The Art Of Making Friends As An Adult

Becoming an adult can be quite daunting and weird. Suddenly, you’re expected to be self-sufficient, have your shit together, and not eat cereal for dinner. Plus, you’re forced to figure out the totally weird predicament of making friends as an adult!

Now it seems like everyone has their social circles solidified and significant others locked down, and making friends is a lot trickier than hitting “accept” on Facebook. Your social life can meander if you don’t make it a priority.

The importance of friendship for our overall happiness is massive. Yet the idea of making new friends and meeting new people can feel like an overwhelmingly complex task. So for those of you who struggle to make friends and meet new people, this helpful guide will give you a breakdown of areas to tackle and hopefully help you realize just how easy making friends can be!

The Art Of Making Friends | Original Caroline

Use The Internet

People use dating sites to find potential partners, so it only seems logical to make friends in the same way! No, I don’t mean putting an ad on Craigslist., for example, allows you to connect with like-minded people wherever you live who share the same interests and are equally as keen to make new friends. Looking for new friends that share your love of yoga? Or maybe you want to find some buddies to play music with. Whatever your interest, it’s very likely someone’s already created a group for it. And if not, you can create your own! You can find meetups based around outings or activities, or purely social meetups like checking out a new bar or restaurant in the area.

My May resolution was to not only make time for friends, but to making friends and meeting new people. So I decided to give Meetup a try. I was pretty nervous to head out to the first one on my own, until I realized most other attendees were on their own as well! And attending a Meetup based around a certain activity that you’re interested in is perfect for breaking the ice by automatically giving you something to chat about.

Not only will you have a load of new connections, but also you are likely to learn something new and meet people who will offer you a whole new perspective from the friends you already have.

Approach People

The idea of walking up to a complete stranger can seem pretty intimidating, but one that’s almost always worth the effort! If you see a really cute guy at Barnes & Noble, you’re most likely racking your brain for topics to start up a conversation. So why not do the same when making friends?

It may sound weird, but pursuing friendships can be a lot like dating. You see someone that looks like they’d be fun to hang out with; maybe it’s the girl with the perfect beach-wavy hair in your yoga class. Or the super sweet cashier who always has the best hummus recommendations at Central Market. Spend some time building a rapport. Ask about how she styles her hair or share a funny story about your weekend. Compliments always go a long way, as long as they are sincere.

After you’ve struck up a few conversations, go in for the kill! Ask them on a friend date. Be confident and natural, like you’re approaching them because you think you’ll both get along well, not because you’re desperate for friends. If this sounds weird, imagine how you’d feel if a cool, self-assured person walked up to you and wanted to hang out. It’d be awesome! After all, who wouldn’t want to be friends with a beautiful, confident person such as yourself?

Find A Hobby

Finding and doing what makes you happy is important to your overall sense of well-being, so why not try to meet new people at the same time! Friendships develop effortlessly and more quickly when people have shared interest. And seeing each other regularly slows the transitioning from acquaintances to friends. Choose an activity that you enjoy and go sign up for a class. Even if you don’t make friends at first, you are still having a good time and keeping yourself engaged with the world.

Connect With Mutual Friends

Friends of friends are one of the best ways to connect with new people that are somewhat familiar. Of course, trying to make friends with a complete stranger can be a little awkward, but using a mutual friend can bypass this step. You know your friends to be good people that you have fun hanging out with, so it’s likely that their friends are also fun to hang out with. Tag along when a friend of yours is going out with people you don’t know to easily broaden your circle.

Be Persistent

If you meet someone that you really click with — call them, invite them out and make an effort. Again, bringing it back to dating — while we may not have the courage to actually do it, most of us know how to pursue a crush. You invite them to a concert featuring a band you know they love. You start reading books or watching the shows that they’re into. So just apply similar (but less romantic) tactics when making friends. Text the person asking them to lunch or a coffee date, and follow up with the afterwards to say you had a good time.

Be Honest

Setting aside your ego and being willing to let someone know who you really are is invaluable. Having a friend who can give it to you straight will help you know yourself better. And being able to reciprocate further challenges you to live with honesty, directness and integrity. There is no way to feel more connected to someone than to open yourself up to them.

Try To Be Your Authentic Self

This is a personal tip that I have found is incredibly important when it comes to making friends. When surrounded by new people it can be super tempting to try to be the person we think they want to see, or to mimic the behaviors of others so that we feel like we’re fitting in. However, the people you meet this way won’t be meeting the real you, and so it definitely isn’t the best way to make a meaningful or lasting connection.

Relationships built on phony facades and false build-ups are only as good as their foundation. Superficial friendships will only fizzle over time. So to achieve a solid friendship, you have to be yourself

Most Importantly, Make Yourself Happy

The happier you are, the more self-confident you will be — plus the more people will be drawn to your seriously good vibes. Wear the clothes that make you feel beautiful, not what’s currently trendy. Eat foods that nourish you as well as satisfy you. Fill your space with things you love and go to places that truly inspire you. Doing this will engender authenticity, curiousity and open-heartedness. You’ll start attracting the friends you want without feeling like you’re trying.

Get Out There & Do It!

Seriously. The more you put yourself out there in various groups and situations, the less intimidating it becomes.

+What are your tips for meeting new people and making friends as an adult?

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas She’ll Actually Like

Growing up, my mom was one of those women who seemed to always have it together: successful business woman, blessed with a green thumb, phenomenal cook and lively hostess . . . She somehow managed to do it all! So this year for Mother’s Day, I want to show her just how much I appreciate everything she’s done for me – from taking me to cheerleading competitions for nine years, to wiping my tears away from a rather dramatic meltdown just last week. She’s seen me at my lowest, most vulnerable times and miraculously loves me anyway!

Since many of y’all are on the prowl for that perfect Mother’s Day gift as well, I’ve rounded up some beautiful gifts that your mom will absolutely love (and you’ll definitely want to borrow).

For the reader, the baker and everything in between, here are some gift ideas for Mother's Day that she'll actually like | Original Caroline

Scroll down and shop my picks for this year and prepare to make her day. Because if there’s one thing she really loves, it’s a gift that comes from you! From the master of self-care to the gardening lover, I assembled a line up of a few of my favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas to make your mama dearest feel particularly special this Mother’s Day.

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How To Hygge During Spring & Summer

Crackling wood in a fiery hearth paired with a hot cup of tea, a knit blanket and watching the snow lightly fall outside. Sounds like a scene in a Christmas movie, right? Well, this snapshot encapsulates the Danish lifestyle trend referred to as hygge. And in the last year, it’s crossed the pond and made it’s way into American interior design.

Roughly translating to ‘cozy’ (but on a much deeper level), hygge — pronounced “hoo-gah” — is all about living a harmonious, happy and relaxing life by indulging in the comfort of home. However, when we think of the word hygge (or type it into Pinterest), things like fuzzy socks and wool blankets and snuggling by the fire come to mind. But just because the snow stops falling doesn’t mean the hygge has to go along with it!

In Denmark, hygge is a yearlong affair! It’s embedded in the Danish culture and their daily lives. And despite the imagery and elements associated with the word, slowing down and genuinely enjoying the moment alone or with those around you is by no means confined to one season.

Most of us want to live in a soothing environment among things that bring us comfort and joy year-round. And hygge puts a name and an action to those simple desires. During Winter, embracing hygge only seems natural. So how do you honor the hygge concept during the warmer seasons? We may drink hot cocoa in one season and cold beers in another, but the hygge moments always remain. Rebecca Thandi Norman, writer for Scandinavia Standard, says, “When it’s not so cold, spring hygge looks like garden parties with lots of flowers, light colors, and taking shelter from the rain in a cafe.” Here’s a few key ways on how to hygge during the warmer seasons.

Hygge during the warmer months by lighting candles of floral and fruity fragrances

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How To: Spring Clean All Areas Of Your Life

Hey there, friend. How has your first week of Spring been?! After the harshness and bitterness of Winter, it’s nice to see the earth come back to life, signaling a fresh, new beginning. It reminds me that, regardless of what happened last season, the next one is an invitation for a clean slate — a fresh start. A new season is a time of pruning and renewal — where you get rid of the meaningless and make space for the fresh and purposeful. That’s why I love Spring Cleaning. It allows you the freedom and space to do just that — clear any clutter that’s in your life.

Clutter can take on many forms — physical, mental, spiritual, relational and social are the main categories. And it’s super important to assess each area of your life, to see where you can clear the clutter, simplify and start anew.

For example, when I was at a place where I was trying to decide how the universe wanted me to pursue my goals and purpose, I was very overwhelmed and confused. To the point where I couldn’t choose which action to take! And it was during this time that I had to get really clear. Clear on my purpose, my goals and how the universe wanted me to go about pursuing them. All while developing myself further into who I wanted to be.

There was so much mental and spiritual clutter that was preventing me from seeing the signs and listening intuitively. So, in order to make sure that I was going in the right direction, I had to clear the clutter!

I share this story to encourage you that Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be just a time to purge and refresh your physical space. But that you can (and should!) clean any area of your life that you feel like you need to purge, tend to and cultivate into a more balanced space. How are you supposed to have a clean start with all the old dirt still hanging around, right?

As we delve further into the new season, here are five areas to clear the clutter to help Spring Clean your body, mind and soul.

How To Spring Clean All Areas Of Your Life | Original Caroline

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9 Ways To Get Rid Of The Toxic People In Your Life

With any discussion of toxic people, it’s important to understand that you can’t change anyone but yourself, so it’s best to stop trying. If you’re in any sort of friendship or relationship with a toxic person, chances are you’ve bending over backwards for while trying to make it work. But the important thing to realize is this: You can only change the things that are open to your influence, and toxic people will never be one of them.

Some of the biggest stressers in life come for the toxic people we surround ourselves with. But today, you can take back control of your life and begin to set yourself up for success. Your friendships need to be a source of happiness and support! Not stress.

I’m not saying that a single fight with your bff means it’s time to call it quits. Every friendship (and relationship for that matter) will be filled with minor disagreements, small spats and even one or two major blowouts. But at the end of the day, a true friend cares for one another and wants what’s best for each other – no matter what.

On the other hand, a toxic friendship is a one way street – all take and hardly any give. And it’s totally okay to identify these type of people/friends and cut them out of your life. In the a beautiful post on Darling Magazine, Danielle McGuire says, “Many can have a skewed take on what deep friendship actually means. Somewhere along the way, it’s possible to lose sight of those crucial elements that make up a best friend.”

So today, look at the friendships in your life and identify the people who don’t add value to your life, as well as the ones that do. For the people who don’t add value, here are nine ways you can try to rid yourself of their toxicity.

Stop sacrificing your well-being for the toxic people in your life.

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What Do You Want In A Partner?

Falling in love is easy: It happens all across the globe, every minute of every day. Eyes lock across a crowded market, or your pass someone who makes you do a double-take. It’s all too easy to find someone who piques your interest, but finding a someone who is right for you? That’s a little more difficult.

Intimate relationships should always come secondary to your relationship with yourself – and like it or not – will always be directly impacted by how much you love yourself. If you don’t realize you’re a badass babe, you’ll always be looking for someone to complete you or fill in an emotional hole. That doesn’t work . . . Lovers who don’t love themselves individually is a losing game.

You’ll need your partner to prop up your self-esteem (since you can’t do it yourself), or you’ll feel insecure and become convinced your boyfriend is going to leave you for someone else. Maybe because you think you’re unworthy of a great person’s attention, you’ll settle for someone who is kind of a jerk.

Why be in a relationship if it doesn’t make you happier? If it doesn’t make you a better person, why are you wasting your time?

The best relationships happen when you combine two people who have their self-respect on lock. To put it simply, you gotta be in love with your wonderful in order to find a wonderful partner. We can probably agree that happiness is a major goal of being in a relationship with someone else, but the rest of it is up to you! We all have different expectations, whether we learned from watching our parents or we have concluded these expectations on our own.

I can’t tell you what you should be looking for in an ideal relationship. I can talk only about my own desires.

It’s for this reason that I recommend giving this a little thought. Today, I challenge you to sit down and make a list of the thing you want in a partner. This helps you gain some major clarity and perspective. It’s also a great thing to have around when you fall for some fool who isn’t up to scratch. Just look back at your list and see how many criteria your partner fulfills.

Here’s my list to get you started:

Self-Love Challenge | Your Ideal Partner

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9 Ways To Build Your Tribe

If 2016 taught us anything, it’s to power up your girl squad. We’re all familiar with the term by now. A quick search on Google will lead you to Taylor Swift’s Instagram photos with an envy-worthy group filled with celebrity darlings, each one of them inspirational in their own way.

Maybe you’ve heard of #squadgoals (of course you have). It started floating around the Internet when T-Swift released the music video for her song ‘Bad Blood.’ Best pals Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss all made an appearance, showing the world that when Taylor calls, the squad comes running.

The truth of the matter is, you need a few rock solid ladies by your side. No matter how much you consider yourself ‘independent,’ there’s nothing better than a group of badass women who’ve got your back. Plus, having that undeniable bond is what fills our lives with love, happiness, and unforgettably crazy memories.

You don’t need famous models, actresses or singers to make your squad rock. All you need is a couple of gals (or guys!) that are completely loyal to you, and you to them.

So, what exactly do you look for when build your own squad?  Here are some great squad goals to aspire to:

Build Your Tribe

Self-Love Challenge | Build Your Own Squad

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