Moving Forward

Hello Sunshine! 

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Yes, it has been way too long since I have reached out. I have drafts of ideas and thoughts I want to share but with this recap post, hopefully I can stop, breathe and live in the present for a moment. Thank you for taking a moment with me as we self reflect on life for a bit.

Time flies. I am now a Junior in college and I can’t believe it. Finals are over, I have moved home and am starting work again soon. Getting lost is easy to do because life never stops. We are always going and doing something but this summer, my mindset is different. Is yours?

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Last time I wrote, I was having a lot of hard days and those don’t go away, but the next few months, my number one goal is to surround myself with positive people and to be that positive person for someone else. Through previous posts on my fitness regime and self criticism, I have expressed how vital it is to have people in your life who will hold you accountable and feed your life with positive energy. We might not choose every situation we get involved in, but we do choose where we go and who we surround ourselves with. Right now, I am in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on family vacation! The beach is my favorite place in the entire world. I have never been here so if you have any recommendations on great food and shops let me know! This was the perfect time and place for me start summer because I have surrounded myself in a positive atmosphere with my family who I haven’t gotten to spend much time with. Although I have this time with them, I am losing time with people that have really helped me when times get rough. My mentor has graduated, my close friends and roommates are not in Tennessee when I return, and my barre and church family is in Bowling Green. As I sit here looking at the ocean, I realize I have a choice to make. I can leave everything I’ve learned from those people and get back to my bad habits of not being in a positive relationship with myself or the Lord, or I can continue my journey and return better than I left. I definitely choose the second one so where to start? First, hold on to old friendships and create new memories. That’s what summer is for!

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I have a ten year friendship with a guy who has been there for every laugh and tear during this crazy year I have had. From awkward middle school dances, to surviving separate high schools, then moving seven hours away from each other for college, we kept in contact and actually met in Charleston during this vacation to make new memories! As I sat on the harbor with him, my positive energy fell away as I started to miss old memories with people I used to be close to and regret that extra biscuit I ate at brunch cause I thought I looked way to large in the picture we previously took…he looked at me and said,

“We can’t live life looking at the past memories. We have to live for today and make new memories out of the present moment.”

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Why am I telling you this? We all fall into bad habits so keep those positive friendships in your life and have someone who can remind you what blessings are in your life. We can’t look at yesterday, only today. In the Gospels it says,

| “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Everyday has enough trouble of its own.” | Mathew 6:34 

As my mentor graduates and moves onto do amazing things in her life, I got nervous about going home. Who would tell me what devotional to read or where to turn to for guidance? This summer I have found friends to keep me accountable but for my personal relationship with the Lord, that is up to me. She told me to read from the Gospels and to start with John. I have never read an entire book in the Bible so I started this morning! I am so excited to start something new and will try my hardest to not lose sight on what’s important this summer. There is no need to go backwards, only forwards. Join me this week and let’s start this summer strong. Text an old friend, find a book of the Bible to read and dive into a new page of life. I’m learning something new every day and so should you! Stay positive gorgeous.

Coffee Craze

Cheers beautiful!

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Do you have your coffee this morning? I DO! As I have mentioned earlier, I am a coffee enthusiast. Whether it is buying new coffee cups, trying new cozy coffee shops, sipping on coffee any time of any day, I thoroughly enjoy coffee. Coffee has become a new icon because new coffee shops are everywhere, every printed tee-shirt has a coffee cup on it and if you are not snapping a pic of your latte art, something is extremely wrong. I am always the girl buying the fancy coffee drink, meaning I will never drink mine black…ever. No matter what health experts say, my cozy cup of coffee makes me happy. Today, I want to share that happiness with you by telling you what are my go-to drinks to get that don’t overload on sugar and the proven health benefits coffee can have on your body! Go make your coffee, grab a fuzzy blanket and lets get started!

Proven Health Benefits of Coffee: 

Too much of anything is bad for you, whether that be nutritious foods or sweets. Coffee contains the good and the bad but no matter how many health specialists say coffee is bad, it makes me happy so I will continue to have my cup of coffee until I am old and grey. Like I said before, I will never drink mine black. It is true that if you are living off of coffee, I would recommend cutting back because too much caffeine can dehydrate you. I personally know someone who had too much coffee and no water within a day so she passed out. Wonder why you get headaches without coffee?? I do not want that to happen to you so try what I do and stick to one or two cups a day. I never drink more than two, unless I want to sip on some after dinner. In that case, I make myself a decaf cup. Coffee can be good for digestion after large meals and has many proven health benefits in addition to aiding digestion. Below are the top five facts that stood out to me from the amazing resource, 13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee!

  1. Coffee increases your energy level and increases brain function
    • Coffee contains the stimulant, caffeine. That caffeine is absorbed into your blood stream, then travels into the brain, where the neurotransmitters increase, leading to the firing of neurons and energy!
    • Coffee improves your brain’s memory, mood, vigilance, reaction times, and energy function.
  2. Coffee helps burn fat
    • Caffeine boosts your metabolic rate 3-11%
  3. Caffeine improves physical performance
    • The caffeine increases your adrenalin levels and releases fatty acids from fat tissues
  4. Coffee contains certain nutrients, including Vitamin B2, B5, Potassium, and Magnesium!
  5. Lastly, and my personal favorite, Coffee can fight depression and MAKE YOU HAPPIER! 

| Eat, Drink and Be Cozy | 

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Personal Favorites! 

Here are my go-to orders from my favorite cozy shops! I can’t wait to try new one’s around Nashville, Bowling Green and all my upcoming places I plan on traveling to! Next week I’m going to Charleston and hopefully will find some historic and authentic places down town! Stay tuned 🙂

Cozy at Home 

  • When at home I will go buy the Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee- I like my coffee very strong!
  • Creamer I use:
    • Silk Almond Milk Creamer- Vanilla or hazelnut flavor 17093205
  • SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer- French Vanilla  coco-milk-creamer-french-vanilla
  • For sweeteners, I will use the no-calorie Truvia, Agave Nectar or Honey!

Starbucks

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  • Starbucks is my life saver and love because no matter what time of day, I know they will be open. I love it so much I even dressed up as a Starbucks coffee cup for Halloween two years agoIMG_6224…anyway here are my go-to orders:
    • Grande Skinny Vanilla Soy Latte
      • If they are out of soy, get coconut milk!
    • Green Tea Latte with Coconut Milk
    • If I don’t want anything sweet I will get a Grande Soy Latte or Cappuccino
    • If I go for a dessert, I will get a Tall Soy Caramel Macchiato

 

Local Coffee Shops 

When going to local shops, I always order a Vanilla Latte with Almond Milk.

My favorite local shop in Bowling Green: Spencers or Novo Dolce (they have the best secret coffee bar that no one knows about!

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Nashville Love: Frothy Monkey, the Well, and Fido are my favorites, BUT I am in the process of trying many new places! Have any ideas?

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I leave you today with the wise words of Nanea Hoffman-

| “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that fairytales aren’t real. I drink a potion made from magic beans every day, and it brings me back to life.” |


Gunnars, Kris. “13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee.” Authority Nutrition. N.p.,
Apr. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016. <https://authoritynutrition.com/
top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee/>.

Strength > Scale

May 7, 2016…a day of change.

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| “The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and LIVE your life.” |

– Dr. Steve Maraboli

Every day is a challenge. Everyone has their own battles. Our minds are very powerful and can lead us to believe things that are so untrue. As I have mentioned before, my battle is body image. It will be a constant fight for me to understand that I look healthy. I have been really trying to eat more, splurge more and care less. As I sit here after a long day, a glass of wine in hand and my acoustic playlist blasting, I want to welcome you to understand that what I share is a continuous struggle. I do not blog my successes, but my journey so that people who are going through a process of change know that you are not alone.

As I have mentioned, I was told I have Amenorrhea around two months ago. I needed to change and after doing so much research on similar experiences, I found my favorite blog that has inspired me in so many ways. I prayed one night for some answers and the Holistic Nutritionist has provided me with so much truth. I encourage you to read her blog because I never realized that while I was striving for the “ideal body” I was risking putting my heart and bone health at risk and since I stopped menstruating, I was told I would have trouble having children if I did not get higher estrogen levels. With that being said, you would think it would be easy to get back into a better place because who doesn’t love eating? I sure do, but after I would eat too much of something bad for me I would regret it, worry, and stress about how my body or people would react. My doctor told me to put those worries away and to weigh in my 120s because as a 5’6 female, the ideal weight for me is 125 pounds. That number scared me…but why? Why do I let a scale measure my beauty?

Today for the first time since that doctor’s office, I stepped on a scale. I FINALLY WEIGH IN THE 120s!! This is great news! My family was so happy and all day long they told me how proud they were for me and how healthy I looked. My sister told me I had muscle and color to my face. I am finally looking the way God wanted me to look, but I did not see this. I stepped on the scale and when I saw the number two I started crying. These were not tears of joy, but they should have been. I went straight to my mom because if you are battling with any negative thoughts, it is not a good idea to keep them bottled up. Find someone who you can talk to and I promise with their love and support, your mind and heart will grow in so many ways. Sitting with my sweet mom, I cried out why my mind is taking control over my health. She told me to think of how I feel. Truth is, I have never felt better. My knees and hips don’t hurt and I can actually jog now! There were so many positives in today, but that number took control and I was getting scared at the thought of being the girl gaining weight. IT IS JUST A NUMBER. As Dr. Maraboli said, the scale “cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love.” I wiped my tears and realized I did it! I weigh in the 120s like God built me to be. I no longer look like this girl from freshman year you see below. I had to celebrate moving forward! What did I do to celebrate…eat a popsicle of course!

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Do you have a support system? I not only turn to my mom and dad when I get weak, but my sister is my best friend and is always the one who will tell me when I’m getting off track. Today, we went to the Park Fest on 12 South and ate the most delicious popsicles from Las Palettes. It was filled with strawberries, pineapple and banana. Amazing right?! It tasted better than normal, not only because of the 80 degree weather, but becuase she took the time to go eat it with me. Who you surround yourself with is key to transforming a positive mindset. Who did you surround yourself with today? IMG_6522

I want to leave you with encouragement and hope! I am almost to my ideal weight goal, YAY, and I know that whatever you are going through, you will get to the finish line. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the most perfect creator. He is watching over us and I know that today’s struggles will be nothing compared to tomorrow’s blessings! Cheers to a long summer full of more popsicles and sunny days!

Taste the World

| “One day, you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” | – Paulo Coelho

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Happy Monday! A new week means new lists and today I decided to share with you my ultimate list. Can you tell I love lists? It’s an obsession but out of all my grocery lists and to-do lists, my absolute favorite is my bucket list. Every summer I used to make a bucket list with one of my best friends and this summer I don’t get the chance to do that, so I have decided to make my own.

What do you think about when you think of summer?

I think of long, warm days full of loud music, endless amounts of pool trips with my sister, eating bowls of fruit, taking long walks, stopping at every popsicle stand, movie nights, never wearing makeup, and trying new things. I am all about the new in my life and I believe that everyone should have goals and aspirations in life. There is always something to look forward to because our earth is a beautiful place and it is our job to make memories with the resources that our lovely world provides us. My 2016 summer bucket list is as follows:

  • Try a new dessert place in Nashville once a week
    • The donuts from Five Daughters Bakery on 12 South are first on my list!
    • Next comes the Cookie Dough Cafe 🙂
  • Visit the zoo
  • Paint pottery
    • My roommate has inspired me to go, even by myself, and start painting and making a new creation!
  • Discover new murals across Nashville- flowers
    • This flower mural is on 12 South and if you haven’t been I highly recommend it because it is beautiful!
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Try a new coffee shop
  • Eat an entire slice of pizza and NOT feel bad about it- I already have one of my best friends holding me to this one!
  • Go white water rafting
    • Last summer I chose to do paddle boarding but this summer I’m going all out. I tried this when I was little but reliving certain moments in life never hurts.IMG_1379
  • Try a boxing class
  • Take a random road trip
  • Go up and start a conversation with a random person
    • Everyone has a cool story and you never know who you are going to meet and what you are going to learn.
  • Read a new book- CHECK! I actually have started this one and purchased The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. I LOVE it. Stay tuned because I have so many lessons I’ve already learned from page one and can’t wait to share!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

What do you plan on doing this summer? Are you going to wake up and count every second that you are bored or too tired? No. You need to LIVE this summer. Absorb every ray of sunshine, every conversation and every experience that comes your way.

If you already have your summer list made, think bigger!! I have a life long bucket list and I do not care if I am 80 years old and am still checking things off. I am actually trying to work a lot this summer to save up for #1 on my list…to study abroad. There is a program I am striving for and there will be days I want to give up but if there is anything I want you to know from reading with me is that giving up is one of the worst thing you can do. Success takes patience but I promise you, we were built to do amazing things.

With that being said, here is my life long bucket list that doesn’t start when I graduate or tomorrow…it starts today. Are you ready for yours? IMG_8265

  • Study Abroad
  • Swim with a dolphin
  • See the Christmas tree in NYC
  • Visit a ski lodge in Colorado
  • Go on a safari
  • Drink a cup of coffee from the Starbucks in Seattle
  • Hike to the Hollywood sign
  • During Autumn, climb Chimney Rock in North Carolina and rent a cabin in Gatlinburg
  • Ride horses on the beach

I’m sure my list will grow as I grow older but I’m ready to turn my dreams into reality. Let’s taste the world, shall we?!

Positive Relationships

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Happy first day of May! I hope your Sunday morning has been relaxed with your cozy slippers, hot coffee and you are setting your mindset for the upcoming week. We are blessed with a new day, new week and new month. Let this morning be the glorious start of many. I cannot wait to dive into this post with you. I am so happy you are here with me today.Let’s start by opening up our minds with some questions…

Did you know that one of the most important words in the English language is relationship?

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by not only your own emotion and thoughts, but of others as well?

That mind game battle can be self consuming. With me, as you know, my battles in my head have been self image and relationships. Last night I decided to have a night of my own by taking the longest shower ever, making myself some peppermint tea, lighting a sweet smelling candle, and reading one of my new favorite books that I can’t wait to share with you. Within that self reflection time, I couldn’t help but process all of the relationships in my life, including all the one’s I worry about, the one’s I can’t forget about and the one’s that I haven’t even experienced yet. After my alarm clock rang at 8:00am, as it always does, I still had those thoughts. After my dress was put on, hair was curled and oatmeal was eaten, I kept pondering what God would want me to hear at church today. Sitting in my car in the church parking lot by myself, I bowed my head and asked the Lord to open my heart and mind to what He needed me to hear this morning. After receiving a warm welcome and finding my seat, I looked down at our pamphlet and it read, “Four Keys to Godly Relationships”. There I was knowing God was answering my prayer I just prayed five minutes ago. I invite you to listen to this sermon by Dr. Steve Rice that reminded me no person or relationship has spiritual perfection. Below are the four key points he reminded of today…

  • Find the good in people-
    • Remember the best and forget the rest
    • LIFE IS NOT AIRBRUSHED- we cannot shape other people’s walks with the Lord. It can take a lifetime to become like Jesus because none of our spiritual walks are perfect.
    • When I first started my personal walk with the Lord, I started to judge the people around me I cared for because I thought they were walking more slowly and that scared me. I wish I could go back and change how I handled that situation because one’s personal relationship with the Lord comes first, then your relationship with that person comes second.
  • Practice positive praying
    • Pray with joy
    • We all need prayer and practice
  • Be patient with the progress of others
    • Everyone’s spiritual growth is different
  • Let God help us love people
    • There will always be people who are difficult to love but we are asked to love one another like He loves us.

May is your month beautiful to make positive changes! Make every moment count. I believe in you.

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| “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.” | – Philippians 1: 9-11

 

Lets Talk Probiotic

Hello lovely! Time to talk probiotics.

I have a lot of people come to me and ask me what these “weird” drinks and supplements are that I have every day. When I tell them they are rich with probiotics, no one understands what I am saying. I have decided to take the time to research and provide you with the main questions on what probiotics are and what they do. Hopefully this will be useful for you and you can relate to why I started taking them because they have helped my health in so many ways!

Around one year ago I started to face digestive issues. My stomach would bloat too a point that was very unhealthy and painful. One night I cancelled all my plans to just sit in my dorm trying to suck in my stomach because it felt so bloated. Trying to suck in your stomach while your friends go out and have a good time is never the answer, so after visiting a gastrointestinal doctor, I had tests done and the two primary options for me were too cut small bits of dairy from my diet and to start taking probiotics…

What is a probiotic? IMG_3285

In order for our digestive system to work properly, we have around 100 trillion healthy bacteria living within our digestive tract that serve as our “helpful” bacteria in our bodies. They are naturally found in our bodies; however, due to stress and antibiotics, we can lose our healthy bacteria. Probiotic supplements, usually in pill form, drinks, such as Kombuchas (my addiction), and foods, such as yogurt are some of the best examples to get probiotics conveniently. They are not this uncommon phenomenon I promise!

For my body, I have tried out numerous supplements, including Meta Probiotic found at Kroger or all natural probiotics found at my local health stores that usually have to be kept refrigerated since they hold live bacteria. After one week of taking them, my bloating went away and my digestive tract was so much better. I highly recommend taking these and drinking Kombuchas!

What is Kombucha? 

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Kombucha is defined as “a beverage produced by fermenting tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria”. Sounds scary I know and I get the weirdest stares on a daily bases when I bring them in class but they make me so happy so I get so pumped to talk about them! First off, they are fizzy like a carbonated beverage and over a year ago I gave up carbonated beverages, so this always hits the spot when I start to crave any carbonation. I got some amazing incite from Halle Cottis, author of Whole Lifestyle Nutrition with a list of the amazing benefits of Kombucha. I have provided a few from the list below:

  • Probiotics – healthy bacteria
  • Detoxifies the liver = happy mood
  • Increases metabolism
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts energy – fights fatigue
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Relieves headaches & migraines
  • High in antioxidants
  • Improves eyesight

Continue to read their blog for more details and great ideas on natural solutions for your body!

My favorite flavors are Ginger, Ginerberry, Strawberry Serenity, and Multigreen. In addition to their amazing ingredients and flavors, one of the best parts of Kombucha is that the founder, GT Dave, built this raw food on love. On every bottle it reads,

“We believe good things come from small beginnings. That’s why we make our Kombucha in the same small batches I used from the start, in my mother’s kitchen. Our batches are small enough to hug. Which we do, because love is our number one ingredient.” – GT Dave

While writing this post, I am sipping on one of my favorite flavors, Gingerberry, and reading the words of enlightenment that they put on every bottle-

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|”Only when you believe something to be impossible, does it become so” |

Cheers beautiful to healthy living! Go grab yourself a Kombucha today!

 

Rise and Shine

| “I love the the smell of possibility in the morning” |

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Good morning gorgeous!

I adore mornings. I cannot wait to wake up early, wrap myself in my fuzzy blanket and sit up wearing nothing but a gigantic sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. I love peeking outside and seeing a new day whether that morning is rainy and calm or sunny and joyful. I look forward to gripping my hot cup of coffee and stepping outside to the cool and crisp air right after the early sunrise. I am that person who wants to wake everyone up in the house blasting the song Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 through my speakers while dreaming of my favorite and biggest breakfast full of eggs, cinnamon rolls and fruit. My Pinterest board, Cozy Mornings, is full of warm candles, cheesy quotes and giant mugs and those things will continue to make me happy until I am old and gray.

Why am I telling you all this? I believe that finding that stillness in your day is essential to finding balance within your body and life. Yesterday, I came across a blog post on Fit Girls Diary called “15 Fit Girls Morning Rituals – Healthy Habits That Changed My Life” and I wanted to share it with you as I try to add some new routines to my morning that you might like to try as well. With school, work, long nights, and endless amounts of tests, I know it’s hard waking up. I have known people who sleep until late afternoon and have also noticed behavioral changes within those people as well. Don’t wake up wishing for more time in a day because life is already too short. Every day is a new day, your day. This morning I took advice from the Fit Girls Diary and tried some new healthy habits provided from the amazing post mentioned above.

  1. Wake up around the same time every morning- I am always setting alarms, but this morning I decided to have my body tell me when to wake up and my body clock is around 8:00am.
  2. Inhale and exhale, look outside, and clear your mind- Inhaling the new in today and exhaling the old in yesterday brought so much peace the moment I woke up.
  3. Do some stretching/yoga poses in bed before getting up- These stretches wake up all your muscles and release any tensions. For me, I have the worst tension in my neck, so below you will see my go-to stretches:
    • Touch your toes by inhaling then exhaling, reaching past your toes. IMG_3287
    • Then, stretch out your back by doing the cat/dog pose which consists of getting on all fours, then rounding your back when you inhale and arching your back when you exhale. You can finish by putting your gaze to the ceiling.
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    • I ended with child’s pose and then a neutral spine. IMG_3291 IMG_3293
  4. While getting ready, drink a cup of hot water- It is better to add lemon because this will kick start your digestive system- I found it very calming and cleansing!
  5. Avoid your technology for one hour- I only looked at my phone to check the time then I left it in my room as I went outside with my devotional and coffee. Looking at screens constantly can hurt your body in more ways than you think…
  6. Feel the cool air, warm sunshine and go outside early in the morning- I chose to have my one cup of coffee on our back porch area with my favorite devotional. I found so much peace. The campus was still and feeling that Vitamin D on my skin put a smile on my face before speaking one word to another person.
  7. Finally, when eating breakfast, eat with your non-dominant hand- I am right handed so I attempted to eat my bowl of cereal with my left hand. Why is this important? According to Fit Girls Diary, “When we challenge our brains, we force our neurons to make new connections, and that helps us improve the brain’s capacity for attention and memory”. I loved this new fun fact! My left hand was shaky and breakfast was eaten slow but I will continue to practice this every morning.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! Take deep breaths today, love your body as soon as you rise and shine and feed your body nutrients to kick start this amazing day you are about to have.

| “If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you will have. You have to decide what kind of day you will have.” | – Joel Osteen

What Makes You Happy?

Happy Monday!

Life is busy. I am a full time student, have a part time job and leadership position within my sorority and at times it is hard to balance all of that plus my new blog so just stay patient as I figure out balancing everything going on in life, but I know at the end of the day it is worth it! With that being said, a part from all of our priorities in life, what do you do to make yourself happy? To find true peace within a day I believe that you need to set aside at least 30 minutes or more to do something you love. I want to share with you certain things that make me smile when life gets crazy and what new things I’m trying! The key for me is to stick to something old and to try something new. I hope you can get a few ideas to try yourself and feel free to share any ideas on how you find enjoyment in your life.

For me, my something old is taking a long walk and listening to music. I started doing this in high school and continue to go on my power walks around campus. Yes, I look like a grandma pumping my arms as I walk around campus but I don’t mind it one bit. I once had someone tell me that I was walking away from my problems. Sadly, I have to agree that at times this is the case, but I want to encourage you to not avoid your problems by walking by yourself every day. Take a friend, have a venting session, grab an ice-cream or just plug in your headphones so you aren’t swarmed with thoughts. When I do this, I can self reflect and just breath. My two mile walk around campus today was full of country music. Check out my favorite playlists on my Spotify account!

My something new is photography! I absolutely love picture taking so I recently have decided to take on part time work with my mom and photograph events. I have done recent shoots for friends and have taken a few classes and absolutely love photographing!

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I have had a lot of people ask me what camera I use and I use a Canon Rebel T3. For events I use this Nikon, provided by the venue. Both are great options! I also purchased this red scarf camera strap on Etsy!

 

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Last week, I took some fun shots of one of my sorority sisters in our town square and had a blast! Finding a hobby that makes you happy is the best stress reliever. I love taking pictures because it is a fun way to look back and see all of your memories, but I also try not to live on my phone screen because then you will miss out on key moments that your camera can’t capture.

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One of my new mindsets is to try new things and next on my list was new exercise classes. Stay tuned on the blog as I plan on writing how I am in the process of learning what exercises are best for my body and what could be amazing for yours! Enjoy this time as you rest and read. I encourage you to make a list of things that make you happy and a new list of new things to try. I can’t wait to see the amazing things you will do!

“I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you’re set. I promise.”

Every Day is a Challenge

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Why do we always wish for things we don’t have? I have been blessed in my life with friends and family who love me unconditionally but for some reason I have days where I can’t love myself fully. Recently, it was one of those days where I wanted to delete all my social media accounts, take back the ice cream I ate last night and sit and reminisce at old photos. As I have said before, I have a habit of trying to keep myself busy, surround myself with people all the time and act like I have my life together 24/7, but some times that is not the case. We are not perfect. The tendency to compare myself to others does not go away over night and neither does life’s difficulties. I admit that those thoughts consume my mind time to time and I know that I am not the only girl in the world who had those thoughts today either. As I sit here, I want to invite you to rest with me and decompress all the negativity that has filled your day. Light a candle, turn on some chill music (I have James Bay blaring right now), open your journal, and let’s open our eyes to the beauty in today.

The Lord has an amazing way of speaking to us and this morning after waking up bright and early at 7:00am, I read,

“Accept the challenge of something new, say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me and don’t be afraid.”

Every day brings a new challenge. My old habits have been trying to tackle my mind this past week and today the Lord blessed me with a day to self reflect and to realize that I need to depend on Him even more. Today could have been a marvelous day, but while I sipped on my coffee and ate my oatmeal, I tried to make my plans for later instead of living in the moment. School is ending and it can be easy to add stresses to our life that are not necessary. I tried to go on a run (yes I attempted to run) and then go to a barre class right after. I found myself getting really shaky so refueled myself but felt so weak. Emotionally and physically I have felt broken down and it is because I put pressure on myself to do absolutely everything in my calendar, plus some. We are not called to live a life of stress. Today is a new day to a new week and I want you to know that you are not alone when it comes to stressing, over running your body and dealing with imperfections. We are not perfect but He is. I want to change my mindset around. Do you?

 

“You are not alone”.

 

 

 

When You Fall, Get Back Up

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I was never one who enjoyed sitting still. Being active was always a passion of mine and still is, but my journey to finding what my body needed regarding physical activity was a rough one and I am still recovering. Have you every pushed yourself to a point where you are broken down, exhausted and unhappy? Why do we choose to wake up and do that every day? My body was screaming to stop but I fought it every day until my doctor told me to stop. I’m going to share what I have chosen to do with my life for physical activity and it was the best choice I ever made!

|1 Corinthians 6:19 |

“Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

As I have mentioned earlier, as soon as I got to college I started running every day on a treadmill for two miles and walked up and down hills to class to avoid taking the bus. I did this not to enjoy being outside, but to burn more calories so I would not feel bad eating some chips at my sorority event. This mindset consumed me and then I continued to do hot yoga classes to sweat even more. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hot yoga and still do it, but more for relaxation. Yoga is wonderful for stretching, setting a peaceful mindset and adjusting your body to what it needs that day. I highly recommend it! However, day after day I put stress on my body by looking in the mirror and feeling great about myself, until my knees starting hurting really bad whenever I bent them. I bought a brace and still went to the gym every day. I continued my exercise routine and then my hip flexors started to feel like they were ripping to a point where I couldn’t walk to class. I still tried to hike every hill and step to get those extra physical activities in until one day I was laying on an X-ray table and the doctor told me to stop running because the muscle tissue in my hip flexors were wearing away. My thought was, how am I going to keep weight off if I can’t run? My mindset had to change and the Lord made that clear to me on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

My doctor told me to take barre classes or water aerobics to heal but I was stubborn and tried to do my midweek run on this Wednesday. This only resulted with me crying alone in my apartment while sitting on an ice pack. I was suppose to be getting ready for church but refused to go. My roommate walked in to my surprise because she was suppose to be somewhere else and told me she had a feeling that I was going to fight going to church that night and insisted I went, so off I went to worship. Ignoring every word of the sermon, I was so upset because I didn’t want to sit there with puffy eyes until all of a sudden, mid-sermon, this man hopped on stage and said,

“We need to stop looking at our physical self and saying we aren’t good enough. We need to minimize ourselves and magnetize Him.”

Mind blown. God clearly was talking to me and from that day forward I was determined to find a physical activity that would heal me, bring me joy and feed me strength in the right way.

Welcome to Barre! 

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I finally decided to listen to my doctor and went back to the sport I loved the most, barre class. I grew up taking ballet classes, but this upbeat workout shakes every muscle, stretches you out and puts no impact on your joints. In class, I am toning my body by doing small movements that engages all muscles. I found my workout home at the local barre studio, Barre Company, where I am encouraged by teachers and am now addicted! I have learned that in order for your body to heal, you have to find something you love. Barre techniques are not like any other exercise class because you are doing multiple reps of small range-in-motion movements. I still love changing classes up and will go to spin and yoga classes, but my body reacts best to a barre workout. What works best for your body? I have learned that I no longer have to run miles to feel amazing. Although there are days where I will take jogs on beautiful days, I don’t have to beat my body to the ground.

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I want to encourage you to take a step away from workout machines and find a workout community full of friends that will keep you on the right track. Below you will see my beautiful friend who inspired me to take barre and is my inspiration in every class. She encourages me in my faith and pumps me up with music before every class. I can lean on her to keep me on the right track, whether that is resting or holding my plank for a few more minutes. Find someone in your life who warms your heart like she warms mine because I no longer run alone in a gym. I wake up and enjoy my coffee, take beautiful long walks before barre, enjoy sweet conversation with people after class, and look at myself as God’s creation. Tomorrow is a new day. How will you spend it?IMG_3127

*Photography by: Danielle Wilson / featuring Hannah Kerr and Danielle Wilson at Barre Company*