quickly absorbed while also making your skin feel nourished all day.

  • Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Treatment Masque | I use these little masque packets every other week and my hair is so thankful! Do yourself a favor and give your strands some extra love. I just put it in my hair after I've washed in the shower, do all the other shower things (is there another word for that?) and rinse at the end!

  • LUSH Brightside Bubble Bar | This is one of my favorite LUSH products. It gives your bath mountains of bubbles, and gives off a bright, citrusy, awakening scent that truly boosts your mood!

Style and Home.

Creativity, Music, & Other Miscellaneous Bits.

  • I Need It by Johnny Balik | I listened to this song once a day all month long! 

  • Beauty And The Beast | The whole thing was magical...and those extra songs and little surprise sub-plots? Pure gold!

  • Green Light by Lorde | Finally, a comeback. 

  • Niomi Smart on Youtube | I love watching vlogs and YouTube tutorials, and Niomi is my newest addition to the round up! She is so sweet and I love her simple and positive take on things!

  • Blue Heaven Midnight Crush by Betty Who | Betty Who's new album is so good and this is my current favorite track. 

  • The Magnolia Journal | Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit-show Fixer Upper have struck genius again with their new magazine. Every single page is full of beauty and inspiration.

  • Heart Wants by Magic City Hippies | A good ole driving song for a sunny day. (Plus, the intro makes me lol every time!)

  • Austin Kleon's Blog | Austin Kleon, author and artist, has inspired me for a long time. I hadn't visited his blog in a minute, but I'm so happy to be back! He has unique, simple, and poignant things to say on creativity - check him out!


What were YOUR March favorites? Share in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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Spring Bucket List

While reading, listen to Gold Angel by Minke.

Happy 1st Day of Spring!


Spring is a lovely season - full of life and vibrancy. As the winter frost melts, I love watching our world come alive again. We hang up our cold weather coats, return to our outdoor hobbies, and maybe even roll the windows down as we drive home from work. Sunshine and blossoming trees are just what the doctor ordered to lift our spirits and remind us that new beginnings always come.

March seems to be flying by...but I won't lie to you, I love when it does! My birthday is March 31st, and ever since I was a little girl, it has felt like the longest month of the year. I shamelessly count down the days! Do you like birthdays? I LIVE for birthdays. I love them all, mine or a friend's alike! I enjoy every opportunity to celebrate (I actually believe it is a spiritual discipline), especially those who are close to me. The inner hostess, gift-giver, and planner all come out in full force when birthdays roll around. No matter what your birthday experiences have been, sweet or sour, I love that we always have the next year to look forward to and try something new! 

What if we inserted some of that special-occasion-birthday-kinda-fun into every day?

Sign me up! This is something my mom and I have endeavored to grow in since I moved back to the Bay Area. How can we take a moment to celebrate the beauty and joy of EVERY season? What would we accomplish and experience if we more intentional? Enter: Bucket Lists. Now, I realize that the original use of the term "bucket list" refers to the things someone wants to do before they die. I don't anticipate clocking out anytime soon, but the things on my list are indeed life experiences I want to have in the time that I've been given.

What about you? What are those things you've been dying to try? That spot you've been meaning to check out? My vote is that you make a Spring Bucket List (or use mine!) and get to celebrating your life!

What will YOU be doing to enjoy every moment of the Spring season? Share in the comments below! Subscribe to all future posts here

10 Lovely Things

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. 


The day always begins with church - a time to grow, listen, receive, and give. I am truly humbled by my church family, and the beautiful souls it encompasses. Each week, I learn something new about the Lord, my community, and myself. After church, I come home and decompress. I put hot water on the stovetop and prepare a cup of tea or french pressed coffee. I open each window wide and light candles, letting fresh air and scents fill my apartment. During this alone time, I incorporate self-care, rest, and doing things I love. This Sunday ritual of emptying and refilling is the perfect way to close the week and embrace the accompanying fresh start.

I also enjoy taking some of Sunday afternoon to get my inspiration tank back to full. Looking at blogs, reading magazines and books, catching up on YouTube channels, and even observing nature are ways I get myself inspired after a long week. Here are 10 things I have come across that ought to add some 'lovely' to your weekend.


10 Lovely Things...

1. Ending the Pursuit of Perfection, a Ted Talk by Iskra Lawrence.

2. The new LC Lauren Conrad Spring Handbag Collection. (I especially love the dusty blue!) 

3. This guide to throwing an afternoon tea party. Pinkies up!

4. These hand dyed and frayed silk ribbons by Tono & Co for Utterly Engaged.

5. These 'Painters Palletes' by Emily Jeffords. (Such unique works of art!)

6. This vintage blouse from Boheme. (A secondhand vintage boutique that is FULL of gorgeous items.)

7. This Welch cottage in the rural countryside that has been restored and made available for a peaceful holiday. (One ticket to Wales, please!)

8. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran. 

9. These botanical scented cards - perfect snail mail for a friend or later this year for Mother's Day!

10. This little reminder:


How do you spend your Sundays? What has your inspired? Share in the comments below!

Header photo via Traveling Chic

How to Look Like a Cadbury Mini Egg

While reading listen to Time by Goss.

Yup, you read that right.


Here's how the whole thing started. My husband brought home Cadbury Mini Eggs, a springtime treat I look forward to every year. For as long as I can remember, my Grammy would have little bowls of these pastel chocolates throughout her house in the weeks leading up to Easter. Not only do I absolutely enjoy these bite-sized chocolates, but I have always been inspired by their beautiful pastel hue.

As I poured the bag of chocolates into a clear glass jar, I said to Reed, "I want these colors in my life!"

I started perusing online for little ways to incorporate this Spring palette into my everyday style. I was not disappointed. I found countless items in the blush pink, bright white, periwinkle blue, and sunshine yellow I was looking for.

I can finally look like a Cadbury Mini Egg! Did I just type that sentence?

So before I carry on any longer about my mini obsession with these mini eggs, here is how YOU can look a Cadbury Mini Egg.
Just changing lives over here. You're Welcome. 


How To Look Like A Cadbury Mini Egg

Cadbury Egg Hue # 1 - Bright White

Cadbury Egg Hue #2 - Periwinkle Blue

Cadbury Egg Hue #3 - Blush Pink

Cadbury Egg Hue #4 - Sunshine Yellow

Aren't these colors pretty?

The options really are endless, but I hope this post has provided a little pastel inspiration. At the very least, I've reminded you that your pantry needs some Cadbury Mini Eggs! Easter is just around the corner, after all!

 

Another post on Spring style inspiration.
Where my closet is headed next
If it still feels like Winter, try these

February 2017 Favorites

While reading, listen to Once by Maren Morris. 

The shortest month of the year is not even through, and I have countless new favorites to share with you!


It's true - I actually chose to leave some things out, so you could get to the end of this post in a decent amount of time. Life is busy, and I know that even taking a few moments to catch up on your favorite blogs can feel like a luxury. So as much as I love writing and reading longer posts on lessons learned, I thought I would sprinkle your weekend with a a good ole' list. My hair stylist and friend Shannon (Ladies, if you live in the Bay Area and need a cut/color, go see her!) affirmed this when she told me on Thursday, "Tor, I love when you post those lists with a little bit of everything!" Well thank goodness, because I really enjoy writing them!

Here it is, February's list of favorites. This month's list truly is a "a little bit of everything." Enjoy, and thanks for following along!


February 2017 Favorites

Beauty & Hair.

Style & Creative Inspiration.

Watching & Listening. 

Home & Kitchen. 


What have YOU discovered and grown to love this month? Please share your favorites in the comments below! 

January 2017 Favorites

It is the first day of February. Can you believe it?


Spring is almost upon us, and it's that time to start thinking about Valentine's Day dinner reservations. I pray that you are all finding some hope and peace in the midst of recent events in our world, and that the resolve you felt to make 2017 better than 2016, still remains strong in your heart.

Sometimes, it feels a little laborious to put my fingers to these keys. Do they even read? Do they even care? Does this matter? During busy times especially, it's hard to fight the lies of comparison and complacency with confidence and passion. Yet I am reminded, that no matter how many people visit this corner of the Internet, creative expression, writing, and sharing my life with you, are things that make me happy. Plain and simple. And if we stop doing what brings us joy, because of someone's opinion or a news headline, than we are leaving the world in no better condition than how we found it. 

So even when it feels like a "favorites post" doesn't quite fix everything, or "set me apart" as a writer - I'll still write what I want to write and what you want to read. Because being true to ourselves is one of the best ways we can fight for a better world. I truly feel privileged to share this space with you, and I am more excited than ever to bring you honest, fun, accessible, and encouraging content. I love ya'll for following along. Truly. 

Without further ado, here are my very favorite things from January 2017...


1. Tazo Calm Camomile Tea w/ a pinch of raw honey.

3. La La Land. (Swoon - I could watch it a million times.)

4. This One Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice recipe.

5. Gemma Troy Ceramics. (Follow her on Instagram @_trinka_)

7. Jane Newland Illustration. (Follow her on Instagram at @jane_newland)

8. These songs: Mention of Your Name by Brian & Jenn Johnson (worship), Flame of Fire, Rushing Wind by Brian and Katie Torwalt (worship), Hello (Blues) by Better Off (pop-punk), and Broad Shoulders by Taylor Bennett feat. Chance The Rapper (rap).

9. This personalized coffee subscription service.

12. Hydro Flask tumblers and water bottles. (So good!)

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14. These blogs: Two Peas And Their Pod (food blog), and Ana Prodanovich (style blog).

15. This Argan Oil hair mask that does wonders for my dry, curly hair and is under $2!

17. These books: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Simple Matters by Erin Boyle.

18. My favorite Trader Joe's granola, made complete with some almond milk.

20. This dance video.


What are YOU loving right now? Share in the comments!

10 Things to Brighten Your Week

While reading, listen to the feel-good song, Faith by Stevie Wonder ft. Ariana Grande. 

It has been raining...for what feels like forever. 


Now if there is anything I have made clear through this blog, it is had that I love me a good cozy day. (Hmm...perhaps I should start making more important things clear?) Haha...oh well! What can I say? When it's raining outside my window, the introvert inside me exhales and enjoys every minute. An excuse to stay inside and resume being the homebody I truly am! Like a general, my brain shouts, "At ease gentlemen!" and my whole body slumps into my comfy couch for the rest of the afternoon. Add a good movie, some tea, and a soft throw blanket into that mix? Heaven on earth! Yup, I'm a cheap date. 

Despite this, perpetual rainy days can leave a little wear and tear on the spirit. What started out as a cozy afternoon has turned into something a little like house-arrest, and the storm keeps on a'rumblin! You may be reading from a place where sunshine is bright, and the skies are clear, but honey, that is not the Bay Area right now. Streets are flooding. Thunder is scaring every dog in the neighborhood half to death. (Pups, I feel bad for you, but the reality is, ya'll don't need to be having bark-panic attacks...all at the same time. It sounds like you're planning a mutiny, and it's kinda freaking me out). The sky is dark grey, making each morning feel more like evening. All of this to say: I am ready for Spring! I want flowers, blue skies, and the freedom to style my hair without the fear of looking like a drowned, frizzy rat by the end of the day! The struggle is real. 

Fortunately for me, God is my numba one fan, so he's hooking it up with some glorious sun later in the week. Until then, I have compiled a list of 10 Things to Brighten Your Week! I realize that the weather may not be the only thing dragging you down or stealing your joy, so I hope that this list adds a little necessary warmth to your heart and a smile to your face. 


10 Things to Brighten Your Week:

1. This adorable Ellen clip, featuring the most enthusiastic kid surfer you'll ever meet. Girl, I get that excitement about buffets. I really do. 

2. Hilarious obituaries for teenage girls, if they actually died when they said they were "dying".

3. This Instagram account dedicated to waiting dogs. 

4. This funny iPhone case for that single friend in your life who has snarky opinions about the pressures of Valentine's Day.

5. This children's illustrator who makes "tiny tales" for adults. 

6. This little, encouraging quote. 

7. This surfing sloth print

8. This lovely article on "What Classic Literature Can Teach Us About Living Well Today. (Worth a read!)

9. This cute and empowering illustrated video on The Power Of Empathy.

10. This reminder that we still live in a world where Spongebob Mac and Cheese exists. Because no matter how your dietary preferences have developed, we all loved this cheesy goodness at some point in our lives. True solidarity!

Have a bright, kind, and loving week! 

Header image by Kimie Wong and slider image by Margot Co.

A Curated Closet + Wardrobe Wish List.

While reading, listen to Places by Shlohmo.

In the first week of January, I lightened my closet by 34 pieces.


Those of you with large closets might be thinking, "Why did you get rid of so many items?" And those of you with small closets are probably thinking, "How did you have 34 items to get rid of?" The answer to the first is, "Quality." The answer to the second is, "Quantity." One a goal, the other, a problem. Over the last three years, I have really grown to understand and love my personal style. It took some time, because for much too long, I was under the deep influence of trends, and the lie that they must all be adhered to in order to be stylish. This fast-fashion, social media-driven lie is loud and all around us, but it will only have power if we don't have a plan. I've changed my wardrobe theme from being on-trend, fashionable, and even new, to classic, polished, quality, and ethical. Having a plan, to only buy and wear what fits within my theme, brings me joy, and a feeling of beauty, is completely freeing, though admittedly, more work.  

The work began with taking a long, hard look at my closet and getting rid of what I no longer wanted/wore/needed. During this time, I was surprised by how many things I owned that I never wore, but continued to store and keep, for "someday" or "just in case." For some items, the decision was hard because of how much had been spent on that item. I had to remind myself that the true indicator of something's value was whether or not I actually used it. All closet items were placed in piles of throw, give, and keep. After this arduous process, I organized what I wanted to keep, by color and item type. Two hours later, I was 34 clothing items lighter. I looked at a wardrobe I was much happier with, one that felt a lot truer to the style I claimed. Despite this, I realized that there were some things I wish I had, that would add a lot of value and added versatility to existing items. These thoughts were not born out of discontent or the need to consume...rather a desire to further refine and build a closet I love.

For you, the process of simplifying may not be needed in your closet. Maybe clothes aren't your thing, or you already have what you love and need. Perhaps, it's really your bookshelves or hall closet that could use some time and attention. Wherever you land, I think we could all gain some value from building lives of "quality over quantity." This is a pursuit Reed and I are passionate about and committed to, and I invite you to come along! 

A wish list, is just that - a list of things one can wish for. These are not needs, but wants, and I am happy to acquire them over time, as the opportunity comes. This list may change, shrink, or grow, and is really here to keep my closet purchases focused. These are the kind of items I am hoping to add:

  • Black loafers.

  • Trench coat.

  • 2 Hats: One for the cold months, one for the warmer months.

  • Black ankle-strap heels.

  • Pointy black heels for dressy occasions.

  • White button-up.

  • Versatile tote bag.

  • Brown sandals

  • Cashmere scarf.

  • Black trousers.

  • Ray-Ban sunglasses.

  • Classic striped top.

  • Long, floral skirt.

  • Grey knit sweater.

  • White sneakers.

  • Floral dress. 

By the way, here are three resources that could provide additional insight and help as you thoughtfully approach your own wardrobe. I love each one: 1) The Curated Closet, 2) Un-Fancy, and 3) Simple Matters


A Curated Wardrobe Wish List.

1. Everlane Modern Loafer

6. Longchamp 'Large Le Pliage' Tote Bag

8. Reformation Eco Cashmere Blend Scarf 

10. Ray-Ban 'Classic Wayfayer' Sunglasses

12. Reformation Floral Print Skirt. 

15. Topshop Floral Dress


What are your closet staples? Will you be taking away or adding anything to your wardrobe this year? Share in the comments below!