Talk to Strangers

Yes you heard me correctly, but don’t be fooled because I am a rule follower. You can say I can be a paranoid person whether that being with what I eat, where I go or who I talk to. I am sure that everyone was taught to not talk to strangers. I was, but I have come to a realization that I would like to share with you today. We never understand why certain conversations come into our lives or why certain people fall into our laps but every conversation we have in this life is essential. We do not know when our last breath will be or who the last person is we will talk to so hear me out when I say, talk to a stranger.

“We limit our lives if we limit conversation”

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My cousin, Kaley, shared this quote with me as we shared some remarkable moments we recently had with complete strangers. She shared that while she was shopping at TJ Maxx, clearly a family obsession, a stranger came up to her and said, “I just want you to know how beautiful you are”. My cousin is a remarkable and beautiful woman and sometimes we all lose sight on how remarkable and beautiful we are. She said that it took her all day to wonder why that woman would take the time out of her day to tell her that. There is no need for us to ponder this because we should be sharing a smile and sweet words with as many people as we can!

For me, I never truly loved working until I got to know the people I was working with. I dreaded waking up early and working eight hour shifts until I realized I could meet someone new who could change my mind around. Yesterday at work I learned so many cool things about my coworkers that I see every day! During lunch, I decided to talk to someone totally new and as I was walking out she looked at me and invited me to her home and to hang with her friends while they watch the Bachelorette. I paused and thought why would she sincerely want to hang out with me?

“Invest in people.”

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I always tell people that a key part to success is who you know, meaning it’s not always about what you invest in, it’s who you invest in. Growing up, I liked having at most two best friends and that was all I needed. When those relationships would fall through I would start self judging what I did to make them not like me. So you see, self-judgment started at a young age and I still wonder why some people are closer to some rather than others. We are not called to be best friends with everyone, but we are called to love one another. Speaking of love, I love asking people what their love story is. Yes, an odd question, but the best question. Sometimes that love is with their favorite hobby, a pet or a person. We all have a story to tell so ask away! Don’t be scared to open up to someone or to just make someone smile. If you see beauty in someone, tell him or her. If you are wondering how they got to where they are, ask them. Today is the day! Let’s break the rules and talk to a stranger today, shall we?

This Roller Coaster Called Life

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Hi beautiful!

June has begun and that means a new month with new mindsets. I want you to start this morning by not reading what I have to say but by reading from one of my new favorite blogs. We are called to share and lately I have been at a loss of words to share. My mind definitely has had it’s challenges of facing past difficulties which I will get to later, but sometimes it’s hard to put our thoughts into words. Before recognizing what we need to work on, let’s recognize whom we need to work for…

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” | Ephesians 2:10

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This verse has been on my mind for more than one day now because the fact that we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works blows my mind! How can we do works like Jesus when life is a full on roller coaster? I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of roller coasters. I love to play everything safe and keep my feet on the ground. If you haven’t been on one, let me give you a mental image. They start really slow. You are all buckled in feeling really safe and slowly go up with high hopes! Up, up, up you go until all of a sudden you drop. You will be going super fast, maybe go upside down or drop super low and then you stop abruptly with the thought, what the heck just happened? Some people keep their eyes wide open and others are like me who keep their eyes shut the entire time. The commonly used metaphor, life is a roller coaster is sadly true my friend.

My mind goes up and down like a roller coaster. I’m never constant at anything. I will get in a routine of going to church and my excitement sky rockets going really fast, but then when I start reading sermons online I stop going and I slow down. Reading those sermons turn into reading more blog posts. Those posts lead me to Pinterest where I will find healthy recipes. Here comes the flips and turns because with those recipes I will get obsessed with cooking healthy meals. I start to think about diets and how I need to eat this and not that. Before I know it, that unending cycle repeats itself and here I am at the end of the summer repeating exactly what happened last summer.

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Life doesn’t have to be a circle of repeats. As mentioned in the verse earlier, God prepared in advance for us to do good works. These works I do every day to try to live up to God’s image of me is exhausting. I need to focus less on how I carry out these works to glorify Him, but rather focus more on whom I carry these works for. Counting how many times I go to church and how many calories I eat will never satisfy our life’s needs. Recently, my weight has been decreasing instead of increasing and I don’t know about you, but we all have our own personal cycles of difficulties. I have realized that if I keep looking at myself on what I’m doing wrong I will not move forward. God is there to catch us if we fall out of our roller coaster. Whatever today brings you, remember that you are God’s masterpiece. Let’s not count a calorie or reprimand ourselves for falling short on the many works we try to fill our day with. Eat plenty, love more and rest with Him today. Happy Sunday!

“And when I wake up, you are still with me” | Psalm 129:18

Worship Like You Work

Good morning! Yesterday I had a lot of new realizations to a point that I couldn’t sleep last night and there is no better cure than my favorite comfy food breakfast! This is toasted Ezekiel bread, almond butter, banana, topped with honey and chia seeds with 2 eggs scrambled, made with coconut oil and seasoning on top! Amazing, I know.

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I hope you go grab your favorite comfy food breakfast while getting cozy because I am so happy you are here with me today!

We are half way through the week and I hope that this week has been amazing for you! So I’m finally getting back into my routine after vacation, meaning the calendar will have more marks in it, work has started and reality sets in. I don’t know about you, but summers are not what they used to be in high school. Summers don’t consist of going to the pool every day, cooking out every night and having every morning to sip coffee on the front porch. Life is maturing and I only have two summers left before working full time. That’s crazy! I’m currently working retail and when I first started, it was a new experience for me. I was nervous and tried to do everything perfectly. That is not reality and as my dad tells me often, “You have to enjoy more and worry less.” That is easier said than done for me. When I started my current job last semester I was in a very negative mindset in life.The picture below is from me working last semester and I was so self consumed that I missed the opportunity to serve my costumers and enjoy the company of my co-workers. This time around I walked in with an open mindset and heart so that I can serve others and realize that you never know whom you are going to meet. Sharing a smile with someone can turn their day around I promise you. I encourage you to work to serve rather than to work for worth.

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Why am I going on this rant about work all of a sudden? Well, this summer I’m trying to change my mindset around. My mind has been consumed with my health and it always will be; however, recently, my mind has been set on relationships again. Strengthening the relationships with my customers and co-workers has brought so much joy to my day. Making people smile warms my heart more than buying them endless gifts. Happiness doesn’t have a price tag. With that being said, ever since I’ve been home for summer I’ve been trying to rekindle old relationships from high school, keep current ones, watch old ones fade away and pray for new ones that come my way. With keeping current ones, I met up with one of my closest friends who strengthens me always with continual prayer and advice on relationships. She encourages me to go to worship every week. Last summer, I only went a few times and my actions at church didn’t carry outside church. I’m determined to worship like I work. If I can wake up every day, work 8 hours and make plans with friends, then why can’t I make plans with the Lord? That relationship is the most important one.

I go to Kairos at Brentwood Baptist Church and I encourage you to join if you are in the Nashville area or to read more about it. Feel free to contact me or go to their website here because I am a newby also! Before entering the large chapel room full of strangers last night, I prayed for an open heart and mind.Guess what they announced the new series was about for the entire summer? Just wait…relationships. I know. God is amazingly crazy and is planning something. He has a plan for you also. The thought of God’s plan for me gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. As the band played louder and louder I wanted to go out and work every day as I worshiped last night. There were so many people there and each had a different story. Some probably had a really bad day and others a really good day. Nevertheless, you couldn’t tell who was who because everyone had the same joy. That joy should carry into our workplace. Whether you are working on relationships, at an office, in a store, on yourself, or with the Lord, work like you worship because the Lord is inviting you on this journey called life. He has a plan for you and for the people you will meet. Let this summer be one of new beginnings and new mindsets!

I want to leave you today with this quote that I have read every day before work…

| “God’s favor is surrounding you like a shield. Every set back is a setup for a comeback. Every bad break, every disappointment, and every person who does you wrong is part of the plan to get you to where you’re supposed to be.” |

Vacation Veteran

I am a vacation veteran, are you? I love going on vacation. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t! When trying to shape your lifestyle, whether that’s spiritually or physically, any form of change can get you off track. Driving long car rides, flying for hours and adjusting to a new home environment can confuse our bodies and cause our digestive systems, sleep schedules and many more aspects of our day to day life to get off track. I just finished my vacation and one of my goals starting my week was to try to have an open mindset, aka eat whatever I want when I want it and try not to feel bad about it. With that being said, splurging on more food, more sleep and more of anything can be so fun, but can be done in a healthy way! Here is some advice on how I chose to fill my vacation with the perfect amount of happy and healthy.

WAKE UP EARLY

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Have you ever woken up to see the sunrise? If you have not, add it to your summer list because there is nothing like seeing the hand of God paint such a beautiful picture for us as we start our day. From the colors reflecting off the ocean to the colors streaming through your window, this one of a kind artwork in the sky will take your breath away. On my first morning, the South Carolina sunrise woke me up at 6:30am and it was worth climbing out of my fluffy white blankets. The next best thing about vacation is that if you are still tired, you can fall back asleep! However, if you are a coffee and breakfast addict like me, then rise and shine!

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FUEL YOUR BODY

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially on vacation! If you are out in the sun all day long, you will be needing lots of energy. In my new favorite book I’m reading at the moment, The Body Book by Cameron Diaz, she says that we need to think about fueling our bodies just like we charge our phones. We never leave our house without it fully charged for the day and we freak out when it is about to die, don’t we? We need to think about our bodies this way because as she says, “You must begin the day with a fully charged battery and develop an awareness of how your power level fluctuates throughout the day and recharge when you need to by eating whole foods.” That last part is imperative but not before coffee! Every morning, I started with my cup of coffee with almond milk creamer. This is an important rule so listen close…COFFEE DIETS ARE NONEXISTENT ON VACATION. Okay, I’m done. There is nothing like holding that warm cup of coffee while feeling that cool, salty air breeze on your skin first thing in the morning. I sat on the porch with two pieces of Ezekiel toast pretty much every morning to go along with my cup of happiness and I could not choose between avocado and almond butter, so I did both every time!

Break A Sweat 

Personally, I always feel better getting a work out in at the beach because there is something about being outside that pushes and excites me to be active! After feeling energized from breakfast, I advise you to take a long walk or jog on the beach when it is still quiet with no one around. Do some stretches right in front of the ocean where your toes barely touch the water. The impact in the sand will make you more sore in the morning, promise! I struggled with trying to go to the gym more than being outside on this trip, as you know if you read my previous post, but deciding to take short walks with my mom, dad, or sister beside me made everything more enjoyable. Sadly it rained most of our trip, but still go outside if this happens to you because if one life guard on this trip told me that if you can see your shadow, you can still get tan! Put away the music, the phones and try to enjoy the sweet conversation with your walking buddy and whispers of the ocean waves.

TAN, SNACK, NAP, REPEAT 

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Now this is my favorite part and the part that lasts pretty much all day every day. First, sunscreen is essential. I love tanning and want to be dark just as much as you. For my face, I really try to stick to my all natural products. I highly recommend Origins for face sunscreen. Every day I tried to use Dr Andrew’s WEIL for Origins moisturizer with SPF 30. You can read more and order this product here! Next, I like to get down to the beach as soon as possible, so packed my snack on the go. What’s my favorite beach go to? FRUIT! This week I either chose fresh pineapple or an apple and they both hit the spot!

 

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LUNCH BREAK

Taking a break from the sun is always a good idea and let’s be real, who doesn’t like walking back to the condo and seeing how tan you are? For my family lunch breaks, we always make sandwiches, but since I had toast for breakfast, I chose to make wraps without all the bread. I had turkey, cheese, avocado and hummus with a side of chips, spinach and ranch, and sometimes for something sweet I would have dark chocolate or some of the best cookies we found from Fresh Market! My obsession for Fresh Market is new and addicting. After a large meal, I was fueled for my post- lunch walk on the beach! Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen!

AN AFTERNOON OF DECOMPRESSING 

Afternoons are meant for napping and relaxing on vacation. Our bodies need rest so if you are yawning, listen to your body and shut your eyes for a bit. The worst thing you can do is to over run your body, especially on vacation. This is my weakness. I used to think that I was wasting time by laying in bed but when was the last time you just stayed in bed without a busy schedule? Take advantage of every second! Take a nap outside in the sun, read a book in the shade or come back to the condo like I often did and sit on the porch with another cup of coffee. Find what you love to do in your spare time and decompress!

WRAPPING IT UP 

When it is time to wrap yourself up in your towel, grab some coconut oil and rub it on your skin if you got burned. It works, I promise!! I have used coconut oil for makeup remover, cooking and to remove burns. From personal experience, my burns have always turned to tan within two days after rubbing oil on it. I find mine at any grocery store but my favorite is at Trader Joe’s!

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What are your secret remedies or favorite activities you like to do on vacation? I challenge you to explore something new and the soak up all the sun and happiness the world can offer! Stay golden!

 

Fix It, Not Fight It

Yesterday I woke up with dark clouds in the sky and in my mind. I firmly believe that if you wake up with a negative mindset, you will have a negative day. On this trip, my family goes to the gym every morning. Going to a gym is great as I have mentioned before; however, I realized that morning that I wasn’t going to the gym to family bond, but rather to make sure I would feel best in my bikini that day or to work off the huge dinner I ate the night before.

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Before eating that large meal and after my beautiful walk on the beach I had already taken, I chose to still go to the gym as soon as I felt that first raindrop. Alone, I went to the gym and my hip flexors were already hurting from the previous gym workout the day before. With that pain, I fought it and still went. I kept waking up with the same pain but as my family got ready for the gym, my mind was set on going. I couldn’t even finish a 10 minute cardio workout without pain shooting up my legs. Let me describe to you what it is like to not have enough muscle tissue in your hip flexors. It is a very raw and rubbing feeling every time you walk. Why would I want to fight this uncomfortable pain? Almost in tears from frustration, I went into the women’s locker room and prayed. Yes I prayed alone in a locker room because I am still only comfortable praying by myself. I’ve told you, I am a work in progress and that is OKAY!

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I wasn’t making any progress by fighting my body. I need to fix my mindset when it is telling me that I won’t feel or look good in my swim suit unless I go to the gym. After taking a deep breath, I stopped fighting and started listening to my body. I needed to relax my muscles, not strain them. How do I fix my mind? It doesn’t take months to change your mind. It can take seconds because in that moment, I chose to sit in the steam room that was near by. Listen close because you will fall in love. After a workout or heck in place of your workout, I highly recommend sitting in a steam room for around 10 minutes. It’s my new favorite! Seriously, it feels like a small hot yoga session. I sat there, breathed, stretched, sweat a ton and could feel all the toxins and negative energy leaving my body. I plan on doing so much research on steam rooms for myself and for you because a lot of nutritionists blog about their obsession with it so stay tuned!

After leaving the gym, I still felt heavy weight through my body and mind. The clouds were still not only filling the sky, but also my viewpoint on what really matters. Some self reflection time was needed so I got a green juice and made my way down to the beach. Yes, I sat alone on the beach with black clouds in the sky, but I tried to keep my positive mindset by blasting my 70s music and pulling out my notebook. I love writing down all my thoughts in a notebook then typing it out cause getting your eyes away from a screen can be really beneficial. Moving forward, I want to fix my problems and frustrations. We all have those frustrations that we need to fix, not fight. If my body is screaming at me to not go to the gym, I am going to strive to find alternative ways to feel good in a bathing suit. Girls, we need to be 100% confident all day every day. It is hard but your gym activity doesn’t rank your confidence for the day. Today is a new day and I already decided that I am not going to the gym. Instead, I will lay in my white fluffy sheets with my Starbucks coffee. Let’s fix, not fight. What decision will you make today? IMG_6784

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