I Don’t Know

I don’t know is a commonly used phrase that is thrown around a million times a day. When asked what we want to eat or wear, it is easy to respond with no answer, but what happens when you have to make large decisions? Can this somewhat simplistic phrase save us in that moment when we don’t have an answer? The world feels heavy on your shoulders when you think of all the decisions you have to make. One day I feel one way and then the next another so when is the right time to choose when to make important decisions? Let me tell you, it doesn’t get easier but every small decision you make will grow into the answer you have been searching for. Not knowing is the beginning of something magnificent if you trust the moment you are in.

Moments. They are hard to enjoy at times when people and life keep moving around you. Life moves fast if you haven’t noticed. The saying everything happens in a blink of an eye is so true. The faster time goes, the more I realize that I have no idea where my life is going. I try to convince myself every day that it is okay, but that is a battle for myself. Everything has a consequence, whether that is good or bad. Instead of dwelling on the “what if” and the “how”, sometimes you have to just say “I don’t know” and live in the moment.

There is someone on this earth who has taught me how to live an “I don’t know” life. Now sure what that means? Great because I don’t either! For the over thinkers in the world, come sit with me and breath because you aren’t the only one who dissects every person, every plan and every detail of your life. For example…number one for me is food, as you know. Lately, I have been feeling awful about eating certain foods and writing about it, so sorry for my absence. I crave sweets and breads and I don’t know why I want them so bad. I end up eating them and choose to say that lovely phrase “I don’t know” once again because I don’t know why I ate that since I regret it. I don’t know why that is a struggle for me and not for others, but sometimes you have to roll with it because my struggles can be someone else’s strengths and that’s how we can lift each other up like we are called to do!

Number two, relationships, shocker right? I don’t know why certain people, guys or girls, have come into my life and sometimes I don’t know what to say to certain people who come my way. I fear messing up. I fear saying the wrong thing, feeling left out or getting rid of a relationship that was supposed to be great. I don’t know why people leave my life. I overthink that also. If a fight happens with someone, I take that as oh it wasn’t meant to be and we are over. Please take my advice and don’t overthink every argument you have with someone or disagreement. You will never be with a perfect person and you aren’t perfect either so disagreements in life can be healthy. I have experienced the best relationships with people and felt so many amazing emotions just by not overthinking everything and I want that for you.

Number three, the plan. I don’t know what my plan is in life and am figuring that out. I don’t know what opportunities will come my way or which opportunity to take. What if I choose the wrong one? I firmly believe that you and I are placed in this world for a reason. We were created to do something magnificent in this crazy world and for me; I am no longer going to fear the term “I don’t know”. With the help of people, I have been able to explore feelings I never knew I had, talents I never knew God gave me and feel a release I never knew I could feel. God’s got this. He has you in the palm of his hand so as you finish out this week, say screw it. If you are craving that piece of bread sitting on the table, eat it. Don’t let that fear of food keep you from spontaneously doing something not in your known plan that day like I almost did this weekend. Yes, I almost gave up a lake trip because I wasn’t fond of what I ate the night before and thought it would show. Nope don’t do that because I ended up having the best time. Have the best time figuring out things about yourself you didn’t know before. God will not throw anything at you that you can’t handle so you got this. We don’t know everything and won’t so let’s be a free spirit this week and say I DON’T KNOW then walk away with a smile 🙂

Call Me A Foodie

” I just don’t want to look back and think, I could have eaten that…”

Welcome! I am sure that the term “foodie” has popped up on your Instagram, Pinterest and news feed for every social media sight. Eating food always has been, is, and always will be the center of everything, whether that be a social event, business meeting or holiday tradition.  Recently, I said that we eat to live not live to eat and I stand by that; however, I have found that by exploring new places, trying new cuisines, being introduced to new people and their ideas is life changing. This summer, I have created a Nashville foodie bucket list that I have provided for you below. These are places where the atmosphere is fun, different, new, and local! That is how I see my life moving forward. A fresh new sheet of fun, different and new. Let me tell you how I have chosen to embrace my favorite city and how I can still be on my healthy track in a fun way! Let’s be a local foodie today, shall we?

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You know how much I love lists, planning and categorizing everything…As you can see I have a super long list of places that have been provided for me and that I add on to on my phone every day when I see a picture of a new area or hear about different places through friends or even strangers! Putting a new check mark on my list is the best feeling. My most recent places that I have checked marked below include everything from sweets, salads, vegetables that taste like heaven and coffee of course! When trying a new place, I always stick with a healthy option that I know I will like but then try something completely new as a small appetizer or taste tester! This way I get the best of both.


At the top of my list was Five Daughters Bakery! They are a high quality donut shop and their standard that you can read at their website linked above reads:

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“We believe in love. We believe in family. And we believe in quality food. We believe in stewarding the earth and our bodies, as well as enjoying the simple pleasures of life with the ones you love. We are committed to filling your belly with premium treats made with organic and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible.

No chemical preservatives. No GMO. No hydrogenated oils. No soy. No artificial colors or flavors. Our treats are made daily from scratch, sourcing locally and fresh, from our family to yours.” 

Let me just tell you, I LOVED it! I don’t eat donuts and refused to eat one for an entire year but have found that I quite enjoy them. I mean who wouldn’t?! I decided to still stay on my healthy track and order something I could not get at any regular donut shop because that is what exploring unique places is about! I chose to eat one of their vanilla vegan donuts! Yes it was vegan, meaning it was made with ingredients that did not come from animals or any animal byproducts, and it tasted amazing. I crave them now every day. In Nashville, you can find them located on 12 South and in the Franklin Factory. I have been to both and love each location.


Continuing on my 12 South streak was the miracle invention of the cupcake ATM…SPRINKLES!

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The first time I tried this amazing cupcake shop was in California and they are so popular that they opened up their very own ATM so everyone with a sweet tooth can treat themselves to a luxurious cupcake any time! That is exactly what I did. One late night around 10:00pm I drove and met a friend there after work and we sat outside and ate cupcakes. Eating cupcakes on the side of the road with a friend is the best way to spend any evening if I do say so myself. I got their classic red velvet and was very pleased!


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Next, I got to explore in Midtown! I went to the Urban Cookhouse and got this amazing salad. I always add protein to my salads and since this place was new, I asked what they recommended and they said their homemade chicken salad was to die for. They convinced me and I got their homemade croissant biscuits as well. I would definitely order this again and I loved being able to sit outside with a very filling salad! I personally do not like mayonnaise, so I am picky about my chicken salads. This one was checked on my list as a chicken salad go-to spot!


Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI always order a salad wherever I go because I love it and seeing how restaurants make a common salad into something unique is so cool! Next on my list was a new area in Germantown called Butchertown Hall. Details about this upcoming restaurant are below and can be found with their menu on the link above!

“As Germantown’s “neighborhood joint”, we offer our guests warm hospitality in a gorgeous setting. We cook food with soul, utilizing primitive wood-fired cooking techniques for sandwiches, brisket and handmade sausage by the pound, Tex-Mex favorites, and much more.

We also feature an expansive beer garden, complete with a list of superior brews made especially for us by the city’s finest breweries”

I ordered their famous brussels sprouts and they were magical. Yes, if you are not a fan of brussels sprouts, you are now. I complimented my specialty item with a baby kale salad that had ancho spiced smoked walnuts and peanuts. That was new for me and gave the salad something extra.

Not only was the food good, but the design and atmosphere of the place was cosmic and earthy. There tall ceilings were covered with beautiful plants and a wall of green. They had stacks of wood underneath tables that made the smoky aroma from the kitchen fill the room. The design reminded me of the vegan restaurant, Avo! I have only been there one time and can’t wait to go again this summer. I will wait to tell you all about that adventure because once I start talking about avocados I can’t stop. While we are on the topic of amazing restaurant atmospheres…


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My most recent discovery has been my top favorite that I have visited from my list and it is called Merchants down on Broadway! Tucked away between all the touristy bars downtown sits the most beautiful, 3 story restaurant that reminded me of the old movie Tower of Terror! The white and black checkered floors, marble counters, old-fashioned bars, and glass chandeliers made you feel like you stepped back in time. I was lucky enough to have a waiter who I nearly talked to the entire time! While rocking the attire of suspenders and a bow tie, he explained how this historic restaurant was established in 1892 after being a hotel! Old remnants from the front lobby still stood and eating there was a cherry on top! He gave us a tour after dinner and shared ghost stories. Nothing like sitting with coffees, all dressed up, watching the tourists walk by. I love being local!

Speaking of what I love, I chose to order their salmon summer salad with fresh fruit. Some of the best Processed with VSCO with c1 preset salmon ever and it was huge!! They are famous for their deviled eggs and pickles, odd combo I know; nevertheless, it was the perfect amount of tart from the pickle and sweet from the egg. My favorite part though was discussing how much we enjoyed dinner over coffee. Coffee is the best hot drink after a large meal because it brings some sweetness when you are too full for dessert and aids digestion. I often make decaf coffees after my dinners.

I can’t wait to try more and more on my list. Last night, I had the pleasure of taking a group of people I didn’t know around Nashville and being a tour guide was so much fun. We went to Taco Mamacita then travelled along 12 South, where we decided to get our post dinner coffees at Frothy Monkey. Today, I am trying Just Love Coffee and can’t wait!

Now it is your turn. How are you reaching out to people? I decided to use my love for the city, local shops, food and conversation with new people to spread the word of change. I learn so much every day and smile every day when something new falls into my lap. Your smile is so uniquely beautiful to you so have a reason to smile every day! I challenge you to make a list of your own and go on an adventure. Grab a friend and run into a random shop to try their specialty! Do not regret anything because you can be healthy and happy anywhere there is food present. Like I said before, food will always be a concern and at every event so let’s embrace our culture, try new things and embrace every treat or person we encounter. Time to be the best foodies this city has ever seen!

Goodbye Amenorrhea

Baker Richardson Photography
Baker Richardson Photography

Good morning! Today I woke up with rain pouring outside my window and decided to make my cozy cup of coffee, dark roast with almond milk creamer of course, and write. Something about gloomy weather, an acoustic playlist on Spotify and nothing except a blanket that makes you want to sit and reflect. I would like to share my reflection time with you today as I have been getting a few questions on where I am health wise. Remember that medical term Amenorrhea I told you about a little while ago? Well I kicked it in the butt and today I can sit down and tell you that I now have the estrogen levels I need, protein in my system and do my knees hurt? NO! People asked what medical help I received or who I went to go see for guidance and I love to be able to say that I did this with only the help of you, our father in heaven and my determination to be the best version of myself. Remember this picture below to your left? In this picture, I remember pointing out every curve that needed to be gone. I was alone and destructive then because I did not talk to the Lord every day and chose to talk myself into dangerous habits. If you learn anything from my journey, let me tell you that life is so short and if we do not start embracing every second, every person, every calorie, then it will all be a waste. I am determined to share light in this world and you are a huge part of that journey! Time to shine so bright and not let any negativity fog our way. From then (picture on left) to now (picture on right), my outward appearance was just a small change compared to the change that happened within me.

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Secondary Amenorrhea usually lasts however long you allow it to last. In special conditions, doctors will recommend certain hormones or medications; however, they told me I had to make a lifestyle change, not a medicine change. That is when this blog, my progress and mindset became my focus and I feel like an entirely different person than I did just a little less than a year ago. For me, I officially had secondary amenorrhea for a little less than two years. The news and health library from Core Physicians states that untreated amenorrhea can result in decreased bone mineral density, infertility or other health issues. Don’t let it get this far because I promise it’s not worth it. Yes, it is hard but I promise it is worth it when you can feel good, enjoy eating ice cream with friends and don’t have to worry about long lasting, negative side affects. I wanted to find some fresh new research to share with you on what others are saying that will help overcome any eating disorder difficulties. This website is very informative and provides this short list below on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • “ Make changes in your diet or activities to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Think about the areas of emotional stress and conflict in your life. If you feel that you cannot resolve these conflicts on your own, ask for help from family, friends, or health professionals.
  • Be moderate in all your activities. Try to balance your work, recreation, and rest.
  • Maintain a positive outlook. This problem can often be corrected”

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How did I do this? I chose to avoid all medications and medical help; however, after having meetings with people who have struggled as well, I received great incite on amazing doctors who do a great job at counseling, rather than just handing you a prescription slip. If you need any recommendations, please let me know and I will be more than happy to provide those for you! I haven’t been to the gym in around a month and have just been doing Pure Barre in Nashville at least 3-4 times a week. I eat meat every day, I drink coffee like it is nobody’s business, and I have dessert every day not because I have to but because I want to and have discovered how yummy it is!! I realize how my body needs the protein I consume daily and don’t know how I lived on rice cakes and almond butter for a year. My meats include grilled chicken, salmon, occasionally a hamburger patty by itself or turkey! When I see my body weight lowering I always switch from almond butter to peanut butter and I highly recommend this switch! And of course I indulge on dark chocolate nearly every night. These Brookside clusters have been my go to! I still often find clustersmyself regretting every sweet, every chip or every large meal I eat, like many of us secretly think as well, but we aren’t perfect and as long as we are moving in the right direction, that is all that matters! We can be healthy and happy by having organic peanut butters and rich cocoa bars from Trader Joe’s. I love healthy eating but won’t let that consume me and you shouldn’t either!

Leaving the gym has been a breath of fresh air. Meeting new people, eating at new places and detoxing my body from all medication has given me so much clarity on how I see my life. I have accepted that my mind has just been distorted to believe that I need to look better every day. There are people who I haven’t seen or talked to me since I chose to make a lifestyle change to eat more, workout less and live more care-free. For me, it was the best decision I ever made and hopefully I can continue to share how we can take on anything life offers. Today after eating my jumbo bowl of cereal with ½ of banana and almond milk, I already found myself planning what I need to eat the rest of the day. First, that causes too much stress. If I get hungry later, great! If not, I can’t let food dominate my daily routine. We eat to live not live to eat. Now moving forward, what are you going to add to your summer bucket list? Make a change in someone else and yourself today! Live today beautifully to the best you can. You are so amazing and I promise to cheer you on no matter where you go. Let’s continue this journey and be the best person our creator shaped us to be. I can’t wait to keep exploring my favorite foodie places in Nashville, tucking at barre and meeting new people. It’s your turn gorgeous!

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit | Romans 15:13

 


“Missed Menstrual Periods (Amenorrhea).” Core Physicians. N.p., 2010. Web. 6 July 2016. <http://www.corephysicians.org/news-and-health-library/health-library/women-health/wome5253/>.

Invest In People

“The people who are meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, no matter how far they wander.”

I want you to close your eyes and picture the people in your life who have been an impact. That might be a parent, sibling, friend, or a stranger who made you smile today when no one else would. I believe that everyone crosses paths for a reason. That path might last one second in the grocery store or be a life long friendship that never ends. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to invest in the people around me. Never take any conversation for granted because every person on this earth has such a unique story. I get so excited when I find stories that are similar to mine or so different that they inspire me to add to my bucket list called life. I want to encourage you to hold ties to the people who have helped you grow. Don’t just let them feed into you, but feed into them because with one simple piece of advice or hello, you can make a change.

My favorite relationships are the ones that never change no matter how long you haven’t talked or seen one another. The best are when I come back from college and see friends who I feel like I just saw yesterday. Those relationships are rare so if you have someone in your life who can take you back in time with just a hug, hold them tight. For example, today I decided to go to my barre class at an odd time that I usually don’t go to. Walking in I saw my old dance teacher who has watched me grow since I started dancing at age nine. I haven’t seen her in almost an entire year and with one hug, a few tears and a long conversation later, I felt like I did when I was sitting in her office talking about school, big tests, boys, health and every bit of drama life offered. She is an inspiring woman who has seen me at my best and my worst. She shows love and passion for the people she invests in everywhere she goes. I have decided that she is someone I want to strive to be like. This morning I told her that she is someone I never want out of my life and want to keep in contact with, whether that is dinner once a month or a few phone calls here and there. That small time taken out of your busy schedule can make the biggest difference.

If you have someone like this in your life, tell them right now how much they mean to you. You never know what conversation will be your last with someone. If you do not have someone in your life who inspires you then be the one that inspires someone and you will see the amazing relationships that will appear. By opening up with my struggling mindset on body image and relationships, I have been able to relate to people I once talked to years ago. I have learned that every conversation is a gift. I never realized how negatively treating my mind and body was hurting the people around me who loved seeing me at my healthy best. You are loved by someone and people care, I promise. I used to not believe people when they said I was eating bad or looked unhealthy. Now I realize that those people who invested in me are still around and cheering me on. I want to be that friend cheering my loved ones forward. I started this today by driving to Bowling Green to have a shortly lived conversation, but the best conversation, with one of my best friends who leaves for Haiti tomorrow. By taking that time to sit and listen to her and for her to listen to me made the best difference in my week. I made a new memory with her and got to pour some love into her before she travels!

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Call that one person who you haven’t seen in years but think about often, drive to have a conversation with someone you care about in person and not just over the phone, and never stop investing in people because you can and will touch someone wherever you go.

| “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” | Galatians 5:13

It’s Okay To Dance Alone

I love filling my calendar with events, social outings and plans on plans. Seeing my calendar filled with people to see and things to do makes my life feel complete. The thought of doing anything alone is scary. Nobody wants to be that person who shows up to an event without a date or without girlfriends. Years ago I showed up to a dinner and watched a group of girls all walk in together. Why wasn’t I invited? In that moment I self critiqued everything I said that day. I left that restaurant that night by myself with anger and sadness growing within me. No one saw how upset I was because in order to show that I wasn’t alone, I reached out to whoever I could and put all my worth in other people to prove a point. I filled my calendar with events just to prove a point. Years later I write to tell you that the best point to prove is that dancing alone through life is a gift, a gift handed to you to show that you are amazing inside and out without people, pictures or a filled calendar to tell you that.

 

“Sometimes you need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy your free time being you and yourself.”

 

Some of my best memories have been going to dances with just a group of girlfriends and dancing by myself to the cheesiest throwbacks. The best moments in life happen when you’ve had an awesome day and throw down your windows, let your hair down and scream out whatever is on your mind. The best talks are the ones you have with yourself on long walks at the end of the day. It’s okay to have a break from the world. You deserve that. You deserve to love your beautiful self and to recognize how important you are to this world. Having the most friends, the busiest calendar or best pictures doesn’t define you. Don’t listen to those who tell you that you need to take a date to this event or find someone to complete you. You are already complete. You not only feed your body, but you also fill your heart and mind every day with new thoughts. Self reflect by going to a restaurant by yourself, walk into church and sit by yourself in the front row, take long walks alone, be that person dancing in the corner. If you hit someone in the face while dancing, great! If you eat seconds at that restaurant and order dessert, go for it! At the end of the day, you are who you believe you are and I believe that is wonderful. Time to embrace every bit of you today.

| You are not alone. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. | John 14:27

 

P.S. If you are ever home alone and haven’t started or ended your day with a dance party, I highly recommend it.

 

The “Superfood” Label

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Hi beautiful! When you think of a hot summer day, what kind of foods do you crave? For me, I crave fruits and lots of it. Cold smoothies by the pool, crispy apples, bowls of melons and so much more is what my taste buds crave.

I am sure that you have heard of the term “superfoods’. Yes, someone in the world has decided to name a selective amount of specific foods with the title “super”.

When health engulfed my life, if the food was labeled as a super food I would eat it regardless of what it was. My number one go to was Acai. Around 3 years ago, I was introduced to the magical, most wonderful bowl of goodness…the Acai bowl. When looking at my posts from Instagram, I am sure you can tell that my love for Acai bowls are endless. This superfood was introduced to me in California and before you know it Nashville has opened so many juice bars that sell this amazing food!

Today I want to share with you what is defined as a superfood, why Acai has become a growing sensation and where you can find these bowls in our wonderful home we call Nashville. Let’s get started!

What Are Superfoods?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, superfoods are defined as a specific food that is rich in antioxidants, fiber and fatty acids.

They are considered very beneficial to a person’s health by increasing energy, vigilance, regulating cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps fight off certain illnesses. A list of the most common and some of my favorite superfoods are below and you can find in Kroger or at any local market.

  • Blueberries
  • Kale
  • Salmon
  • Acai
  • Goji Berries
  • Chia seeds

 

Acai Bowls

I love learning more and more information on the things I love and I try to gain my knowledge not just through blogs and websites, but from magazines and books. The Real Simple magazine is one my mother always has around the house and recently I found an article on superfoods and it is even on their website. You can read about more details regarding the superfoods I listed above, but today I am going to expand on my love for Acai bowls.

Acai is a berry that originated in South America. This berry is known for it’s antioxidants and due to its nutritional value and amazing taste, so many bloggers and foodie cities are showing their love for this new must have. The Huffington Post shared an article on everything needed to make what they call the “world’s best healthy breakfast”.

For me, I chose to have some fun and not make my own, but explore Nashville for the best acai bowls I could find! Below are my top favorites that you must try! Sometimes it’s healthy to step outside the kitchen and explore.

THE JUICE BAR 

Juice bars are popping up all over town. I can make my own juice at home, so when I go to a new spot, I always get an acai bowl! In their bowls they include: acai puree, banana, organic almond milk and their toppings are huge chunks of sweet granola, the perfect amount of almond butter, fruit including strawberries, blueberries and bananas, then perfectly topped with chia seeds, coconut, cacao and goji berries. And we can’t forget about the honey…my favorite part.

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JAMBA JUICE 

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This was my first bowl I tried in Nashville and they are called energy bowls. They also offer Pitaya bowls that are not only known for their vibrant colors and beauty, but taste just as amazing as my favorite original go-to.

I have also tried the Franklin Juice Company and can’t wait to continue to try places. Next on my list is Juice Nashville and the Daily Juice Cafe! I plan on checking those off my list, eating the most nutritious, yummy foods and living my summer to the fullest!

What foods are you wanting to try that will make you feel your best? You are healthy and beautiful so I challenge you to taste this bowl of goodness or find a unique food in a unique city. Time to try, create and share.

Need More Resources? 

Check out this amazing article, Ultimate Superfoods List: 30 Foods That Will Make Your Life Super Healthy, posted on Be Healthy Today

.Writer of the article, Kate, also advocates superfoods as well reached out and wants to help share our mission!

Her post includes everything from recipes, nutritional facts and more!

xo

Hannah

 

| “Superfood.” Merriam-Webster. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2016. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superfood>. |

Never Growing Up

Growing up has the good, bad and ugly. Let’s be real…life is expensive, stressful and hard to figure out on your own. Changing lifestyles to provide for you or for a loved one is scary. One decision can shape the rest of your life and I don’t know about you, but I am a very indecisive person because what if I make the wrong choice? Every day is a choice. How we spend it, who we spend it with and what we take away from it. Today, I made the choice to never grow up. Yes, I made the choice to do the things I loved and enjoyed before the hard choices came. Those choices can only make life better. Decisions will always be there, so today I hope you make the decision to join me as we hold on to our youthful hearts no matter how old we get.

Our parents, grandparents and even strangers who are older will always say, never grow up. Who says we have to?? Okay, in some areas growing up is essential. Our hearts and minds transform every day because we learn something new every day. I have always been told I am an old soul. I am always one step ahead of where I should be. In elementary school, all I wanted was a big girl locker in the larger building across the street. In middle school, all I wanted was to be driving myself to the high school football game and going anywhere I wanted. Now I’m in college, where I wish I could go to get drinks with my friends and go on road trips without class. Tomorrow, I am sure I will be wishing to have my grown up job where I can make my own money, buy my own place and move out of my parent’s house. How exhausting is all this wishing and planning? Between all the planning of who I plan on becoming, I forget about the things that we only experience being young.

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There is no better feeling than watching old Disney Channel Original movies with childhood friends or watching your parents listen to their favorite rock song. One of my favorite memories was watching my grandma play the piano because she grew up doing that and no matter what stage of life she was in, when she played that piano, her smile was the exact same as a five year old girl. I don’t want to grow up. I want to be that 80-year-old going on dates with my best friend eating the messiest ice cream cone. I want to be laughing over the most embarrassing stories with my sorority sisters over the phone after we move on from college. Do you surround yourself with people that make life better? Like I said, choices never end. Choices I have started to make are who I spend my time with. Reaching out to my childhood friends after a long day of work feeling like an adult changes my day around.

Today, I picked my friend up, went to the park and crashed a playground where we ran to the swings. How long has it been since you have dropped all your plans and gone to a playground? You should try it out. We can’t lose sight of the joys in life. Our jobs will always be there, we will make wrong decisions and it’s going to suck, but when doors close, new ones open. Don’t keep old doors shut that are filled with activities and people that make your heart happy. Keep room in your life for that five-year-old kid inside who loves Disney Channel movies, swing sets and jumbo ice cream cones. I want to leave you with wise words from a person who has lived a full life. This article consists of advice from older people and I have never read anything better:

“Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto.”

Don’t Delete the Picture

Raise your hand if you have ever taken a picture, looked at it, then proceeded to beg your friend to delete it? I have seen people do it and I have done it a million times. In that one moment we think that one picture will determine how we are looked the rest of our life or until we post the next ideal picture. Now that we have put this perfect picture we want in our mind, I want you to think of how many times we have asked people to try a different angle, or find “your side”. The ways we try to make this perfect picture is insanity and it didn’t take me until this summer to realize how big of an issue this is. Why can’t we see how flawless we look as our creator sees us? Join me today as I try to convince you to keep every picture you take because one day you will look back and want that memory.

I am not going to tell you to stop taking pictures. I LOVE photographing and capturing moments. It’s a happy art that our society has recently been engulfed in. We all have Instagram accounts and Facebook where we share pictures we love that describe our life. I just hate to see people openly criticize themselves in front of others because they didn’t like how they looked. I feel like a hypocrite saying that because I am one of those people, but that is what this journey is about. We all relate, we all live in this same world and we all have mindsets we want to change. Let’s put this in perspective…What if your camera died as you sat on top of the Grand Canyon and you deleted the one picture you took because you didn’t like the way you looked? You erased the image of God’s creation behind you for just one flaw you saw in yourself.

 

| You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you | Song of Solomon 4:7

 

This verse above was recently sent to me from someone who has only known me for a few days. This person told me to not be afraid to be myself and after just a few days I have recognized how important it is when meeting new people to love ourselves whole heartedly. We not only need to embrace ourselves as a whole but the whole moment as well.

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I was with my family on vacation and we were having the best time. We were joking around in fun costumes we found in a gift shop and as soon as my sister snapped a picture of me that I thought brought out every bad curve, shape and side of me, I forced her to delete it and the rest of the night I self criticized what I ate that day and what I should eat the next day to fix this issue. I wish I had that picture. This picture to your left was one I took moments before I broke down in embarrassment on how awful I thought I looked. We have all been there and most people think this isn’t a big deal but when this cycle continues, the bigger deal it becomes. This picture below was another one just taken weeks after the first incident and I remember sitting, staring and contemplating whether or not I should delete this picture. Do I remember in this moment what was going on around me? Of course not. I let that memory go. I want to start holding on to as many memories as I can and not deleting anything because every moment counts in this world. We need to view ourselves as our creator sees us.

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I challenge you to walk outside, turn your camera into selfie mode, take a picture, and don’t delete it. Yes, that is correct, I am advising you to take a selfie…I decided to do this the night I broke down about my image after we tried on costumes. I decided to do what I do best and walk off my frustrations and luckily I just happened to be on the beach, where God’s painting of the sunset is perfect every night.

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In my bathroom for years has been a frame that lists all of these verses labeled, “How God Sees Me…”. I have been blind for years from what has been in this frame so today let me share with you just a few verses on what the true image of ourselves should be. I will never get rid of this framed picture and I hope that you keep every goofy and embarrassing picture that comes your way.

 

1 Corinthians 6:20 | You have been purchased for a price

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 | You are a new creation

 

2 Corinthians 3:18 | You are being transformed into his likeness

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13 | You are chosen and hand picked by Him

 

Colossians 3:12 | You are dearly loved

 

Deuteronomy 26:18 | You are His treasured possession

 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 | You are beautiful

 

 

Be Your Own Beautiful

|  “Healthy is an outfit that looks different on everyone’s body” |

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Health is not always defined as what food you put into your body. Although one of my primary focuses is food nutrition, I have learned that health involves every aspect of life. From mindset, lifestyle, skin, nails, and much more, being healthy is an entire package.

Today, I want to shift my focus to skin care. Lets admit it, we have all woken up with break outs all over our face. We try to cover it up with make up, it grows, we get stressed, and the cycle repeats itself. For me, I have never battled with high intensity acne; however, I know of people who have and how frustrating it can me. As you know, one of my favorite mindsets to have is you never know who you are going to meet. While at barre one day, this gorgeous woman, who has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen, came up to me and asked if I was aware of what Beautycounter was? I have always been the type to just go get my makeup or face wash at a drug store or use whatever my mom orders that month, but I soon realized that what I was putting on my face every night contained dangerous chemicals that can highly affect health internally, not only externally. I got the pleasure of talking to one of the best Beautycounter specialist, Sarah Bridgeman, who met up with me over coffee and we discussed the amazing skin care line, Beautycounter! These products are not sold in stores but only through the word of mouth which is my favorite way to share new ideas anyway! They have everything from makeup, soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, and so much more. She was so sweet to give me free samples to try before telling you all about it and it turns out I loved it! My face never felt so soft and it instantly helped any break out that came my way. I actually just ordered the face cleanser this morning and can’t wait for it to get here!

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Here are some questions I asked Sarah and wanted to share with you all who are wondering more about these all natural products:

H: Why do you love Beautycounter?

S: I love Beautycounter because they are changing the way people look at skincare. They are dedicated to education first and raising awareness. Their mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. –not to get Beautycounter into the hands of everyone. Beautycounter is disrupting the beauty industry, and they want consumers to know they have a choice and that your health should never be compromised in the name of beauty. You can have safe high performing products that are safe! It’s so frustrating when companies try to take advantage of us! Please read your labels and know what’s inside of the things you put on your body each and every day.We can’t control everything, but we can control what we are using on our bodies daily and what foods we are consuming. When you know better, you do better!

H: How were you introduced to the all natural product?

S: I was first introduced to Beautycounter my my friend Meredith! I had to know what the buzz was all about– I was already eating clean an using other safe products, but when it came to skincare and makeup, I hadn’t even thought about the harmful ingredients lurking in the products I was putting on my body every single day! Let me be very clear, there are chemicals in Beautycounter, however they are safe chemicals. Not all chemicals are bad and not all natural ingredients are safe For example..”Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean safe (poison ivy, lead, and formaldehyde are natural).”Chemical” doesn’t always mean harmful (hello water). When it comes to ingredients- their safety, effectiveness, purpose, and how they are sourced should be more important than anything.

H: What is your favorite product?

S: My most favorite product has to be the Rosemary citrus body oil! It smells amazing and is made with botanical oils and is so moisturizing and leaves my skin so smooth!

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H: What makes this all natural product different from other well-known organic face cleansers?

S: Beautycounter as a whole is unlike any company I’ve ever known. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship is something they care about! From the ingredients they source, to the packaging they use.The products themselves are like no other, and work better than high end stuff I was using before.

H: What are some interesting facts about the products that people are unaware of?

S: One thing people are unaware of is that Beautycounter bans over 1500 ingredients from our products. This is something we call our “never list” products that we will never use, no matter what. Did you know that the US only bans 11?! The products on our never list are things that have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, endocrine disruption, and the list goes on…Beautycounter is transparent about the ingredients that are used, they evaluate every ingredient that goes into the products, asking–is it safe? Do we need it? Does it work?

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How amazing is that? Learning they ban over 1500 ingredients makes me speechless. I hope you want to learn more and try these products out because they make my face feel light and healthy and we should feel confident in our own skin because you are gorgeous! Be your own beautiful! Try something new whether that is a cleanser, lotion, oil, or even their amazing charcoal bar! I have tried this product and LOVE the instant gratification it gives me when I need to get rid of a blemish! I could talk all day long so I will leave you today with a link to go explore and a little bio on Beautycounter’s charcoal bar! Have an amazing week and treat your body the way it deserves to be treated.

 

 


http://www.beautycounter.com/sarahbridgeman/

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?