12 Greeting Cards to Send Your Bestie

Obvious statement of the year coming at you: when you move away from all your friends it kind of really sucks. But since moving away, I'm admittedly just as sucky at staying in touch. Sure, texts and birthday calls and visits home and Snapchats all happen but the random conversations about what's going on in life are kind of rare. And it's easy to forget how important the "let's talk it out" wine nights and "I got your back" coffee dates are. 

But snail mail. Man, snail mail has a way of putting a smile on your face. We all know CVS and Target are old faithful, but these pretty little #greetingcard Instas keep popping up in my feed. And.I'm.obsessed 😍So I scoured Etsy (and the #NSS2016 hashtag) for the prettiest, most awesome hand lettered / painted / drawn cards that are just begging to be stamped and sent north. 

Oh and bonus, they're all under $5 so it's basically about 16 times less than you would spend at happy hour. 

Side Effects of the #SideHustle

side hustle (n) : something done in addition to your 9-to-5 that usually, if not always, causes additional stress and insane enjoyment…simultaneously.  

I started my #sidehustle as a freelance writer about eight months ago. At the time, I was flirting with the idea of taking freelance on as a full-time gig. So I did what anyone would do: I dipped my toes in the water. I wanted to see what I could do, if I could get business and how, if at all, I could make even a fraction of a living from it.  

And things came fast. And furious. I started off doing a couple of pieces for the Shutterstock blog, then came a piece in US News & World Report (hey Greenville), followed by signing on to contribute to Mapquest’s content hub, Parachute and most recently, as a full-time contributor to Brit+Co. All while working “full-time” agency-side as a social media/PR pro.  

Almost as fast as my side hustle came, so did an amazing opportunity at a new agency in town. One that was so creative, so in tune with what I saw for my future, that my freelance-to-full-time-career plans came to a major halt.  

But here I was, fully entrenched in a side hustle I loved. And what was I going to do? Give it up because I had a new gig? Nah. I cut back, yeah, but I’m still going as fast and furious as when I first started. Why? Because I like it. Simple? Sure. Worth it? I think so.  

But as much as I love my #sidehustle, it’s pretty clear that when you choose to go beyond a 9-to-5 (which by the way lol at that being a real thing anymore – hi, #socialmedia) - there are some side effects. Continue.

1. Drowsiness : hands down, this is where I fail. I know, Arianna, I know. But I have completely lost all sense of time. The idea of going to bed anywhere near the same time of day is out of question. The idea of going to bed before midnight is also very laughable. It’s bad. I get it. But nothing makes you appreciate 24 hours in a day quite like a side hustle. 

2. Prioritization : every day usually starts with a mental division of what HAS to get done and what I WANT to get done. And never have I been better at understanding what is truly a necessity and what it actually a luxury, than when I’m on deadline. 

3. Increase in use of the term “I’m on deadline” : speaking of deadlines…working in PR and social media has prepared me for living life on a constant deadline. The only difference is instead of having to be cognizant of someone else’s deadline (which, surprise, I still do) I’m now very much on my own deadline. Movie night? Sorry I can’t, I’m on deadline. Want to stay to watch the second half of the game? Wish I could but I’m on deadline. Want me to pay you a billion dollars and fly you around the world? Sounds great but I’m on deadline. 

4. Spare time decisions : It sounds lame, I know. But deciding what to spend my time on outside of my commitments at work is actually a BFD. Every minute I spend at happy hour, in the gym or playing kickball are minutes not spent researching, writing or editing. Making time for things that are fun and/or required for your mental health (looking at you cardio) is now something I legitimately plan for - adulting, woof. 

5. Spousal Silo : I’m one of the lucky ones. I found a partner who not only supports my love affair with being a #girlboss but respects it, too. #Winning. But nothing, and I mean nothing, feels worse than coming home past 7p, flying through dinner (that I most definitely did not cook), hunkering down for a night of writing and then watching your spouse go to bed and realizing you didn’t really spend any time together. 

To all my fellow writers, designers, bloggers, doers & makers – what side effects are you experiencing? Tweet at me @kelseyjoynelson.

Running Update + Upcoming Race Schedule

Ever since I crossed the finish line at the GHS Half Marathon in February, I've been running 3-4 times a week, no more than 4.5 miles. I also picked spinning back up after finally finding an instructor at the Y who actually somewhat rides to the beat of the music (AMEN!). It's no Harness Cycle but I'm loving being back on the bike. 

And as much as I love running for the sake of running - hi mental clarity, stress relief, calorie torching & overall feeling like a badass post-workout - I kind of really have to have a race on the books. If I don't, I put running on the back burner. Honestly everything wins over going out for a run: my alarm clock, work, TV. It's pathetic. 

And if we're being brutally honest, the real reason I do this: 

Is so I can do this: 

Plus racing is fun. It keeps me motivated. Gives me something to look forward to. And puts some meaning behind running in 80+ degree South Carolina sun. So, I signed up for some races. All are below with some potentials that are still in consideration.  

In The Books

TD Bank Reedy Rive Run 10k | April 23

Swamp Rabbit 5k | May 6 - with special guest appearance from Nelson!

Thomas Creek Brewery Beer BBQ 5k Run | July 17 - also with special guest appearance from Nelson he just doesn't know it yet!

Still Being Considered

Paris Mountain Trails 12k | May 28 - Memorial Day? Eh, we'll see. 

Sunrise Run 8k | June 11

Get Out Greenville 10k | Oct. 1

You tell me: what races should I sign up for in 2016? Always down to travel!

Every Thought I Have When I Walk My Dog

For the most part, my mornings start out pretty much the same every day (unless I sneak in a run pre-work, which if that's the case, I've already won the day). The alarm goes off at 6:45a, I let Gordy out and feed him, start getting ready for work, brew and chug a cup or two of coffee, fire up my favorite podcast and take our four-legged friend for a 20-30 minute walk. 

Just look at this face. 

AM walks are crucial to Gordy's success. He's the laziest dog in the world when we're home and the most energetic when we're gone. So a solid walk in the AM helps wear him down a little bit while we're at work.

And for the most part, every morning walk goes a little something like this:

Every Thought I have When I Walk My Dog

Who wants to go for a WALK?!

Let’s go!

What a great mini workout.  

We’re going to walk, like, at least a mile.

Let’s start to the left.

Okay, we’re going right.

Stopping already?

This is technically still our house…

Don’t you know all these smells?

Nope.

The end of our street has to be at least a ¼ of a mile, right?

Maybe we’re really going to walk like, two miles? 

WHOA.

Squirrel.

What is the deal with squirrels anyway?

You have literally never caught a squirrel.

And never will.

But you will always lose it over them.

This feels more like a HIIT workout now than a walk. 

We’ve recovered.

Why does he not walk beside me like every other dog?

I can’t be the only person who struggles with this, right?

I assume anyone with a Great Dane or Bullmastiff is out of luck.

Please poop soon. 

No!

Do not poop here!

Of all the places you pick the neighbor who I can see very obviously see staring at us through his window?

Find a new spot.

Sniff this pole.

Sniff this fire hydrant.

Sniff this sewer.

Bingo.

I could get away with not picking this up.

But I have bags.

Pick it up.

Don’t be that girl. 

I will be the girl who throws it in this garbage can though.

Let’s loop home.

How long was this walk?

At least 30 minutes, right?

15 minutes is still good.

Oh lawd, a dog ahead.

Maybe he won’t see it.

Maybe he’ll like this one, they look close in size.

His head is up.

He’s growling.

He sees it.

He’s barking.  

Okay, reroute.

Divert.

Sorry neighbor but he cannot handle that kind of situation right now.

Walking the dog is the BEST time to catch up on podcasts.

I wonder what kind of data they have on listenership before 8:30 am on weekdays.

Serial season 1 was so much better than season 2.

Does he know that he doesn’t actually have to pee on every mailbox we pass?

No?

You’re king of the neighborhood now, buddy.

I see our house.

Does he see the house?

Does he know where we live?

I hope he knows his home.

No, he definitely knows.  

Look at him walk right to it.

Home sweet home.

Seriously?

Our mailbox, too?