Elegant in blush | InspirationIndulgence.com

There’s a song that I absolutely adore by Lana Del Ray, called Summertime Sadness. And you can sure bet that after coming home from a long vacation at the end of August, I’ve got that summer time sadness.

As I sit and reflect back on my summer, I think about how wonderful it was, and how blessed I have been to travel, wedding plan, have coffee dates with friends, and have quality family time. I take for granted these little things so often, but after a long trip out west spent exploring our nation’s national parks, seeing new sights and meeting new people, I have more gratitude in my heart and a newfound appreciation for simplicity.

By far, this has been the most fast- paced and busy summer of my life. Since today’s post is a transition back into “reality” after traveling the country for 17 days straight, I thought I would reflect back on these past few months, and show you where my future is leading me.

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A Summer of Growth & Change

Wow, I can’t even describe to you how crazy this summer has been. And as fast as it’s gone, it actually seems that it was a long summer.  I’m proud of the things I’ve accomplished and some of the major road blocks I pushed through. Let me re-cap some big things that happened:

– I made the decision to stay home this summer to blog for an income
Self-employment is unpredictable, scary, and hard to describe to others who don’t know exactly what you’re doing. I took the risk and decided, since my blog income is roughly matching what I would typically make nannying or waitressing a month, to try it out just for the summer. I was terrified of this decision because: A.) I felt like I would face judgement from others that I wasn’t “working” or didn’t have a “real job,” and B.) I come from a blue-collar family and felt that staying home to do what I loved doesn’t feel like I’m working hard enough. I wasn’t going to make the jump until a friend convinced me that it was only one summer, and that I would end up regretting the decision not to someday. The result of my decision? I both loved AND hated it. I don’t think I could work from home 24/7. I got bored easily, even when I was busy all day long. I would wake up at 6 and excitedly work on building my brand for literally 8 hours straight (with a lunch break, of course). By around 3pm, I needed to get the hell out of the house. I began to love trips to the grocery store. I’m not sure if I could ever blog full time, hence why I’m happy that I’m only one year away from earning my Master’s degree in school counseling. I crave REAL, human connection, not just internet connection. Does that make sense? I guess I didn’t feel fulfilled enough, but possibly because I am uncomfortable still with the concept of self-employment.

– I completed a summer course in my grad program
I was happy to get out of the house twice a week during my 8-week summer course for my Master’s program. I felt like by going to my class, I was actually accomplishing something and one step closer to my dream career. I just can’t wait for the day I have financial freedom and have a regular 8-4pm. It feels so close, but yet so far.

-I made a better effort to connect with friends and family
Here’s the thing about me. I’m an extroverted introvert (I believe ambivert is the word for that?) I love going out and hanging, but I get easily exhausted by humans. Sometimes it’s hard for me to stick with plans that I make, especially since I live so far from my friends. I vowed to myself this summer to actually be more intentional with my friendships, and I’m proud to say that I made some strides. I went for coffee with an old friend whom I barely see anymore because our schedules are both so crazy. I hung out with a few counseling friends for Bachelor night. In addition, my old college roommate and I planned a weekend for me to visit her. I also started going to my parent’s house for dinner every Tuesday night and went on a few girls’ days with my sisters. It felt so good to reconnect with all of these wonderful people.

-I connected better with my fiancé 
This summer has been particularly challenging for us because we both felt so many pressures from work, wedding planning, the stress of traveling, etc. I could feel both of our anxiety raising throughout the summer and in result, tensions were a little high. Ultimately, these made us stronger as a couple. I feel so much closer to my fiancé than I did the start of the summer. I love you, Trev!

-My grandma passed
I still don’t even think it’s hit me yet, even though her passing was in June. I love you, grandma. I hope I make you proud. I’m happy I could tell you I loved you in the hospital before you passed.

-I bought my wedding dress
Holy crap, this thing is actually happening.

-I traveled LOTS & learned I’m not as hardcore as I thought I was
If you’re a loyal reader, I’m sure you’ve already read all about my adventures, but if you haven’t, check out my Travel Diary HERE. It’s funny. I actually learned so much about myself on this 17 day trip. Before this trip, I always imagined myself as a gypsy girl who could just easily pick up and leave if need be, but I actually got pretty homesick halfway through the trip. I loved visiting big cities and being in the wilderness, but I really missed my small town in Wisconsin and the Midwest in general. Also, my phone broke a few days into my trip, and I realized (embarrassingly) how I am OVERLY connected and need to just chill the eff out. This sounds so pathetic but I had major anxiety from that stupid phone being broken. Just because I’m a blogger doesn’t mean it has to consume my life. So this trip taught me so much more than I had ever imagined it would.

-I got a case of really bad baby fever
I don’t know what it is, but I just really want a kid! In fact, laugh at this all you want but I actually cried about this a few nights ago when I was drunk. (Lay off the Fireball, Chels.) I know the timing is not right though, and won’t be for a few more years. But that’s what’s been on my mind lately! However, I’m really trying not to wish my life away, something that I tend to do often.

-I stepped out of my comfort zone
I joined a local Rising Tide Society meet-up in Green Bay, and it was life changing! Green Bay is small town compared to other urban areas, so one of my biggest struggles as a blogger is meeting likeminded individuals serious about their creative passions. This meet-up allowed me to connect with local photographers, small business owners, and other creatives for a space to talk about our craft. As such, I scored a few photography collaborations. (I met Colleen from Capture Life Moments, whose beautiful work I am featuring, through this awesome group!!)

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New Beginnings

I’m really excited for this Fall, but I’m also really scared. Lots of things are going to be changing.

-Starting my internship
I’m going to be starting my school counseling internship at a local high school, and I have so much anxiety about it that I could puke. Like, I know that it’s going to be great (my supervisor is awesome) but I’m still super nervous.

-Starting a new job
Along with my internship, I scored an on-campus job. It’s not a ton of hours a week or anything, but I’m nervous about how I will be able to balance a new internship, a new job, my studies, AND my blog. I love my blog so dearly and feel like I’m really making some strides. I hope that I still have time for fashion photoshoots, writing, and just time in general for myself. However, I really am excited for a new challenge in life, and feel that I need to make a few changes in my life to get ahead to boost my career. This is one of them.

-Starting my 2nd year of grad school
Things are getting a lot more real, guys. My first year in my counseling graduate program was sort of the counseling “ged-eds.” Now, my classes will focus on specific topics of school counseling and will integrate the schools in our classroom. I should clarify that when I say I am nervous for these things happening, I’m nervous excited. I love my program and my cohort, so I know it will be lots of fun, but I’m most nervous about keeping that balance. (How many times have I said the word nervous so far?!)

-Baby sis is gone
We are moving my baby sister to college this Thursday. And although I’m so incredibly excited for this new chapter of her life and proud of her, I don’t want to let her go. As I mentioned, it’s hard for me to see friends because we are all so busy, or they are far away. My sister was that one person I knew would be just 15 minutes away. Alas, I have to let her go. Also, shout out to my awesome parents, because they officially become empty nesters this Thursday. (Sorry Mom, didn’t mean to make you cry again!!)

-Starting the Whole 30
Or the raw diet, whatever you call it. Starting September 1st, things are seriously changing around here. I bought the book It Starts with Food and a Whole 30 recipe book. I am so excited to get my health back. I have been getting frequent headaches and I overall lack energy because I’ve been living off of pizza, Spaghettis, and Tator Tots this summer. So I decided to quit it all cold turkey. More on the Whole 30 in a few days when I blog about starting my challenge.

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So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly. The moments of happiness and the hurt. My hopes, dreams, and fears. As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and for your support. I love you guys so much and am thankful that I have such a supportive, kind network of beautiful souls.

All photos taken by my new wonderful friend Colleen from Capture Life Moments photography. Her work is stunning and deserves to be recognized! Colleen specializes in weddings, family photos, and more. To see her work, head to her blog! Colleen is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me your highs, your lows, or if you prefer, both of your summer. Leave me comment below!


  • Wow, sounds like you’ve been busy! A 17-day trip sounds amazing and it’s awesome that you were able to be a full-time blogger this summer – I’m totally with you on not being able to be home 24/7 though. I think I’d go stir crazy too! The baby fever is so real too! Babies have been everywhere lately and it makes me really want one but then I have to remind myself that there are still too many adventures and things I want to accomplish before it’s baby time, haha.

    • Exactly. I couldn’t imagine having a baby right as I start my career! I’m giving it 3 years and then I can have all the babies I want (:

  • You’ve been busy, girl! Good luck on the Whole 30. Dave and I gave it a shot once and failed miserably! We actually did okay during the week, but the weekends were crazy hard!

    • Thanks girl! Yeah, I’m most worried about the alcohol part. lol

  • I loved reading this life update! I love your fashion and self-improvement posts, of course, but I also appreciated this opportunity to hear about what’s going on with you personally. It sounds like you prioritized so many good things this summer — relationships, travel, listening to yourself, etc. Wishing you lots of joy and peace as you transition back to “real life” and back to grad school.

    • Aw thank you, Brittany! Yes, I felt like I needed some “Real Talk” to let people know what was REALLY going on! I plan to do more of those “personal” posts in the future. :) Thanks for your love and support, friend!

  • Love your pictures and insights…so lovely! I just joined a rising tide group here in my area also…excited to go to my first meeting!, gorgeous as always!


    • That’s amazing to hear! I had such success with mine…hope you love your group!

  • Greta Hollar

    I’m excited to see where life takes you this fall with all of these new, exciting opportunities!
    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • These pictures are so beautiful! It’s so cool you were able to meet a local photographer through that group. I’ve actually been thinking about looking into the Rising Tide Society, although the school year is probably the worst time to do that since my schedule gets pretty busy! (I work at a school.)

    This is a great life update! You’ve had such a busy summer! :) I enjoyed following your trip on Instagram/Snapchat and need to go through and read your posts about it.

    I also loved what you wrote about working from home. I always think working from home would be the dream life, but sometimes I wonder if that’s really the case. I’m an introvert as well, and while I do like spending time with people, it’s not always something I prioritize. I wonder if I would if I worked from home. My current job isn’t exactly easy for an introvert since I pretty much always have an open door and ringing phone, so I get home and want to face plant on the couch with my dog. But maybe if I didn’t have so much interaction with people during the day I’d feel differently? I kind of wonder if I’d become a hermit, though. :) Then again, I also have a friend that I talk to on Snapchat all night long, so maybe not.

    But it was interesting to read your thoughts on working from home. Usually you hear bloggers/YouTubers who work from home and think it’s the best thing ever, so it’s cool to hear a different perspective of it might not be for every blogger.

    • Hey Crystal! Aw thanks for following me on Snap and Insta! You may have noticed my Snapchat leave of absence once my phone broke LOL.

      Yeah, I mean, I really did like working home, but I felt guilty about it. And I’m not saying that people shouldn’t work home, and that blogging is a waste of time, but I grew up in a family that does physical manual labor for work, and it just felt weird for me to be sitting home tinkering on my computer when my fiancé was working 12 hour days. I guess the guilt was the hardest because I’ve never done it before!!

      Hopefully you can find a meeting that works well with your time! I’ve found that sometimes, the busier you are, the easier it is to get involved because you’re already so busy :) Are you a teacher?!

  • You my darling are gorgeous from reading your post it made me think so even more. Good luck with all the upcoming changes . . . and with wedding planning I am going to start looking for dresses next month AYE!

    Life is just Rosie

    • Aw thanks girl!! That is so exciting! I bought my dress last month :) Best part of wedding planning!!

  • I simply adore you. I have so many things i could say here so I’ll Snapchat video you instead hahaha. But YAY for all these new beginnings…I’m SO excited for you beautiful! I’ve also been looking into Rising Tide in my area…I’m so glad you give it the stamp of approval!

    Coming Up Roses

    • AW yaaaaas send me a video, girl!!!! And you should totally look into it! It’s SO worth it, ahhh!!!

  • Loved hearing more about your summer and all of the new things that are in store for you! You’re getting so close to completing your Master’s and that’s so exciting! Loved these photos and you’ll do great with your new job and internship! :)

    • Thanks lady! I can’t even believe I’m a year and a half into my program! Wow, time sure does fly :) Thanks so much for all your love!

  • I loved this post Chels! Beautiful phototgraphy and beautiful reflections! Keep chasing those dreams!

  • It looks like it was an amazing summer for you! I loved reading through everything you’ve learned and experienced, and what is to come. Good luck with the internship, job and blog!!

    • You are so sweet. Thank you so much for reading through that book, and for your well wishes!

  • What a gorgeous dress! Times of big changes always tend to come with mixed emotions! I don’t think I would really like staying home all day by myself and working on my computer, either, much as I love blogging and writing. I’m not truly an extrovert, but I like being a little more active and engaging with some people everyday, at least, which is why my job of childcare during the day and after-school tuition at night is pretty much perfect for me. Hope your next year of grad school is awesome!

    • I’m so happy you found a balance that works well with you! I appreciate your well wishes. I’m the say way. I like my “me” time, but I need a little more engagement!

  • Chandler Hatchett

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother’s passing. And how exciting that you got your wedding dress!!!!!

    • Thanks girl. And yes OMG!!! 😀

  • What stunning photos! I’m so glad you had such an eye opening summer. I wish you the best of luck in the fall.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I love everything about this post!! I love the photos, the writing, everything! So here are so thoughts: YOU. ROCK. I couldn’t agree more with the whole traveling is awesome but makes the summer fly by! I’ve started to make a little bit of an income with my blog, and I too don’t think I could ever do it full time, long term. Aaron is totally an extroverted introvert, so I know exactly what you mean. YOU bought your wedding dress!! AH!!! And also, I totally know what you mean about baby fever 😉 Love this!

    • Kelsie, CONGRATS! I’m heading to your blog right now!!! Thanks girl, LOVE YOU!

  • this is my first time here but seems like a lot has happened lately in your life. it is always nice to have things no matter good, bad, or ugly written down and have something to reflect on. im in grad school, have a blog, and work full-time…and just wanted to let you know what there will be challenging days but it will all be soon over before you know it :) if you ever need to vent, im all here :)

    • Aw thank you for stopping by! It’s so nice to hear someone else going through it! What are you in grad school for? Yay!

  • We had a really good, busy summer, but I have to say that I’m happy for Fall to start. I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine. Sounds like you accomplished a lot this summer, and have even more to look forward to. Congrats on getting your wedding dress, and also on Starting the Whole30. Can’t wait to see how you like it. If you ever need any support or advice, I’m here for you!

    • Thank you! I totally thought of you when I bought the book. I’ll be blogging it and I’m sure I’ll be needing to consult with you!! I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine as well.

  • This summer has been so insane and I still can’t wrap my mind around how fast and slow it seemed to go. Our life here in the deep south has been good and bad all at once. Not my favorite lifestyle, but the rewards with Dustin’s job have really helped us get ahead financially. I didn’t have a work space in our apartment down here and I didn’t realize how much that was going to affect my blogging. It was so hard to want to write when I had to work on my couch in front of the tv!
    I hear you about blogging full time and how hard it can be to work from home. I’m actually considering going back to work part time once we get to Utah just to have a little structure back in my life and the opportunity to interact with people more in real life.
    Don’t stress too much about your High School internship. I taught High School English and those kids were one of the best things to EVER happen to me. They are sassy, smart, kind, and going through so much at that time in life! I’m sure you will be able to help them out!

    xo, Chelsie

    • Guuurl, I’m just happy you are SAFE!!! You had probably the busiest summer of them all!! Excited for what’s in store for you, and hoping you accomplish everything you’ve been reaching for. Not having a work space can stink. Keep me update with the possible new job!!

  • So much beauty in this post, and not just you in that dress! Sometimes it takes those transitions to show us more about ourselves. I’m excited for all you have in store, and as an ambivert ( which I AM and is diff then an extroverted introvert I believe) I totally get you. Enjoy the last few of summer! xo

    • So happy to have someone who just GETS me! Thanks, sweet Angie! I appreciate you, friend!

  • I love that Lana song as well! I’m sorry for the loss of your grandma. I also go to blogger events in my city, it’s nice to meet similar people. Good luck with classes!

    • That’s awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Rica Lewis

    Beautiful pics and reflections! I know how it feels to dive into the undulating waters of the freelancing biz. I felt the same terror mingled with excitement when I took the plunge. And I still have moments of panic, some 6 years later, but I use this mantra to center me: At just the right time, I’ll have all that I need. I fully believe that because I’ve seen opportunities arise out of nowhere, so I know the universe has my back. :) I enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing.

    • I love your positivity! It’s super calming. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. Wishing you all the success in the world!

  • Goodness, girl! You have had quite the summer! That’s awesome that you’ve been able to learn and grow so much through it! <3

    • Thanks so much! Yes, I have learned about myself so much these past few months. It’s been incredible.

  • Zana Djakovic

    Loved this post dear Chels. it’s very honest and I felt it. I could write till tomorrow, but this sentence “I got a case of really bad baby fever” got me. I am the same! lol. Really would love to have a baby, and we often say, it’s not the right time, but who knows when is it. 😀 Have a great day love!

    • YES, YES, YES!!!! Who knows when the right time is. <3 You just never know!!! Love you, sweet heart!

  • What a lovely inspirational post. I experienced something similar when we decided to move to a different state. My husband (who at the time was my fiance) had experienced so many changes all at once. Although I hated them at first, the changes brought us closer. I’ve been able to connect with so many who have gone through my experience and have come out stronger. Isn’t it amazing how life works?

    Good luck with your Whole 30 journey!

    • Life truly is a crazy, scary, fast roller coaster. It’s amazing. Best of luck to you and your family!

  • Good luck on all of the exciting things you have coming!! It has been a really full year for you.

    • Thanks so much, sweet Emily! So happy to have you along on this journey!