4.16.17 My Answered Prayer

April 16, 2017 at 5:15pm God answered me.

This will make some people pause, some might question and some might rejoice. I fell to my knees and cried out thank you four days ago because my prayer was answered this past Sunday.

Hi gorgeous and welcome! Thank you for reading with me today as I continue my blogging story. Today I want to share with you the biggest chapter yet.

I love to go on walks, as you know. On this Easter Sunday, I had just slept a ton, eaten a bunch and went to a church service that was so beautiful, I got goose bumps. It was different than my regular cozy Sunday morning. It was Jesus’s resurrection day, a day of renewal and hope. I never dreamed that on this day my heart would be resurrected as well.

Around 4:30pm I decided to finally go on that walk I mentioned earlier. My mom was suppose to go with me but then decided not to and I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t grab my earphones because I wanted to just listen to my music out loud on this gorgeous day. I power walked all the way down to my usual spot, a small park in my neighborhood. The only people at my special little spot were an old man and I assumed his young grandson, who was learning how to ride a bike. I usually walk four laps because that makes one mile. I continued to walk, switching from my country music to my Praise playlist on Spotify because sometimes I feel that I connect most with Him when listening to music. I’ve always been this way. From dance, to studying to driving, I love the power music has. Anyway, You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook came on. I tend to listen to this song when thing’s get to be on my mind and I just get lost in the clouds. I am actually listening to this song right now as I sit at my desk and write this. I’ve been attempting to write this since the beginning of the week so there really are no words.

I haven’t forgotten about this precious little boy who probably had the best manners ever. This little four year old could talk to me better than any adult and always let me walk in front of him as he sped up to meet his grandpa. As we both got closer to his grandpa, a cute man in a bright blue polo sitting on a bench, I was lost in the clouds until he started a conversation with me that forever changed me…

Without a hello I heard,

“You are artistic.”

Confused, I paused and said,

“Excuse me?”

He repeated himself and just looked at me so comfortably and for some reason I just paused as he continued to say,

“I can tell. Do you like to write? Do you sketch or draw? You listen to music a lot don’t you?”

As he poured out these questions I forced a smile out of my confused face and told him why yes I do, I blog and love music and writing.

He nodded his head some more and then told me,

“I advise you to go somewhere, like this park, by yourself without distractions and just write. See what you can do.”

I kept nodding my head until he broke the silence with the question,

“You have a sister, right?”

I said yes and asked if he knew my family. He continued and said no. Without hesitation he looked up at me and said,

“You are worried.”

I didn’t know what to say or do. I know I am a worrier, because I care. I can’t tell you how many times I have written in my journal that I need to stop worrying and trust God. I just can’t because what if this bad thing will happen or what if I do this or that? For the past year this has been at the top of my prayer list because by worrying, I don’t trust God’s grasp on my life. The real question was how, how did this stranger know this?

“Your mom, you are worried about her. She is struggling with something and you don’t know what to do.”

Some background for you- my mom’s dad is sick with cancer and when I found out he wasn’t doing well, I didn’t get sad for him because I knew he would be painless in heaven no matter the outcome, but I got in instant worry mode about my mom. What would a loss like that do to her? I love her so much and was scared at the repercussions of such trauma. No family is perfect, I’ve learned that but I have worries of my own and I’m sure you do too….

He looked up to me and continued to point out things that only people in my family could know. There was no possible way he knew the things he did. I kept asking if he knew my parents or lived in this neighborhood in order to make sense of this, but he just smiled and said no.

“Keep showing her love. Your prayers are being heard and she is in God’s hands. One day you will hold her hand and pray with her, just you two. You no longer can worry about your mom.”

Tears started to well in my eyes as he continued,

“God works in mysterious ways. I have never been to this park before but He sent me here today to talk to you. He has placed mental images in my mind.”

My breath stopped.

“You went on a drive for I’d say about 10-15 minutes, right? You prayed out for a sign and encouragement. Here is your sign, here is your encouragement.”

With my eyes widening mumbling to him how he knew this, I looked back on last week as I drove around Bowling Green screaming out to God to give me a sign. Give me some encouragement. Is my writing on this blog fulfilling your plans for me? Am I making a difference? What’s going to happen? HOW DID HE KNOW THIS. I knew right then as a tear fell down my face that I was having a conversation with God.

“You are trying to be a light in this world, I can tell when you walked. Don’t stop. Keep trying to shine God’s light. I want you to read Psalm 34.”

Last week I wrote on my blog, “Be that light”…He then made me open up this verse and he told me to go home and read it.

As I searched my phone for this bible verse, my fingers shaking at what was happening, he added on something that only the listener of my prayers could know…

“You are seeing someone. A boy?”

Looking up from my phone I locked eyes with him.

“He is driving like 60 mph down the road.”

Nick was driving back to South Carolina…

He smiled as I stood in total shock. He said one sentence from a conversation that only Nick and I have had and he told me it is okay. He told me that God is watching him and that it is okay. My relationship with him started over 10 years ago. I’ve prayed for him then, now and will continue to. I can’t control anyone’s faith journey but my own and God reassured me that He has him and I need to let go of worry.

As he sat gripping my right hand so tight I got control enough to ask him to tell me his name. His name was Tim. I repeated his name back and he did mine as well. We ended up our conversation by him saying,

“Today is Easter, a day of resurrection and renewal. Your heart is resurrected today. You are no longer bound to the chains of worry. Trust God. Your parents let you go when you were little right? You trusted them.” He squeezed my hand one last time and said, “You can let go.”

I released my hand from His and a page in my journal popped in my head that said, Let Go(d).

Tim, if you are reading this, thank you. God used you and I will forever remember your message. I prayed for a sign and God answered me. Below is Psalm 34, a verse that my heart will rest on as I move forward in life and continue to write my story. From this day, I have prayed with people that I never had before and feel God smiling. HE HEARS YOU. He spoke to me through Tim and he told me God might cross our paths again one day but I will never know. The power of prayer is real. Lift your worries up to God because He is asking for them! He died for our sins and has chosen to carry those for us. I trust Him with every ounce of me and I promised right then to try to shine light in any darkness our world throws our way.

If this message gave you some hope today, share it, reread it or contact me because you know I love talking and coffee dates. I reread Psalm 34 every singe morning and below I have it written out for you to read. SHINE, PRAY AND TRUST. He is listening and loves you. Thank you for reading with me today.

 | Psalm 34 | 

1
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9
Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16
the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20
he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22
The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Photographer: @vscodey

Weekly Recap: Your Present Moment Relationship

“A vital question to ask yourself frequently is what is my relationship to the present moment?” – Eckhart Tolle 

It is finally feeling like Spring! My energy is rising, i’m getting so excited for Summer and Easter is right around the corner. I love Easter because it is such an uplifting time spent with family to recognize the beautiful resurrection of Jesus. I hope that everyone is feeling light hearted, peaceful and are present in the moment.

This week I have been trying to capture and feel those moments. Embracing the sun when it’s out, looking out at the rain when it pours and living in the moment.

My week started out by going to the farmers market Saturday morning. I bought a Grande Dark Roast coffee from Starbucks then brought my new favorite coffee creamer in my purse…BYOC: Bring Your Own Creamer! You should try it because I only spent $2.00 and had myself a yummy latte. What can I say, I’m a college kid.

From there we went to find some veggies and flowers, but sadly we were too late. You think i’m an early riser, think again. You have to get to the market super early to get all the goodies! I still found myself an organically, homegrown charcoal face soap. I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet but if you use it up to three times a week, it pulls all of those impurities from your face leaving it clean, healthy and acne free! I can’t wait to try!

We market hopped for a while until I realized that my Rewind candle ran out and I have to have a candle before my week started, so I went to TJ Maxx and found this angel for only $5.99! It smells like my favorite Anthro smelling Volcano candle. I’ve lit it every day!

This weather this week has been crazy with rain one moment then sunny the next. Regardless the weather I have tried to make it to my outdoor porch at least once a day with my hot or iced almond milk lattes! Just those moments make living in the present moment that much better. I have continued making my overnight oats and meal prepped veggies this week.

Below, I made a spinach salad with blue cheese crumbles, nuts, grilled chicken and dried fruit. YUM. I actually bought a little salad kit and it’s quick and yummy with all the ingredients at hand.

I want to end this recap post with another encouragement for you to live in the moment. Living in the moment doesn’t have to be an exhilarating act of jumping out of a plane or making a rash decision. It can be sitting outside by yourself on the porch. It can be talking to all the vendors at a market early on the weekend. It can be anything you want it to be and that’s the beauty in it! Your time is yours. For example, I had a big test, but instead of worrying about it and being confident in what I knew, I went and grabbed a new flavor of Kombucha, Lavender Love, and sat myself in an Eno. There was nothing better and I felt like I did really well on my test! We aren’t guaranteed the next day or heck the next hour. With that being said…

How will you spend the rest of your week? 

Pumpkin Spice, Almond and Blueberry Overnight Oats!

Rise and Shine!

Today is such a gift, rain or shine. I am continuing my cooking adventure this week and hope that you are trying something new! Next week I might be trying something  completely new I can only live in the present moment and with that I plan on giving it all I got.

In order to do everything the best I can I have to fuel my heart and mind. I don’t know about you, but I always wake up hungry. I wake up and get excited to pour my cup of coffee and have breakfast, my favorite meal of the day; however, sometimes the process of making the food just ruins it all. This week I decided to prepare overnight oats to have and love this! I will definitely keep making this for future breakfasts or even snacks!

Ingredients: 

1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Blueberries

1 tbs Chia Seeds

1 tbs Raw Honey

1 tbs Pumpkin Spice

1 Spoon full Raw Almond Butter Unsalted

I had half of these ingredients in my pantry already so everything is accessible. I combined all the ingredients in a mason jar, placed in fridge overnight and mixed up this morning for an awesome breakfast!

For those who are specific about textures, steel cut oats make it less gooey and have more texture.

I can’t wait to try out new flavors because honestly there is no particular way to make this. Just measure accordingly, throw yummy things in a jar and bam you have a freaking good meal. Now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite recipes in the morning? 

What is your adventure? 

I YEAR ANNIVERSARY

One year ago I opened my blog! I can’t believe it has been 365 days from when I decided to make a change and start sharing ways to live beautifully, abundantly and healthy because YOU are worth it.

On this day last year I wrote,

“This week I took a step of faith and finally opened my blog. I was not expecting this much support from friends, family and even strangers. I am so happy I feel the Lord calling me to do works and I fully trust Him. I don’t want the social media aspect to consume me, but the Lord knows my thoughts.”

I then wrote down Mathew 11:28-30:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me…you WILL find rest for your soul.”

Open up something new today and read, write, explore, and be the best version of yourself! You are so loved. Thank you for always helping me read and share!

Happiness Is Homemade

Hi beautiful!! So, I have come to a realization that I really want to start making my thoughts come to life. I want to make my home feel like home by filling it with home cooked meals that I keep saying I will make but never do. I want to have more grill outs with friends in my backyard, which I already have one planned for this upcoming weekend! I want to create ideas, share them, learn stories, and you know my mission…we have to live beautifully by feeling our best and today I am so excited to share with you how I have been trying to feel my best.

Encouragement is always key when trying anything new. I admire those who have built their own businesses and lifestyles and try to share their visions and accomplishments. One encourager I received this week was from Purely Elizabeth who so kindly sent me a little package in the mail! Below you can see all the goodies she sent me. I am in love with this new granola I haven’t had, pumpkin fig, and LOVE it along with some coupons, new recipes, a cute sticker and much more! I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive such a sweet package. Her motto to “Eat Purely” is so simple, yet beautiful because purely living is a raw and authentic way of shaping your lifestyle.

Along with snacking, I needed to find some gluten free snacks that I could take on the go with me. I eat the same old crackers, which I enjoy, but wanted something different. I love pretzels with peanut butter; however, I am not a fan of salt and limit my intake of peanut butter during the week if possible. I decided to buy these gluten free pretzels. They are SO good! I actually like these better than regular ones…

Snacking makes me happy and is what I need. Now, I used to just snack and not eat meals. Please do not do that because our body burns out those snacks so fast just by thinking, sitting, napping and anything that we do day to day. Fuel your heart and brain. Some people don’t snack and that is okay but for myself, it keeps my metabolism up and headaches away throughout the day when I am always in a hurry.

On my list, besides cooking, is to pause, eat slow, make eye contact with people who walk by me, and to just stop for a moment. I tried this by sitting on a random bench on campus this week to enjoy my Quest bar and apple after a workout. It made my walk home much more enjoyable because I wasn’t stuffing food in my mouth as I power walked up the hill.

What are your favorite go-to snacks?

Are you taking time to pause?

If you need help figuring out what is best for your physical and mental health, try different things! Reach out to someone you can cook with, sit with or just talk with. Exchange ideas! My list is my own creation and I want to share it with you so please continue to read with me as I fill you in on my cooking adventure I have started for myself. Lets get started!

Cooking Adventure: Week One

Good morning!

As you saw in my previous post, my list of goals and aspirations is to embrace my home, cook more, share, and pause. Thank you for pausing with me today as we dive into some yummy goodness! Everything I cook takes under 30 minutes and can be taken on the-go because I get it, trust me. Life can get the best of us when we are being full time students and working a job on the side. I also want to blog as much as I can to keep my heart and passions alive. I hope you are keeping yours alive with new creations and ideas!

Above, you see lots of green. Why yes, I didn’t realize how much green there was until I put it all on the screen. Well, what can I say! This week I baked asparagus, chopped brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, apples, and a little onion. Y U M.

I set the oven on 350, cooked for 30 minutes, ate, and stored for later! SO simple. Note though that I love my veggies crispy, so if you prefer your food not as burnt, I would cook closer to 20-25 minutes. I am hooked on preparing veggies for the week because quick snacks and protein bars just don’t provide every nutrient I need. I have posted about roasted veggies before and i’m doing it again because they are so easy and amazing to have stored in your kitchen!

I also have found that my new favorite way to eat a wrap is just with avocado wrapped with turkey. I buy my turkey organic in order to avoid all those nitrites and other added ingredients used to preserve meat. Always read the back of your food labels! Strive to not get obsessed with doing that though because then you stop enjoying the food you want to eat. Remember, too much of anything is bad for you and that counts for healthy and non-healthy foods….

I already can’t wait to eat my leftovers tomorrow! Share with me your favorite go-to meals that are essential in your busy work life or when you are in and out of the classroom. I have new recipes I’ve tried and can’t wait to share with you, such as some amazing overnight oats, so stay tuned! Lets inspire each other and build are hearts and minds to be strong and kerrageous! 😉

Serendipity: Finding something beautiful without looking for it.

This photo above was taken a little bit ago on a whim to say I would love to explore some place new because why not? Doing things on a whim might just be what we need sometimes. When I was starting to figure out how to open a blog, how to create or share how amazing life can be, I held tight to those little messages this universe was sending my way. By searching and searching, I have learned that sometimes we don’t find the answers, but along the way we could stumble upon some serendipities…

We all share glimpses on what could be or what will be. No matter how much you plan, life always has it’s own way of flowing freely. We are blessed to wake up each and every day to be along on this mysterious ride. You never know who you will meet or what will happen and that’s beautiful. It’s the serendipities in life that make every day worth it.

If this is your first time reading today, great! I love when new people reach out  and introduce themselves. I do that probably every day because I don’t want to waste a moment on meeting someone new that could positively influence my life. If this is your first time with me today, you should know that I am one of the most girly girls that this earth has to offer. I enjoy everything warm, cozy, beautiful, and all things that give you goose bumps and can leave you speechless. I appreciate moments that take your breath away and stories about your first kiss with that person you love. The word magical and lovely are on my list of top five favorite adjectives and I have no shame. None at all. I have had a lot of people laugh at my dreamy perspective and though there are times when being realistic is essential and necessary, you don’t have to lose that vision.

Now, I am not saying that everything is magically perfect in this mind of mine. No, it isn’t seeing life as beautiful all the time, it is about finding the beautiful moments out of the negative situations. There will always be that one bad thing trying to eat at your amazing day, but recognizing the good in each scenario will open your heart and mind more than you know. The light always trumps the darkness. Be that light.

With that vision comes the definition to a word that proves that my mind isn’t always in the clouds.

Serendipity (n.) Finding something beautiful without looking for it. 

The serendipities in life can’t be searched for. If we search for the love of our life, he won’t appear. God places those people just when He sees most fitting, so until then don’t lose grasp of the thought of the one looking at you and telling you that you are remarkably and beautifully the one. We are all connected someway, somehow. It’s remarkable really how we feel the way we do.

Do you search for beautiful things or do they just happen? We are in control of our actions and I want to blog beautifully to put a smile on someone’s face today; however, life has a way of helping you when you lose control of what’s ahead and that’s okay! There is a serendipity every day.

Finding something beautiful without looking for it can paint a smile on your face, washing away all the negativiety that always tries to sneak around every corner. Sadly, in this day and age, the word beautiful isn’t what it used to be. Beautiful isn’t found in the scripted pages of poems once written when technology didn’t exist. I often say that writing letters is a lost art because it is. Writing letters, printing pictures or picking up a paint brush is often found as time consuming and not convenient for our busy schedules. We used to cherish those precious items because if we lost them they would be gone forever. There is no hard drive that will hold that photo strip you once took…

On some days when it’s time to slow down, I often find myself in bed under the covers reading quotes from people across the world. I think it is beautiful how people write and express their words on paper. That is a skill. There are so many books and poems that house some of the most beautiful love letters or memoirs of people’s lives. Wow, just imagine the emotion that is expressed on just one page out of the million out there. I love to sit, read and reflect on such beautifully written works. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles de Lint:

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic; the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence when we think we are alone.” 

People interpret my dreamy mindset differently than I do. Everyone’s relationship with a significant other, friend or food for that matter is there own, but it exists. You can’t let someone else tell you how to live because they simply don’t know. I believe that we are all connected through the beautiful works in this world, leading to my most given piece of advice, everything happens for a reason.

The serendipities in life don’t just happen without reason. When you least expect it, the most magical thing could come from the situation you are in.

I am going to leave you today with one last quote that I reread over and over because the thought of capturing the moments, falling in love with the thought of your serendipity or finding life’s secret messages can lead you to places where there is no limit.

“The universe is always speaking to us- Sending us little messages. Causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.”

Your Style Snacking Anytime, Anywhere

Hello gorgeous!

Summer is approaching, meaning lots of traveling! Traveling means lots of snacking and getting out of your routine that you get into while you are at home. Due to schedules changing when traveling, your mood, digestive system and access to your favorite healthy and yummy goods can get messed up. I used to get all frustrated and not be lenient if I didn’t have my coffee with almond milk or Ezekiel toast with breakfast. Truth is, when traveling, eating what is around you is just part of the experience; however, I have turned it into a fun hobby trying to discover healthy eats out of town.

I am no longer afraid to grab the tasty dessert because a treat once in a while is necessary. I love to end my full meal or dessert with a cup of hot coffee or as you can see below, hot, decaf tea with lemon! So simple and soothing.

I always stalk up with my go-to snacks during a car ride. My favorite bars, mixed nuts, fruits, etc. I used to go places out of town and when all those snacks were gone, refused to eat anything besides a cafe’s oatmeal or granola for breakfast….yeah not cool because how am I going to get the full experience of traveling without eating good, real food!

My motto is to try to order things that I can’t make at home because why spend money on something you can make yourself for probably a cheaper cost? Getting breakfast sandwiches when traveling are my new favorite thing because I never eat those at home. A ham, egg and cheese on a croissant is my yummy go-to!

I get so excited when I can find foods that I love at local markets or shops in the town I am in. Last time I was in South Carolina, I ran across this local, health food market  just walking distance from Nick’s place.  I am going back there this weekend and can’t wait to walk there! I purchased this Kombucha and Perfect Bar on SALE! I was pumped. Perfect Bars are so good and i’ve been seeing them trending on other blogger’s sites. Sadly, they don’t sell them in Bowling Green. I have reached out to some people on their team so stay tuned for some yummy treats that might come this way! I also purchased a chicken salad sandwich made with vegan mayonnaise. I am not a fan of mayonnaise, but with that organic chicken, large cranberries and fresh spinach, it hit the spot.

Every time I am home I try to go and buy an acai bowl from the Juice Bar. Makes it more special since I can’t get them all the time and it’s probably a good thing that I can’t get them all the time because I would eat them nonstop. I mean , look at that goodness! The next time I am home another blogger mentioned the Franklin Juice Company for me to try so I’m adding that to my list. Go check out their site! It looks freaking amazing.

Keep your mind open and carefree when going somewhere new. Your body is smart and strong. It will adjust, but you have to let it. Don’t restrict yourself and look back thinking you wished to have enjoyed those laughs over desserts or indulged in that breakfast sandwich at brunch. You are remarkably made so listen to your body, enjoy traveling and hunting for those local goodies that you can’t miss out on.

Being a College Student: Bowling Green to Bahamas

Good morning beautiful! Wow, can you believe it is almost April? I am about to be done with my Junior year here at WKU. Last week was midterm week, following spring break where I didn’t have my phone for almost one week! It was a blessing but wow I have been off the grid and have so much to share. Thanks for reading!

“Go and be a college kid…”

Those words from my parents always seep into my mind as I start to enter the stage of life where doing things for the last time are approaching. My goal for my blog is to share the beautiful aspects in life and inspire college students to think beautifully. With that comes sharing the good times, the trials and trying to answer questions that I know we are all thinking. Today, lets start from the beginning where sometimes you have to just decide to be a college kid.

How do you define being in college? I have mentioned before that to some, that means going out every night, for others that means never leaving the library and for myself, I have found a balance of going out with friends and staying in with a face mask and a movie (my personal favorite). The speed of life and expectations always speeds up this time of year as the year approaches. Lately, with the thought of a career path and applying for internships, I almost didn’t go on my spring break at one point with the thought of going on a trip my family went on. That mature, Cali, poolside feel seemed perfect at the time, but one of the best decisions i’ve made out of my college career was going on a cruise with some of my closest friends and even some new ones! Don’t always be content with comfort. 

I have only been out of the country one time in my life when I went on my high school graduation trip to Aruba. For spring break, a group of 12 of us packed up and were sea bound. I had SO much fun! We went dancing every day, ate too much, laughed and were just college kids. I didn’t bring my books for my 3 exams I had the week after, I didn’t have my phone on me at all and I didn’t count one calorie. I totally went against my diet my doctor advised me to be on, which took a lot of mind discipline on my part, but overall felt great with only a few bad nights! I struggled once reality hit because in the moment you feel fine, then once you pause and reflect, you get that regret feeling of oh no why did I eat that or drink that sugary drink? Luckily, the food on the ship had so many healthy options! The strong coffee was great, they had burrito bowls with fresh shrimp and homemade, wheat tortillas, in addition to their caesar, kale salads with salmon. That was my favorite option at dinner!

Let me tell you, this is when “being a college kid” is the best piece of advice I can give. I’m not going to discuss detox methods or post-spring break workout routines. I’m going to tell you that being silly and ridiculous without being harsh on your body is sometimes the best form of detox.

We woke up every morning, went to eat breakfast, got on swim suits and tanned until lunch. With naps and showers later we got all dressed up every night, which I love because dressing up for a formal dinner is a way to appreciate having a nice meal at the end of the day with people you care about. The staff was so fun and had the best manners because they often pulled out my chair at dinner, which I greatly admired. After dessert, we would watch the shows, go to clubs, listen to music and dance until we could do it the next day. I even stepped into a casino and met some pretty memorable people which was definitely an experience! We need to be experiencing life until we are old and gray so I highly recommend going on a cruise for a spring break where budgets are tight. We were on the Carnival Ecstasy!

The best of best days was in the Bahamas. We docked in Nassau Friday afternoon after leaving a port in Charleston on Wednesday. On my list is to travel and see God’s beautiful creations. It left me speechless being around such clear water with vibrant colors on every building. The happy vibes here were contagious! We walked through the markets and found a nice man who drove us to a beach where we filled our coconuts and got lost in the moment! Our driver even started preaching the Gospel to us…wow. God is everywhere and even reminded us that within our fun trip, He is the source of all happiness.

We sipped and danced all day! The weather was perfect and I would definitely go back in a heart beat just to be around such a fun and gorgeous environment.

The group I went with was so much fun. We prayed before every meal, which I often lose track of and want to get better in, and encouraged each other to just let lose and have fun.

Coming from the adult in a college kid’s body, I encourage you to be a college kid if you are getting wrapped up in school and work. Work hard, but don’t lose sight of the big picture: happiness. You are young. You need to live. You need to dance obnoxiously and eat abundantly. Feel free in the moment you are in. I’m back at school gripping my coffee mugs and powering through midterms, but we got this. I wish I could be gripping that coconut on the beach, but more traveling times will come. Right now, I’m in college learning and enjoying this stage in my life. Now it’s your turn.

Enjoy more photography below by Danielle Wilson 

Recipe for a Recap

Happy recapping on this cozy weekend! My day has consisted of sleeping late, eating way too much breakfast food and dark chocolate with coffee and not leaving this house. Currently I am back in South Carolina with my best friend, but lets catch up on some of my favorite recipes, outfits, places, people, and oh goodness everything that makes life wonderful! Thanks for reading with me today.

Lets start with last weekend in Nashville. It was filled with good and bad but that’s okay because without the bad, we wouldn’t recognize and appreciate the good things in life.

So, I was once told that I was “too healthy”. Is this a thing? Yes, it is. Some of the foods we think of as really healthy aren’t providing us with the right nutrition needing to function. I just finished a salad for dinner, but needed something else. I resulted with a bite of a cookie and lots of dark chocolate. Now I am all fueled up to write for you today.

About one month ago my stomach started bloating uncontrollably to a point where when I took a sip from a smoothie, I had to curl up in bed and hold my tummy in. This lasted for 2 weeks with me attempting to figure out what was going on because something was clearly wrong. I started to get frustrated because I constantly was telling people I was doing everything right! I was eating super clean and trying to balance my resting and exercise. After three doctor appointments and some X-rays later, they told me my small intestine wasn’t digesting something correctly, most likely gluten and high fibrous foods. I was on an antibiotic that was killing bacteria in my stomach and with that I was drinking so much Kombucha and taking two probiotic pills a day and that wasn’t helping. I now start to eliminate some foods from my diet that are so healthy but not healthy for me, that even includes apples and bananas! I can only have one apple a day and small portions of banana…what?? They also found a cist that was not helping the situation either. After taking so many nutrients from my body over a year ago, my body is learning what to do with certain nutrients I am now feeding it. It likes some and not others and i’ve learned that’s okay.

I am filling you in on this because sometimes what our computers define as healthy diets isn’t the healthy diet YOUR body is looking for. I am now the one eating gluten free crackers and breads. Some think I am just following a “fad” but that’s not the case. I don’t let others opinions alter the way I look and feed myself and you shouldn’t either.

I can’t wait to continue to share with you my favorite recipes on my Instagram stories and on here as well. First, my favorite new find is below:

From the Juice Bar in Nashville, these are overnight oats made with rolled oats and chia seeds soaked in almond milk. The toppings consist of homemade granola, raw almond butter, strawberries, honey, and goji berries. Read up on the benefits of these berries from the amazing Dr. Axe. These oats are the same price as an entire breakfast meal from a fast food restaurant and you can also make these yourself at home! I have tried it and loved making them. Check out my Pinterest Board, Healthy Lifestyle, for some inspo on these overnight oats!

Before I had to start restricting from gluten filled treats, my precious dad surprised me one morning with donuts and coffee. For those who can eat lots of gluten, praise you all, Dunkin Donuts now offers low calorie donuts that are so tasty! As you can see, I was only able to have a bite but boy I enjoyed it. They even have a DDSMART page for nutritional tips on tasty treats! So awesome.

For dinner, my new favorite thing to make is grilled pesto chicken with veggies! Nick and I have started to enjoy cooking and try to make it an event in itself because one can dress up and make dinner just as fun as dressing up and going out. We got all dressed up, blasted music through the entire house and sipped on drinks over crackers and hummus before preparing our meal. This recipe is super easy! I wanted sweet potatoes and he wanted plain so we made both. We sliced the potatoes, tossed in olive oil and topped them with italian seasoning. In addition, we found some fresh peppers, onions and asparagus for only $2.50 at Publix. They don’t have Kroger where we are but I was impressed by their amazing food options! We topped the grilled chicken with pesto and parmesan cheese. My favorite! Set your oven for 395, cook for 30 minutes and all done! This is our second time making this and it never fails because we turned our leftovers into a caesar salad today. The dressing was oil based because I try to avoid creamy dressings and it tasted better than most side salads at restaurants.

Whatever journey you are on, whether that’s trying to figure out what works best for your body to eat, how to choose healthier options for treats, or planning fun nights right at home, you are the author of your own story. If you don’t like a certain chapter of your life, change it!

GROW THROUGH WHAT YOU GO THROUGH- read my Travel Thoughts on some recipes, travels and upcoming posts!

xo