My Struggle with Anxiety Disorder + Depression

My Struggle with Anxiety Disorder + Depression

Yesterday was one of the bad days. The days where no matter how hard I try to fight my anxiety, it always seems to win. It's days like that in which the mask that I wear day to day slips, falls, and comes crashing to the floor. I have been pretty open with my anxiety and depression ever since I started blogging back in college but I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to actually sharing my experiences with anxiety. 

I don't know why my struggle with anxiety disorder is more difficult to talk about than my depression. Maybe, in some ways, it's because depression is easier to explain. That sounds ridiculous in my head but it's true. My depression can be explained. My anxiety, however, cannot. I am still trying to figure it out for myself so how could I possible sit down and type out on a laptop how it truly feels to live and battle with anxiety?

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5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Blog

5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Blog

There are two topics I typically get requests to write more about and those are West Point and Blogging. Other than that post I wrote a while back about Instagram and more recently, supporting bloggers, this is truly my first blogging centered post and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you all today. I don’t think a lot of people realize how much work it actually takes to be a blogger. I know that I sure didn’t when I started my first (failed) blog back in college. I just thought a blog was a place for you to write when really they are so much more than that!

Today, I wanted to give a little advice to all of those people out there who ask me about starting a blog or who stumble across this post looking to start one. Before starting a blog, it is my belief that there are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you do anything else. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve tried to blog a lot over the years and this is the first time I’ve truly seen some success with blogging.

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What to Wear to a Winter Bridal Shower

What to Wear to a Winter Bridal Shower

Alright y’all, your girl has been seriously struggling in the outfit inspiration department for my winter bridal shower which will be taking place in January. Since my schedule is pretty crazy, we decided to have my bridal shower a little earlier than normal and do it in January instead of March. But y’all! Trying to figure out how to wear white in winter is a challenge let alone trying to find something to wear when you’re the bride! So I decided to scour Pinterest for some winter bridal shower outfit inspiration to help myself and to any of my fellow bride squad out there who are also having a winter bridal shower. Stay tuned because I’ll also be sharing my bridal shower theme and inspo next week!

So to make this the most helpful bridal shower outfit inspiration post EVER I’m going to break this down super simple. Not only am I going to talk about building the outfit BUT I’ll also include suggestions on where to get similar products! Let’s get on into this and have y’all (and myself) dressed for your winter bridal shower in no time! All images used belong to their respective owners and were found on Pinterest!

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How to Lose Weight and Eat Healthy without Meal Prepping

How to Lose Weight and Eat Healthy without Meal Prepping

A few months ago I decided to completely change my lifestyle. I focused on working out more consistently but most importantly, I truly focused on changing my eating habits which is why I know that my results are sustainable. The 21 Day Fix really helped me get a handle on my eating habits and to really see how poorly I was eating in the first place. You can learn more about my experience by reading my post on the 21 Day Fix and for more information on getting started on your own lifestyle change journey, you can fill out this survey.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I eat in a day and a lot of people share their concerns with meal prepping in order to lose weight. I’m going to be completely honest here, I do not meal prep. There is absolutely nothing wrong with meal prepping and I think it’s great when people have the actual time to do it but the last thing I want to be doing on Sunday’s is cooking my meals for the week. I’m also just super lazy when it comes to cooking most of the time. So I figured I would share an in depth look at what I typically eat throughout the day! These items are all SUPER easy to make no matter whether you’re in a college dorm room or have a full kitchen at your disposal for every meal.

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Army vs. Navy Football Game Recap 2017

Army vs. Navy Football Game Recap 2017

There are few moments in my life where I really am just in awe of the fact that this is my life. This past weekend in Philadelphia, surrounded by some of my closest friends, watching Army beat Navy for the second year in a row and win the Commander in Chief's trophy for the first time since 1996 was one of those moments. Was everything perfect this weekend, absolutely not. The cheap hotel we had stayed in previously was practically in shambles and we got stuck in a smoking room, to kick things off. But it is moments like this, where you make the best of any situation, that you realize how truly blessed you are.

FRIDAY

Justin and I drove down to Philly about mid-day on Friday and checked into the hotel. Like I said, it left more to be desired but we made the most of it (yes, car vent clips in an A/C unit in a room really DO help with the smoking smell). Anyways, we relaxed and got snacks while we waited for the rest of our friends to arrive. I had previously made a list of all of the places I wanted to check out (mostly restaurants) in Philadelphia while we were there but nothing on the list really stood out. The last time Army/Navy had been in Philadelphia we went to the German Christmas market in Love Park that they have every year and I knew I had to go back there.

Naturally, my favorite new sweater made an appearance (there was a moment of panic during the weekend where I thought I had ruined it). I love the way it paired so effortlessly with my boyfriend jeans and these new boots I got from Sam Edelman. Side note: I am definitely turning into my mother when it comes to fashion choices. 

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Bullet Journal Gift Guide

Bullet Journal Gift Guide

I started my first bullet journal back in August and I am happy to say that it is something I continue to use on a daily basis. Once I transitioned from being a student, having a bullet journal just seemed to fit more with where I was in my life.

If you know someone who loves to bullet journal, has talked about starting a bullet journal, or just likes to make lists, this gift guide for bullet journals is going to be great for you! Bonus, they're all available on Amazon with Prime shipping for you last minute shoppers out there!

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Saturday Morning Coffee

This is a super special Saturday Morning Coffee coming to you from Philadelphia! I am in Philly for the weekend for the annual Army/Navy game so that's also why this post is going up a little late. I hope you all had an amazing week! Justin and I have already had so much fun spending time with our friends and soaking up these last moments of Firstie year. Weekends like this are what make me so grateful for our little West Point fam

Speaking of friends, how cute is this saying above the door in the Irish pub we were in last night? The food and drinks and conversation were amazing but this saying really resonated with me and made me think of all of you who continue to support this blog. Cute, right?

where to eat in Philadelphia, con murphy's irish pub, darrian michelle saturday morning coffee

ONE || My Monster

My Beachbody coach is an amazing woman. She is so incredibly strong and passionate and I am so so so happy that God placed us in each other's lives. Like me, she also struggles with anxiety and she recently shared this post on her own blog. If you have anxiety, I highly suggest giving it a read. It had me all *hands up emoji*.

TWO || Vlogging

Justin and I decided that we're bringing back the vlogs!! We were reminiscing about some of our favorite moments from the previous year and how much we enjoyed having those on YouTube for us to watch back later. After this, we decided to bring them back! If you aren't already subscribed, you can find our channel here!

THREE || R. Riveter

It's been a hot minute since I talked about how much I love this brand on the blog but R. Riveter recently released an amazing video explaining their mission. I actually cried while watching this video because it resonated so much with me. I will support this brand until the day that I die because they are just such an inspiring group of women. Check out the video and if you're looking for some great gifts, make sure to visit the R. Riveter website! You can use my code: RRDARRIAND for 15% off!

FOUR || Target Finds

Y'all. If you don't follow me on Instagram or haven't liked my Facebook page yet (which you really should do both!) I was featured this week on the Target Finds website! This was a HUGE moment for me. It was featuring my new favorite sweater that I wrote all about this week.

FIVE || Army Football

GO ARMY!

Also don't forget to participate in my Reader Survey for your chance to win the giveaway! More details here! Entries must be submitted by Thursday, December 14, 2017!

How to Support your Favorite Bloggers + Reader Survey!

How to Support your Favorite Bloggers + Reader Survey!

First off, I wanted to sincerely thank each and every one of you that continues to support my blog. That's why I'm choosing to do a reader survey around the 6 month mark (that's now!) so that I can make sure I am putting out the type of content you all want to read! Now I would say that I'm a pretty avid blogger but I know that not all people are. That's why I think it's so important to talk about the ways in which you can actually help support your favorite bloggers! 

Blogging is HARD, y'all. It doesn't get talked about enough and after a conversation with a fellow blogger this week, I realized that sometimes people really just don't realize all the ins and outs of blogging. It takes countless hours and energy and most of the time, bloggers aren't getting paid squat. Hard to believe, I know. But that's the truth. 

We do this because we love it. We love connecting with people and helping others through our own experiences. Sure, we want to be paid for it but at the end of the day it's all about the community. The messages I get each week make it so worth it and constantly remind me why I decided to do this in the first place. That's why I'm giving back with a little giveaway!

I'm giving away a Fujifilm Instax Mini Polaroid Camera (in choice of color), a Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal (the one I use) and $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader who completes the reader survey! To be entered into the giveaway, all you have to do is fill out the reader survey and include your email! If you wish to remain anonymous, don't worry, the email isn't required. However if you choose to take the survey anonymously you WILL NOT be entered into the giveaway. (US & Canada only). 

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Gift Guide for Guys

Gift Guide for Guys

Shopping for those special guys in your life can be the absolute hardest thing to do during the holiday season. Seriously, why are guys SO hard to shop for? It's ridiculous the number of hours I have spent scrolling through Amazon or wandering aimlessly around the mall looking for the perfect gift for Justin or my dad.

I don't even remember what I have gotten each of them for recent holidays so that right there should tell you how much buying gifts for guys sucks. That's why I rounded up a few things and put together this gift guide for guys for y'all! I know there are more than a few girls out there going "BLESS UP" because they stumbled upon this post. 

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Tips for Staying Body Positive as a Bride

Tips for Staying Body Positive as a Bride

I have been dreading writing this post since I put it on my content calendar a few months ago. So much so that it’s been moved around time and time again. I finally decided a few days ago that today was going to be the day I touched on this topic and I’m sticking with it so let’s hop on in. Today I’m writing about body positivity as a bride. Staying body positive as a bride is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, everyone has a little bit of insecurity. But those insecurities seem to be amplified tenfold when you become a bride.

Some of you know that I suffer from anxiety and one of the biggest anxiety inducing things about wedding planning for me has been my body image. If you’ve read my posts about wedding dress shopping, then you’ll know that this is one of the reasons I ended up hating my first wedding dress. But what I wanted to focus on today is the pressure that we as brides put ourselves under when we’re worrying about our body image for the wedding. I’m really just completely free writing here, which isn’t something I normally do in blog posts so bear with me while I get these thoughts out but I feel as though they’re important.

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The Hunt for the Perfect Statement Sleeve Sweater

The Hunt for the Perfect Statement Sleeve Sweater

Have you ever loved a piece of clothing SO MUCH because finally getting your hands on it was like the sweetest of victories? This sweater is one of those items for me. Let's rewind back to a few Target trips ago when I was meandering around the A New Day Section looking for clothes I didn't really need. I happened to see this sweater on the mannequin and just knew I had to have it. It's the perfect amount of statement sleeve for my petite frame and even though I didn't really know how to wear statement sleeves, I knew it would be a great piece to start playing around with. 

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The Best Gift Guides for Everyone on your List + My Christmas Wish List

The Best Gift Guides for Everyone on your List + My Christmas Wish List

The holidays can be a tough time of year, especially when you’re a perfectionist when it comes to buying gifts for everyone on your list. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a few gift guides of my own, like my gift guide for brides but I figured I would help you all out A TON by sharing some of the best gift guides that are already out there. These gift guides are perfect for everyone, from your blog or Instagram obsessed friend (guilty) to the hostess with the mostess.

Not only will I be including A TON of gift guides in this roundup, but I’ll also be sharing what’s on MY Christmas wishlist as well, giving you even more ideas for checking those names off of your shopping list. If YOU have a gift guide on your blog, feel free to leave it in the comments so we can all check it out as well!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Decorating for Christmas on a Budget

Your Ultimate Guide to Decorating for Christmas on a Budget

Alright, y’all! Blogmas 2017 is officially in full swing and I’m coming in hot with the Christmas posts. No, not every post for the month of December will be Christmas vomit but you can expect a lot of them to be centered around all things Christmas! Anyways, this post specifically is for all of you procrastinators out there who haven’t even touched a Christmas decoration yet. Bonus points if you’re on a tight budget.

This post, the inaugural Christmas post of Blogmas 2017 on Darrian Michelle, is (are you ready for it?) your ULTIMATE guide to decorating for Christmas on a budget. Why do I call this the ultimate guide? Well, because I’ve done each and every one of these things myself. I used to be like you, sitting there, not wanting to put in the effort of decorating a tree because I knew it would cost money and the holiday season is fleeting. We often get this mentality that we don’t want to do something until we can do it perfectly and I would argue that this is especially true for matters of the home. That’s why I’ve thought up some of my best tips for decorating for Christmas on a budget to share with all of you! May this post get you into the holiday decorating mood (and keep you on budget of course)!

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Saturday Morning Coffee

Saturday Morning Coffee

Let me totally real for a minute here: I missed writing this post last week. The Thanksgiving holiday was full of laughter and good memories and time spent with family so your girl can't complain too much (other than for the severe lack of mashed potatoes at dinner). Now that I'm pretty much back into a normal routine though, it feels so good. The holidays can really mess with our minds by getting us out of our routines.

Anyways, the holiday season is in full swing and we have some pretty exciting things happening in December. I can't believe 2017 is already almost over. Just 31 days from now we'll all be ringing in 2018. How crazy is that? First on our list is the Army/Navy football game so if you didn't read yesterday's post featuring my amazing fiancé go check it out!

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Army/Navy Football from the Point of View of a Cadet

Army/Navy Football from the Point of View of a Cadet

Ah, the holiday season is officially upon us because today is the very first day of December! In most houses the holiday season probably isn’t marked with a college football game. However, in this house the annual Army/Navy football game (also affectionately known as America’s Game) is the real holiday. In just one short week Justin and I will be traveling to Philadelphia to attend his last Army/Navy game as a cadet.

Since it’s pretty much the end of an era for us (until we go back and he’s an Old Grad and/or we take our children) I figured it would be a really fun idea if I had Justin make his first official appearance on the blog and talk to you guys a little bit more about Army/Navy!

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6 Month Wedding Planning Update

6 Month Wedding Planning Update

What. What? What! Y’all. I know that you’re probably sick of the intros to these wedding planning update posts if you’ve read all of the others but where has the time gone? Everytime I look at the calendar I feel like someone is legit playing a prank on me because of how fast this past year has gone by. I know the holiday season is going to make it go by that much quicker too. Please please please tell me that I’m not alone in freaking out a little bit. May 2018 brides, where you at?

It seems like just yesterday Justin and I were with our families and celebrating the beginning of our engagement and now we are just six months away from our wedding day. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century. Anyways, I wanted to bring you this quick wedding planning update because I love reading these myself and you all seem to like when I do them! If you’re a bride to be or have any advice on things I should be doing sooner rather than later, please help a sister out. Alright, let’s get right into what I accomplished on the wedding planning front in November:

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A Roundup of THE BEST Cyber Monday Deals

A Roundup of THE BEST Cyber Monday Deals

Wow guys, that holiday weekend went by fast didn't it? I hope you all had an amazing time with your family and friends and are stuffed to the brim with holiday goodness. I'm still trying to figure out why there were no mashed potatoes at our Thanksgiving dinner... Anywho! I wanted to quickly apologize for not posting Friday or Saturday. I was having WAY too much fun just soaking up some quality time with my family and future husband.

Today I'm bringing y'all some of THE BEST Cyber Monday deals from across the web. Each of these is broken down with the specific link to the Cyber Monday deals as well as a few of the items I've got my eye on. Plus, I've included easily shopable widgets for each store. Where are you shopping this Cyber Monday? 

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Gift Ideas for Brides

Gift Ideas for Brides

Being a bride is one of the most exciting (and stressful) times in a girl’s life but getting gifts for a bride doesn’t have to be. Today I’m rounding up some great gift ideas for brides. A few of these items are things I’ve purchased myself and love or gifts I would have loved to receive! Keep in mind your bride’s tastes and favorites as your thinking about gift ideas for her.

One of the gifts I received after we got engaged was actually a box of goodies from my mom. She picked an adorable decorative box and filled it with a coffee mug, Bride water cup, champagne glasses and a few bridal magazines. Personalized gifts such as this are always a great way to go but here are a few gift ideas for brides in case you’re looking for an easier or more cost effective route to take for gifting.

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How to Make Any Apartment Instantly Feel Like Home

How to Make Any Apartment Instantly Feel Like Home

If there’s a version of nesting that doesn’t involve you being pregnant, I’m experiencing it. I have lived in an apartment for the last 7 years, ever since I was a sophomore in college and basically just never put any effort into decorating them. Recently, however, I’ve found myself wanting to decorate the apartment more and make it really feel like a home. Mind you, I’ve lived in my current apartment for a year almost now and until a week ago, had yet to put anything on the walls.

In college, when I first started going to therapy, my therapist discovered that I have an issue with feeling like I have a home. Somewhere along the line, I stopped feeling like anything was actually “my home” in the traditional sense of the word. As backwards as it sounds, I think this is part of the reason I don’t make my apartments feel like home since apartments by nature are temporary. Anyways, if you’re feeling the same way, especially now that the Holiday season is upon us, here are a few things I’ve done recently to make my little apartment feel more like a home!

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Saturday Morning Coffee

Saturday Morning Coffee

Y'all I have been sick all week. Not exaggerating. Just when I feel like I'm finally getting over this icky cold it lays me back out on the couch, full force. Yuck. Don't you just hate it when you aren't sick enough to go to the doctor?  Anyways, it's my favorite post of the week where I just get to sit down with a steaming hot cup of coffee (actually on my second, TBH) and chat with you guys about what I'm loving this week.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is coming up SUPER fast? Justin and I will be heading out on Wednesday afternoon and I'm kind of excited/already exhausted just thinking about the 8 hour drive. If you have any good audiobook or True Crime podcasts (here are a few of my faves if you're curious) that Justin and I can binge listen to on the way there, let a girl know!

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