leibster award nomination!

My blog (a.k.a. this website!) has been nominated for the Leibster Award by Kerry Ireland of The Petite Wanderer!

I got sent some questions to answer for this post, so here are my answers:

What is your earliest memory?

This is a tricky question for me since I have a very vivid memory, but I literally do remember being read to before bed back in the very early days that included a crib beside several stuffed animals (in which, one particular “Mr.Monkey” was always my favorite!).

What is your favorite drink?

I drink water the most, but that’s a boring answer so I have to say that my favorite drink would have to be a bold espresso-filled almond latte. This literally changes all of the time though! Hot spiced apple cider in autumn is also a great go-to as well.

What is your dream career? 

I like to consider myself a storyteller of many forms, so my dream career has always been the idea of telling stories and just making a comfortable living off of doing the things I love to do.

What are your passions?

I am very passionate about storytelling through filmmaking, creative writing, acting, photography, and art. I do a lot but being so involved with so many passions really keeps me going.

What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?

How does one simply answer this question?!? Hmm. Every trip is super memorable and amazing in their own ways but for the sake of pretending that there is some decisive bone inside of me (where!?!?!?), I would say that the first trip that comes to mind was a trip to British Columbia and then California with my family. During my junior year of high school, I went to Vancouver and areas of British Columbia to visit Stevestons Village (the filming location of the abc show, Once Upon a Time) and tour the office spaces of Club Penguin, which my brother, Adam, designed an entire “Pup1one” persona with online. Afterwards, we flew to LA to tour some college I applied to and I visited the school I currently attend for the first time. I wrote a post about part of this trip that you can read here.

This has been such a great collaboration post and I have to take a moment here to thank Kerry again for nominating me! Check her out online at www.thepetitewanderer.com! You can read my nomination post here.

But for the moment you all have been waiting for… here are my nominees!

  • Travels of 2 Sisters (http://travelsof2sisters.com/)

Eva and Lara Michelsen are two sisters who use their blog as an outlet to share their stories of traveling while providing advice for those who wish to travel luxuriously even on a budget.

  • Alannah Williams (https://www.alannahwilliams.com/blog)

Alannah set up her site as a personal site of self-expression and a creative outlet for health, fitness, and lifestyle. With elegant design and fitspiration style, this site encourages a well-balanced life.

  • Tegan Winters (https://teganwinters.com/)

Eighteen year young Teagan Winters shares her life through her blog and YouTube channel. Her blog style is familiar to mine at LockerStyler and she has a great line up of variety lifestyle posts.

  • Elysian Moment (http://elysianmoment.com/)

Kate loves to travel and uses her site as a beautiful place to share her experiences and tips. The layout is simple and pink, leaving the site elegant with traces of wanderlust.

  • HelloAlima (https://hellohalima.com/)

Halima is a writer who uses her site as a collage of photos and creative writing pieces of all sorts. As a writer myself, I have massive amounts of appreciation for her site dedicated to creative writing!

  • Balance and Vine (http://www.balanceandvine.com/)

Jamie Kennedy, a California girl living in Australia loves yoga, wine, and photography. Her site beautifully illustrates and highlights all three and more complete with playlists and blog posts.

Congrats to all of those I nominated! Here are your instructions for the next step:

  1. Give the person who nominated you a shout-out (a.k.a. me, Sarah Hamilton of LockerStyler, www.lockerstyler.com).
  2. Answer the following questions.
  3. Nominate five other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  4. Write your own set of questions for those nominees!

Questions:

  1. What inspired you to start your blog/website?
  2. What is your favorite thing to do and why?
  3. What dreams do you wish to accomplish?
  4. Where are you from and what’s it like there?
  5.  What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers/writers/dreamers?

I’m looking forward to seeing your responses! Tweet them at me @sarahfhamilton.

Best,

me

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tips for starting a vlog channel

It’s 2017 and the Internet culture is stronger than ever! One major staple term of this decade is “vlogging”, which for those few of you who may not know, is filming oneself’s daily life and posting it online. YouTube is a beautiful platform for creativity and there are so many people who upload regular vlogs to their channels.

Fall 2015 was the year I started college on the other side of the country in LA and I started posting weekly videos describing my life to keep track of my adventures and share them with my friends and family back home. As it turns out, that small series called, LIVIN’ CA brought me far more incredibly amazing adventures than I could have ever planned for. My second year, I continued the series but branded it slightly more as a vlog series rather than a web series. That being said, this upcoming “season” of LCA, it’s officially an all-out vlog series, which I highly recommend you watch.

But before you do, chances are, you are reading this because you would like to start-up a vlog channel or grow one yourself. While I am no guru in the subject, I have learned SO MUCH about this vlog life and I want to help share my knowledge while still using it myself (in the great words of High School Musical, we’re all in this together!).

Consistency is Key

If you’re consistent, whether that means daily, weekly, monthly…being consistant helps! If you want to pre-plan more complex videos, keeping track of what you have done and managing a similar style will definitely help as well. If you have an “aesthetic”, keep to it! This can go for your channel type, coloring, thumbnails, click-bait, etcetera.

Keep it Casual

I have noticed that the more relatable one is, the easier it is for the audience to better connect. Be true to yourself and avoid nerves and seeming uncomfortable. It should be a casual insight on your life. Talk to the camera like you would to your friends and family.

Entertain!

This one goes without saying, but if you’re being entertaining or doing something entertaining, it is so much easier to grab the attention of others! Plus, it is far more fun and inspiring to vlog when you’re being entertained by it yourself. One in doubt, find something fun to do!

The Equipment

I use the Canon G7X for my vlogs, as many people do. However, DSLR’s, camcorders, and even your phone are all prime tools when it comes down to filming! Editing is also a great way to better your content and there are so many programs and apps available of all different levels. However, keep in mind that the content you make all stems around the idea and the actual content of the video. Everything else is icing on the cake to make it look and feel more professional.

Growing an Audience

I may have a relatively small audience at the moment, but regardless, I am a believer that a few quality audience members are more valuable than many who don’t really care. That being said, leave comments, tweet, and share out your videos through multiple social media platforms. If you are more connected to your viewers, the more personable your content will be. These days, YouTube isn’t really thriving off of professional big name content, but more individual creativity and personable growth.

Be Original

It is SO very easy to get caught up in the YouTube cliques and styles. Sometimes, it seems that the only way to be searchable and grow an audience is to keep with the trends and do what other popular channels are doing but those who stay original while still throwing in some click-bait here and there are better off in the long run. Those are the channels that inspire others to copy and draw people in. Add key words into your titles and description boxes for more searchable results.

Everything Takes Time

Viral videos happen, but like most YouTubers and vloggers out there, everything takes time. Not only does it take time for one to really develop their style and routine, but it also takes time to build up that presence. Make videos for yourself first and understand that even if it seems that you are the only one watching, you’re happy with that.

Live Life

While it is fun and addicting to share out everything that you do, remember to live life in the moments as well. Photos and video should document your life rather than controlling it.

I hope those tips and tricks helped! If you have any additional thoughts, ideas, or questions, let me know in the comment section below and/or tweet me @sarahfhamilton! You can also watch my videos and the LIVIN’ CA vlog series here:

SEASON/ YEAR ONE Playlist:

SEASON/ YEAR TWO Playlist:

 

Happy Vlogging!

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thoughts college students have when home | back to school series

Because college and home can be two completely different worlds.

I missed all of this. 

My family and friends are awesome. 

Golly, my bed is cozy. 

Might as well sleep as much as I can. 

…but a midnight or two am snack is totally necessary!

What do you mean 10:30pm is “late”?

Let’s go to Target. 

Is this new or am I going crazy?

I forgot this existed.

Why does it feel like everything changed but it’s all the same?

Did this past semester even happen or was it a dream?

I CAN USE REAL CANDLES AGAIN. 

Time to catch up on youtube/netflix/sleep/etc.

How do I dress for the weather here again?

Does this even fit anymore?

Wow. Showers feel so different without flipflops.

What do I do with all of this free time!?!?

I’ll be packing this up all soon anyway so I might as well just keep it as is.

It’s nice being home.

I don’t want to go back!/I cannot wait to go back!

Relatable, college folk? Time on break always seems to fly by! Feel free to comment/tweet other lovely thoughts @sarahfhamilton.

Happy Summer!

 

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so you’re thinking about filmmaking…

I am a film and television production junior. That doesn’t make me a guru in the entertainment industry or even a full-out “professional” quite yet, but I have advice and stories to tell. That being said, if you are considering joining the entertainment industry, especially through the great complex realm that is filmmaking, this is the article for you! (So keep on reading!)

For a bit of good ol’ back story, I should mention that I made some video and film projects throughout middle and high school and had a great passion for all things storytelling (writing, art, theater, music, dance…you name it!) growing up since the start. It wasn’t until half way through junior year of high school that it dawned on me that filmmaking was a career path and storytelling in various ways could be pursued. Long story short, I made the best decision of my life and started my post high school life in sunny Los Angeles (but I prefer calling it LA).

But enough backstory…if you too are considering this path or a similar one and you’re realizing that there is both too much and too little information about it online (trust me, I’ve been there!), then here are some of my tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you out.

Passion Drives

If you have made some videos before or just really love filmmaking as an art medium, then passion is the key element of what you do! If you are in the biz for the fame and/or big money, you are probably better off doing something else. While fame and money is nice, you should be making art for the right reasons (like connecting with others and self-fulfillment).

Finding the Path

Filmmaking doesn’t have a right or wrong path. It is simply your journey to figure out what you like and go for it! Film school is a great opportunity to learn, experience, grow, and network. It also provides a place where you can “fail” without the reprecautions of the “real world”, which will keep such issues from happening in the future. Having experience, leverage, and first hand knowledge is incredibly important.

Communication Over Competition

Filmmaking is a realm of communicating and networking among others. Collaboration is incredibly key. Avoid competition and isolation as much as possible. Keep organized and stay in touch with those you know. Sure, you may PA (production assistant) on one set but that set is filled with people who work various positions on other sets. Believe it or not, the entertainment industry is a small world. The more people you know, the more opportunities are presented. After all, art is by people, for people.

Infinite Opportunities, Open Mind

Keeping an open mind to various avenues within the entertainment industry adds value to your talents. Yes, if you have one specific job you love, that’s great, but those who get the most amount of work are those with the most varied abilities. Cinematographer one day, director the next, sound mixer another…even working in some acting here and there defines more skills you possess, but also, more opportunities to work and meet people along the way.

Glitz & Glam

For the record, the big ol’ Hollywood stereotypes of glam and glitz may be real on some level, but there is work, thinking, deadlines, and a lot more than what meets the eye. Not everything you see in the magazines, online, or on tv is anything close to reality. There is so much more to the story. But yeah, even if you are like me and hit the incredibly cinema trope of “small town girl moves to big city LA with great dreams”, there is a lot of new understanding but a ton of fun. For the record, even in times of chaos and stress, I absolutely love and adore this lifestyle and I know it is perfect for me. Dreams really do come true!

Art is Power

Filmmaking is a form of art and art can be used to not only express one’s self, but to connect with others. The importance of art stems on the impact that it makes and filmmaking is an incredibly powerful medium that can be used to not only entertain the world, but to help better shape it as well.

As you go about, here are some programs/accessories I recommend to the serious film student…

  • DSLR
  • External mic (DSLR’s internal mics aren’t all that great since they focus on image)
  • Script program (whether you are a screenwriter or not, you will write scripts!) *Adobe Story & Final Draft are great.
  • Editing program (same thing here) *I personally love the Adobe CC set up! Premiere, After Effects, & Photoshop are amazing.
  • Tripod/Camera Bag/Camera Shoe/Headphones
  • Notebook for ideas
  • Laptop that works well for editing
  • External hard drive(s) for space (video files take up a ton!)
  • Have a Vimeo & YouTube. When you get more professional experience, IMDB pro helps too.

Additional tips and advice…

  • Keep creating. You will get better skilled through experience.
  • Stay organized on your computer and in your mind.
  • Learn the details of video specs. For example, frame rates go as following:
    • 24fps – classic film look
    • 30fps – television and web
    • 60fps – typical vlog
  • Keep an open mind and explore different areas of filmmaking and creativity.
  • Pre-production is incredibly important to focus on. Production depends on it and the communication of the crew. Post-production is what makes it all worth while. EVERY PART IS IMPORTANT!

That being said, I wish you the best of luck in the world of filmmaking. As always, if you have any additional questions/comments/thoughts, please leave a comment below and/or tweet me @sarahfhamilton. You can see some of my film work at the following links:

www.youtube.com/sarahfhamilton

www.vimeo.com/sarahfhamilton

Happy Filmmaking!

*This post is not sponsored!

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yummy acaí bowl recipe 

Judge my LA basicness all you want but acaí bowls are absolutely amazing! They are…

  • healthy and filled with great antioxidants
  • deliciously sweet without added sugars
  • versatile and vegan

They make for great breakfasts, lunches and snacks. While finding one around town (Whole Foods, Urth Cafe, and Paradise Bowls all have amazing ones!) may be easy, making your own is easy to do. Plus, it’ll save you some money too! This is how I make my version of a delicious acaí bowl.

Acaí Bowl 

Ingredients:

  • acaí pack (Sambaza is great!)
  • chia seeds
  • fruit
  • almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened)
  • granola
  • honey
  • cinnamon

Recipe

  1. Gather ingredients.
  2. In a small blender, add one pack of acaí (run under water for five seconds to break it up).
  3. Add 1/4th cup almond milk (or liquid of choice).
  4. Add some fruit. If adding a banana, slice a full one and put half inside. Leave some fruit for the top.
  5. Toss in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.
  6. Blend until smooth texture. Add more liquid if not smooth enough.
  7. Place mixture in bowl and decorate the top with leftover fruit.
  8. Add some granola. For extra flair, add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

…and enjoy!

If you try out this recipe, let me know! Comment below and/or tag me @sarahfhamilton on Twitter and Instagram!

Enjoy!

 

*This is not a sponsored post.

 

 

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actual college essentials | back to school series

It’s back to school season and already you are being bombarded by all the “essentials” and greatly enforced items but let’s be real…if you want to save a bunch of money and get things that will actually benefit you through the whole year, then this post is for you! Every store wants your business and even in this day and age, social media influencers are trying to help brand items as “necessities”, when that may not be the case.

Take it from me as an almost college junior…these are the essentials that I am highly recommending:

Water Heater

For tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soup…literally everything…I highly recommend having one on hand! Also, dorm life rules vary between different campuses, so make sure that you know what is allowed and what is not. (Check microwave & fridge policies!)

Large Storage Bins

I can’t tell you how great these are! Not only can you use them to store your belongings, but they also help transport during move-in and move-out day. Need a small desk in a pinch? Throw a long scarf over the top of it and it transforms! Multi-task items are key.

Layered Fashion

Having a bit of everything can never hurt, but it is far too easy to over pack clothing. Jeans and shoes can get really heavy too if you are worried about traveling with weight requirements for airlines. That being said, have a few of everything and make sure that it is layerable and easy to clean/match/wear. Dorm closets are small and chances are, you will not be too on-top of laundry so bring as much underwear as you can and a sample of your home closet to rotate through. Also, don’t bother bringing t-shirts because chances are, you will end up with a bunch of free ones within the first week alone.

Heavy Duty Backpack

Textbooks, notebooks, chargers and laptops all weigh quite a bit and if you have a busy day, the times of dropping things off in your high school locker are over. Get a backpack that will support your supplies comfortably, safely, and adorably. Trust me…you will want this to last a long time!

Laptop Case/Chargers/Phone Case

This goes without saying, but make sure that you have all of your electronic essentials and protection for them! I highly recommend phone cases that double as wallets too to keep your school ID and credit card close and safe.

External Hard Drive

As a film student and a person who just so happens to make a lot of videos (youtube.com/sarahfhamilton!), I have a great tendency to run out of space, need to back up my laptop as much as humanly possible, and bring files around with me. As a film student, an external hard drive (or two) are truly essential but I highly recommend to anyone in college. A flash drive or two helps as well. Store your stuff, keep it safe, and make sure that it stays as organized as possible!

Planner

I have been a solid believer in the agenda/planner since the earliest of my schooling days. It is truly a great way to organize your to-do’s in life and other reminders. Having one that works for the school year is absolutely great and the lighter it is, the more likely you are to carry it with you everywhere! Save yourself some stress and keep your thoughts on pages.

Essentials

A laundry bag or hamper, pillow, sheets, cleansers, personal hygiene items, small lamp, shower shoes/caddy, mirror, few bowls/mugs…keep few of these things on hand to make life simpler.

As it goes for textbooks and school supplies, wait until the end of the first week! Once you get your classes situated and syllabi read, you will have a much better idea of what you will actually need. Long story short, you will be collecting as the year goes by so start as minimalistic as possible and know that things you need will be collected as you go along.

I wish you the best of luck this upcoming school year! Let me know what some of your school essentials are in the comments below or tweet them at me @sarahfhamilton!

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a mindful twenties lifestyle

It is official. I’m twenty.

I have gone through my entire life so far really getting caught up in the past. To make matters even crazier, I have spent so much of my life so far in *slight*, uncomfortable fear of the future, simply because I didn’t know what to expect and it seems like such a vast open land of potentials and unknowns.

That being said, it’s like a switch flipped within me the second I hit the ripe age of twenty. Being a teen was great. Being a kid was great. But being in the twenties is PRIME. I love my past, present, and potential futures. I’m far from “perfect”, but here are some of my early twenty mentalities that have left me recently glowing in a light of positivity and blissful happiness.

  • Life is everything. It can be both heavily structured and overly free at once. Perhaps, none of that makes any sense, but the overarching message here is that life can have many extremes and it is up to us as individuals to decide how to experience it all in a well-balanced way.
  • YOU are in control. Sure, there are always going to be factors that seemingly dictate our lives, but ultimately, we are the ones in control of our own lives. We make the choices and we choose to live our days the ways in which we do. Find your way back to feeling in control and everything is going to be alright…
  • …which brings me to the fact that even our emotions can be in control. So yes, choose to be happy, but also, it is completely okay to choose to feel other emotions too. Life has quite a range of emotions to feel, so why not embrace them all and look at even the darkest of moments as ones worthwhile?
  • Balance is key. I’m sure I kind of implied this one already, but might as well add an extra point about it. Be healthy, but here and there, indulge without regrets. Work hard, but give yourself breaks. Sometimes, it seems too easy to get caught up in all life has to offer, but through balancing chaos with stillness, loudness with silence, and even control with recklessness, the highs and the lows of life will balance out. Embrace it all.
  • Choose positivity and really believe. Believe in yourself, those around you, dreams…everything you believe is possible and yes, that may sound very cliché, but take it from me; it’s true. Staying positive about everything is great and to make matters even better, realize that you are the writer of your own stories and the way you perceive the good and bad is what shapes you in the long run.

Alright, I get it. I’m twenty. I’m still young, vibrant, and probably in the most wide-eyed, optimistic point of my life and I totally get that. But I have learned these things over the course of these past twenty years and they clicked in as reliable sources of my happiness. I know who I am, what I have done, what I am doing, and where I want to go and now that all of that is in check, life is opening up in every beautiful way.

That being said, I hope you enjoyed this little ramble of life. I hope it brought you some sort of happiness and/or inspiration. If it did, I always respond to comments and tweets (@sarahfhamilton), so let me know what you thought!

Dream On,

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apps you need in la

If you are visiting and especially if you are living in LA, there are some very important apps that I highly recommend having downloaded onto your phone!

  • Uber/Lyft – transportation is key!
  • Postmates/UberEats/DoorDash/Tapingo – when traffic happens, you’re hungry, and it is leagues easier to just order in…
  • Google Maps – the Safari one is okay, but having both on hand will give more options for optimal driving routes even in the middle of mass traffic.
  • Venmo/Paypall – who carries cash? pay back your friends and let them pay you back too with this app.
  • Eventbrite – need something to do? this app literally uses your location and finds current events. you are so very welcome.
  • Social Media (Twitter, Insta, LinkedIn) – not only are they fun and entertaining, but this is a key way to make connections in a city that uses social media as not only a time-passer, but a business technique.
  • Photo editing apps like FaceTune, VSCO, PicMonkey…whatever floats your photogenic boat. (But seriously, why is there no photo app that literally does it all!?!?)

Are there any apps I missed? Let me know on twitter (@sarahfhamilton) or in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but if in the case that any of these apps (or others) would like to sponsor me, i’m cool with that so let me know. 🙂

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CITY GIRL

Up in the Ban.do penthouse one lovely Friday afternoon, I got to attend the table read of City Girl, a screenplay written by Sarah Ramos when she was only twelve. Being someone who:

a.) absolutely LOVES fun, fancy LA events

b.) appreciates the power of childhood dreams/thoughts/ideas coming to life

completely enjoyed this event and thought that I would write a bit about it!

At the start of the event as the guests arrived, there were complementary homemade pop-tarts, cupcake, twinkies, and grapefruit champagne. The entire penthouse had the most adorable girly decor, and everyone there was dressed very trendy. I literally felt like I was in the Nasty Gal release party scene at the end of the Netflix series, Girlboss. Between mingling and just watching everything that was going on, I munched on a pop-tart or two and took fancy photos because the aesthetic was strong.

The event soon after began and a stellar cast for the reading joined the “stage”. Sarah Ramos, Brittany Snow, Rosario Dawson, Nick Thorburn, Thomas Mann, Vanessa Chester, Max Burkholder, Dylan Gelula, and Brendan Scannel were all there, bringing a script from Sarah’s twelve-year-old brain to life. It was a table read like no other with laughs, 90’s flashbacks, and a whole lots of inspiring vibes among everyone in the room.

Afterwards, there was a brief Q&A session about the inspiration for the series and the process of bringing it back to life.

This was such a fun event that I loved being a part of!

Watch CITY GIRL here:

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#GIRLBOSS

As I write this, it just so happens to be a summer monday morning and I am in LA, sipping watered down coffee I made and wondering why in the world today had to be the day in which I was awakened unexpectedly at nine am. That being said, today, I am in the works of a very special video inspired partially by my own life recently and partially by a new Netflix show called GirlBoss. To set the record straight, no this is not a sponsored post (however, if the show wants to sponsor I am totally down for that!). Instead, it is a post I really feel the need to make.

Being a girl, let alone a millennial girl in this day and age is progressive, but still kind of strange reality to be in. I am very inspired to follow my passions and dreams to pave my way of success, however, there is so much that goes into this that nobody sees. I’m younger than some and older than others and that leaves people comparing. In fact, thanks to social media, we all compare ourselves to one another. This person is my age and achieving so much so where did I go wrong? That person is younger than me and look at their success! These resources are available to one and not to me so am I hopeless? All of these questions suck and quite frankly, I need to step in and shine some light since we can all actually do something about it.

  1. Being a GIRLBOSS is not just a full-time job…it is a lifestyle! You have to commit to working for yourself and paid/unpaid/work/not work…whatever the case may be, being a GIRLBOSS means having control of your life and going after what you want.

That being said, here are some of my best pieces of advice for how you too can be your own GIRLBOSS.

ORGANIZE

Keep notes, planners, agendas, and your belongings and thoughts as together as humanly possible.

HYDRATE

Water is literally the best and you’re definitely going to want to keep it up if your coffee addiction is strong.

CLEANSE

Everything should be clean including your living space, your mind, and your self. Cleanliness reduces stress.

SLEEP

I say this often but sleep really is a girls best friend.

RELAX

Take a walk. Read a book. Sing out on a road trip. Long story short, find a way to rewind and give yourself time.

INSPIRE

Finding ways to keep yourself inspire and inspire others is a really great to feel great and get more done.

MOTIVATE

Keep yourself in line with your passions and dreams and let them motivate your every move. Passion is a drive towards success!

POSITIVITY

“Don’t worry, be happy.”

This post can seriously go on forever, but that is just it…it really does come down to motivation, a sense of sanity amongst chaos, and constantly doing what you love while taking control of your life.

What makes you a GIRLBOSS? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @sarahfhamilton!

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