Hello, all. So since the New Year, I have created a new blog and a brand, Love Nourish Preach. I am really excited about it. I’ve changed up my lifestyle since then as far as workouts and my diet goes. I hope you continue to follow me on my journey. I still post motivation, inspiration, thoughts, and recipes…. so if you liked this site, you should enjoy Love Nourish Preach as well. :)
Where the hell have I been? I’m really not used to being this busy! It seems like ever since I moved away from State College and Rehoboth Beach, I lost a little bit of my writing skills. I suppose maybe it’s also a little bit of writer’s block as well. Either way, I miss it. There’s so many times throughout the day that I want to jot something down or I think to myself, “I need to write about this.”
Lately I have been thinking a ton about a certain subject; the future.
1.the time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come. (When you Google it)The time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come.Now, I don’t mean to get to philosophical here, because honestly the future has the potential to open up a giant can of worms and other discussions. We could talk about the importance of building your future, making something happen, planning, or something even as deep as destiny. Since we were in first grade or even younger, we were always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?.”In all honesty, it’s really annoying how majority of our futures are defined by money or what we do for a living. Are you going for further schooling? Will you get that promotion? Blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong, being able to support yourself in this world that we live in today is extremely important as well as a MAJOR accomplishment. I don’t think what you do to support yourself is as important as we all make it out to be. Whether you’re a top CEO of a company, an artist, or working three different jobs just to pay rent, you’re doing it. You’re making a living. This is the first time in my life that I’m paying all of my bills without any outside help, and it feels awesome.What do you think about when you think about your future? To be honest, when I think about my future, I get stressed out. I stress because I may be losing a job that I love in November. I make more money than ever before and for once I’m not living paycheck to paycheck. Money aside, I don’t wake up hating the fact that I have to go to work. I love what I do, and every day is a new experience. I don’t sit in a cubical behind a computer screen or wear a headset. What do I do? I teach, I play, I show affection. I’m a certified nanny for the sweetest 1 year old girl around. I could not be happier with my current situation. Sometimes I hesitate telling people what I do because it seems like I’m not taken seriously. Believe me, it’s not as easy as you would think. Spending 10 hours a day helping to raise a 1 year old is not a piece of cake. It’s a full time job. It’s tiring, but ridiculously important. I’m dealing with a little human being in my hands. The only downfall? They grow up and don’t need you anymore. Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d be doing this after graduating college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Studies. My advice, don’t expect too much of your future. You might end up doing something that you’re not in love with. If you let things just happen, you might stumble across something even better without planning it at all. If you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life.Back to my future. Since I might be losing my job in a few months, you would think that I’d be freaking out trying to think about what I’m going to do next. Believe me, I went through that phase already. Success is a word that is probably associated with a lot of our futures. You want to be successful with whatever you end up doing. Of course I have a few ideas of what I might do next, but I’m not going to fret about it. That leads to stress. Stress leads to anxiety. Stress and anxiety force you to focus on other things rather than what’s going on with you right now.Right now, I’m happy. To me, happiness is success. When I was in college, I worried so much about graduating and what I was going to do after that, that I ended up missing out on what was going on then. If I could go back in time, I definitely would have spent less time being depressed and focused on how many great things were going on around me.I’m sure there might be some people reading this that disagree with me. Let me clarify something: I’m not saying that looking towards the future is a negative thing. I believe in setting goals for yourself and having dreams…gigantic dreams. If you already reached or surpassed your goals and are planning your next move, then congratulations. Really though, I am happy for you, We just shouldn’t make the future our present. People say to not let your past define you… so why should we allow our futures to do that too?
This last weekend was probably one of the best weekends that I’ve had in a while. I was invited to celebrate the wedding of one of my favorite couples in the world, Greg and Jess. Every now and then I think about what my Bridezilla of a wedding would end up being like, but this one topped every thought and Pinterest idea that I’ve had. I usually don’t describe things as “perfect”, but Saturday was as close to perfect as possible.
It’s amazing to see two people devote themselves to one another. So much love and warmth all around. I’m pretty sure that I had a permanent smile glued to my face Friday through Sunday. Putting the wedding aside, I got to spend the weekend with a group of friends that I don’t get to see that often anymore.I love reminiscing on old times, all while building new laughs and memories. I really do have some of the greatest friends, and after recalling it, some of the best college years I could have asked for.
Saturday morning we woke up after a night of catching up, and all got prepared for the day’s festivities ahead. Dresses, heels, the hair, makeup, suits, and ties all around. Of course there was only one dress that we really cared about…the white one! ;) The ceremony was in a cute little courtyard adorned with glasses of champagne for guests, flowers, and all white chairs lined up. The day was gorgeous; sunny with very few clouds in the sky. Music started to play, and the bridesmaids guided by the groomsmen took the stage. Finally we saw the main couple. Speechless.
The ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour and reception… with open bar I might add. We partied the night away, and knowing the group of friends that were there, we definitely made every second count.
Everything took my breathe away. The only thing that kept running through my head was , “This is beautiful.” Everything was just, beautiful. I posted a few pictures of myself and friends while the day was going on, and people started commenting about my dress. It was “beautiful”, “stunning”, “gorgeous”. I was feeling extremely flattered.
Earlier that day, before we left the hotel room, I caught myself doubting my outfit choice ans saying how much I hated my dress. I did, however, start to feel better once I heard other people telling me that I looked great and that my dress looked amazing on me. Why didn’t I automatically trust my own judgement when I bought the dress for the occasion? Why did I need that validation from others that I looked beautiful? I always preach about how important it is to love yourself and to be who you are without worrying about what others think. I’m 24 years old… you would think that I would at least follow my own advice by now, right?
Some days I could walk out the door feeling “beautiful” and like a million bucks. Other days I don’t even want to make eye contact with anyone. For some reason I’m stuck on the stereotypical definition of beauty. Too many attribute beauty to just physical things, the outside. It’s cliche, I know, but it’s the damn truth. We’re surrounded by it every day. I guess I don’t believe in my own beauty because I’m too focused on my outside. There’s always something to be improved whether it be a battle with my body image, hatred of my crazy curly hair, or how I can’t stand the current fashions in my closet. That’s all on the outside, and I know no matter what changes I make to it, I will never be satisfied. I will never feel beautiful every second of the day until I focus on just me. Rachel.
Beauty is everywhere.
Beauty is the sunrise and sunset of every day.
Beauty is the changing of Summer in to Autumn.
Beauty is that stupid little laugh that you that you hate.
Beauty is that crinkle next to your eyes when you smile.
Beauty is that space between your teeth that you wish you didn’t have.
Beauty is that person who isn’t afraid to stand out and be stared at because he or she looks different.
Beauty is the motivation that someone has to reach their goals no matter how big or small.
Beauty is paying for the person in front of you who was a little short of change.
Beauty is the love of two people on their wedding day.
Beauty is a good taste in music that you can get lost in.
Beauty is being selfless.
Beauty is inspiration.
Beauty is the person who accepts and flaunts their natural curves.
Beauty is the person at the gym dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Beauty is the person in the hospital battling an illness or disease, mental or physical, because he or she is strong.
Beauty is remembrance of those who could not battle any longer.
Beauty is confidence.
Beauty is being proud.
Beauty is a clear sky at night.
Beauty is being charismatic, and being able to make other people laugh.
Beauty is family.
Beauty is… everywhere. All you have to do is actually take notice to it.
To me, everything that we do takes practice, especially with training the way that we think about things. Accepting myself with how I look on the outside takes practice. Accepting who I am on the inside takes practice. Accepting others inside and out takes practice. This world is unfortunately full of judgement, and I am definitely guilty of that as well. Not judging takes practice. Keep practicing.
Originally posted on theBERRY:
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So take the month of July, add my favorite holiday, the beach, fireworks, and beer… what do you get? The best day of the year of course. I look forward to the 4th of July every single year. AMERICA!. Ever since I was little it’s been my favorite holiday… it doesn’t involve gifts and all of the stresses of Christmas and what not.That entire time basically just makes people go crazy and obsess over sales, the best presents, and materialistic things. Everyone forgets what it’s about.
Anyway, I love the summer time, longer days, and over course, summer nights. This year’s 4th of July definitely did not disappoint. I made my plans kind of at the last minute, hoping that they would not fail me.I had the opportunity to head down to Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches. Since I loved there for a few months, I definitely missed the surroundings, people, and social life. It’s funny how you can get sick of your same routine after a while, and then miss it when it’s not within your reach.
Of course I had to dress accordingly.
If anyone knows me, I go all out for basically everything… there’s no in between. My entire 4th of July weekend was spent laughing, enjoying the beach, rocking out to bands, watching fireworks on the bay, and having the time of my life. If you’ve never been to Dewey Beach, you are missing out my friend. Let’s just say that I’ve never been disappointed, and I never woke up without a hangover… that means you must have had fun,
Places to Check Out In Dewey Beach
- The Bottle and Cork : THIS place. All I’m going to tell you is to hit up the 5 o’clock Jam every Saturday, starting at 5:00pm obviously. Music, beer, fun. My advice? Basically they have a rotation of three bands that go through a couple of different sets. DO NOT wear nice shoes, and also bring cash. They don’t accept cards….ugh, right? They do have an ATM, but they run out very quickly.
- The Rusty Rudder : This is definitely one of my favorite places in Dewey. They are right on the bay and have a huge deck with multiple bars and 2 stages. It’s probably the best place to check out a show on a Friday or Saturday night there. When you’re there, get a frozen Straw-berita. Also, whenever I’m at the Rudder, I think Jameson, don’t ask me why. Refreshing and a great atmosphere.
- The Lighthouse : While you’re at the Rudder, you might as well bar hop across the street to the Lighthouse. They Lighthouse is known for the best views for evening sunsets and their Orange Crushes. Also try one of their signature “Spring waters” too. PS. It’s not water.
- Northbeach : Speaking of the bay, Northbeach happens to be right on the bay, meaning you’re sitting and walking in sand. This place get’s crazy when the sun goes down. Another sweet venue to catch live music every weekend too. If you go to Northbeach and don’t order their famous “Dewey Devil”, don’t talk to me anymore. Life changing, and deadly. Oh, and Tuesdays are $1.00 beer and Dewey Devil night. You’re welcome.
- Woody’s : By far, Woody’s is my favorite bar in Dewey. They remain open all year round even during the off season, so it then becomes a fun little local bar. The bartenders and fantastic and will remember you by name. Fridays are beer pong tournament nights, and Mondays are “Locals Night”, with awesome drink specials. The food is seriously spectacular too. They are known for their crab cakes and burgers. Grab some food and then hit the bar for a “Hand Grenade”. Don’t ask what’s in it. Just drink it.
There are many other bars and restaurants that I didn’t mention, but the places that I did are the ones that I’ve had the most fun at and where I the best memories. Every weekend down in Dewey is absolutely crazy, so you can only imagine what it’s like during a holiday weekend. If you do happen to get down there any time soon, I better be coming with you. Just saying.
I feel like I need to constantly remind myself to enjoy the little things in life. It’s so hard to keep that in mind when we have such stresses like work, school, relationships, or all three. I find myself consuming my thoughts and time in trying to budget, plan, or thinking about future events. But what about right now… what are you doing this very second? Obviously you’re reading this but, what’s the weather like outside? Is the sun shining? Any beautiful clouds in the sky? Are you enjoying a cup of coffee on a break at work, scrolling through the internet? Are you wearing an outfit that just makes you feel good, a favorite shirt or pair of sunglasses perhaps? It’s all about simple things like that to appreciate. I know we hear that over and over again, but it really is true. I believe that one of the biggest steps to happiness is being able to live in the now, and appreciate the small things around you that we sometimes don’t take notice to every day. Easier said than done, I know that from experience. But just like any great skill in life, it takes practice.
i spent Sunday relaxing with Andy, my best friend and partner in crime. The weather was gorgeous and it was the perfect day to just lay by the pool, talking and catching up. Even if you live with someone, it’s easy to grow distant from that person. You might have small talk throughout a busy day, but I can’t stress how important it is to make time for that other person. I feel like my days fly by so quickly that I don’t get the time to slow down and take notice as to how great life is right now.
After spending an afternoon at the pool, sunburn included, it was time to get dinner at one of my FAVORITE West Chester restaurants, Kooma. They have an amazing, fresh sushi and sashimi selection as well as classic Japanese fare. We definitely didn’t hold back on treating ourselves. Of course we had to start the meal off with drinks and appetizers. I decided on a Key Lime Pie Martini which I’ve had before. It’s really, really good, but I think it has more of a pineapple flavor rather than Key Lime. It’s made with vanilla Absolut, fresh lime juice, and pineapple. Still super yummy, just needs a different name for sure.
For appetizers, we decided on traditional edamame, miso soup, and Gyoza, mini pork filled dumplings served with a peanut dipping sauce. They were fantastic! There was so much flavor and the inside was very moist. You can get them pan fried or steamed… I think steamed is the way to go with any type of dumpling. For the main course, Andy and I both got three Maki rolls each, and sides of steamed rice. I could seriously eat steamed rice with every meal… I have an addiction. Anyway, our roll selection included a classic tuna roll, spicy tuna roll, cucumber roll, California roll, Alaska roll (Salmon, cucumber, avocado), and a New York roll (tuna, salmon, and green onion). We didn’t try anything too exciting since Andy is still new to exploring rolls and different flavors. Every sushi roll at Kooma is pretty much to die for! I would suggest the eel cucumber roll, or the yellowtail and onion. Prices are extremely reasonable too. Needless to say we struggled a little at the end to finish all of our food, but I can never leave quality sushi behind on my plate! Next time you’re in WC, give me a call and let’s go to Kooma! If you’ve never tried sushi before, this is a great place for your first time!
Something else that I’m really excited about is starting a new lifestyle change with Shakeology. Not going to lie, I definitely fell off of my healthy eating and fitness routine ever since Andy and I were wrapping things up in Rehoboth Beach. It’s hard to stick to your regular routines when you’re in the moving process and starting another phase of your life. With that being said, I’ve been trying to find something for me that can help me get back on track, and boost my results. Plus it’s swim suit season… ladies, you know what I’m getting at. Anyway, I’ve been doing my research for a few weeks on Shakeology and other protein powders. I was pretty skeptical at first, but there really isn’t anything else out there that has all of the nutritional benefits that Shakeology has. One serving (42g) is power packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and that just names a few. It comes in 4 different flavors (chocolate being my favorite so far), and you can make anything from shakes, ice creams, cookies, and other protein filled clean treats. I do have to say the price for a 2lb. bag is quite expensive… around $130. BUT, that breaks down to $4 a day if you replace a meal with one shake. The taste is amazing and the recipes that you can experience are countless. I caved and ordered my first bag of chocolate Shakeology after I tasted sample packets of that and the vanilla flavor. Believe me, you need to try it. Hopefully I can get back on a healthier path. My weekdays are usually super hectic. My day begins at 5:15am, and then I’m finally home again around 6pm. I’ve been mostly working out in the morning before work (an intense 30 minute cardio session) and replacing my breakfast with a GIANT shake. During the day when I have time, I incorporate small routines created by the Free to be Fit Summer Games coaches. (check it out and maybe you can join us! Click here for more. ).
Wish me luck on my journey! It’s hard to feel like I’m starting over after all of my hard work and muscle gain previously, but life is about stepping out of our comfort zones and pushing ourselves. It’s okay to start over again. I didn’t realize how in shape and healthy my body was because I was too focused on getting “better” and “thinner”. I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster with my body and health… time to get back to smooth sailing! My goals aren’t to lose a huge amount of weight or anything like that. That’s not really what health and fitness is about. It’s about feeling good, loving your body, being active, and fueling your body with everything that it needs… in my opinion that is.
Lastly, before I go, here’s a few steps to brighten your day and week….
So it has officially been about two months since I moved from Rehoboth Beach back to West Chester and I could not be happier. So many exciting things have been happening and it was exactly the change that I needed. Sometimes the same surroundings and routines can get boring… I needed some spice back in my life. Seeing friends that I missed oh so very much and moving in to a new apartment was just what the doctor ordered…not to mention starting a new job that I love! I can’t even describe how amazing it is to feel good about what I’m doing.I haven’t felt this way since I left my position at Koko FitClub in State College.
So many things have been changing around me, including myself. I guess I could say that at 24 years old, I am ready for anything that comes my way. I’ve always been a problem solver, but there’s a spark in me that I’ve never had before. Growing up is such an adventure, and it has been quite the ride so far.
During the last few months of living at the beach, my blog has had much success with reaching out to many audiences. I have gotten noticed by a few web sites and have been contacted by complete strangers thanking me for the messages that I get across through my writing. I feel like from here I can only go up. I really enjoy writing and feeling as if I can get away from everything, even just for a little while. I believe it’s a beautiful thing to be able to put your thoughts in to words that others can read.
My question for you is, where should I go from here? I want to hear from you about what you love to read in my posts, or what you would like to see more of. I have created a simple survey that you can take, OR you can just comment your thoughts and feelings below. Maybe you want it to stay the same. I would definitely describe this as a mixed bag. Whatever I’m feeling, I write about it. If you want more of something, please let me know. That’s why I’m asking. :)
I am ridiculously happy about the warm weather and having Summer right around the corner. Talk about refreshing! I love the start of new seasons. There’s nothing like walking outside and feeling the warmth of the hot sun hit your body. Don’t we all love those summer nights out? I know I do. I’m just happier with the warmer weather. Forget about the winter depression and cabin fever!
Lastly before I go, I would like to wish my Pap a happy birthday in Heaven. It was his birthday yesterday. It’s been a while since he passed, but I do think about him quite often. Remember to spend with family and loved ones, because one day you won’t be able to do that anymore. Don’t end up regretting the times that you didn’t.
Haven’t posted for a few months, and there’s a ton to catch up on.
But on serious note, a ton is changing. Long story short, Andy and I packed up and left the beach to start a new adventure with each other. Next destination, West Chester, PA! Very excited to return to where I went to college. The biggest plus of all is that I will be closer to all of my best friends AND the city of Brotherly Love. It takes a lot of courage to just pick up and move somewhere without having a planned path set out for yourself, but that’s the fun of it. It’s all about being brave, and knowing that you can make dreams that you have a reality. You just have to take that first step which is usually the biggest one of all. It helps to have my partner in crime with me along the way.
We move in officially in a few days and my excitement level is through the roof! I guess the girly side of has come out again. I have been on Pinterest and Overstock.com endlessly over the last two weeks. Ideas, ideas, ideas!!! In the mean time, this is what I’ve been up to lately in a nutshell;
Once I finally get settled in WC, I plan on doing big things with this Blog of mine. Writing really is a getaway no matter what the topic is. So keep an eye out! There’s going to be more Rachel on the way!
And for your Friday musical pleasure:
I don’t get sick often, but when I do, I really do. I can’t stand being achy, congested, and out of energy. It’s so hard to go about your day when you aren’t feeling 100%. I’ve stocked up on Emergen-C, and I am definitely making sure to drink enough liquids. Wish me luck. I need to kick this cold!
Speaking of colds, one of the best ways to avoid them is by adding a generous amount of antioxidant rich foods in to your diet. Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that help to rid the body of radicals and toxins, as well as helps to prevent the development of many diseases such as arthritis, heart diseases, and cancers. Antioxidants are found in fruits like berries, red grapes, and oranges, and vegetables like spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, and more.
I have been making sure to eat a few servings of antioxidant rich foods several times a day. I love love love berries, especially blueberries. Here are some yummy recipes to fuel up and protect your body.
Berry Cheesecake Smoothie
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
-1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Dannon)
-2 handfuls fresh spinach
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
This smoothie is SO creamy and delicious. You wouldn’t even know that there is spinach in it!
Blend and enjoy!
Mixed Berry and Pomegranate Egg White Oats
Sounds a bit strange, but the egg whites really provide the oatmeal with a “fluffy”, light texture. I love them!
-1/2 cup instant oats
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup egg whites
-1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
-1/4 cup pomegranate arils
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp. cinnamon
– Vanilla almond milk (optional)
Cook the oats thoroughly in boiling water on the stove. After about 2 minutes, add in the egg whites, vanilla, and cinnamon. In the meantime, microwave the frozen berries about 35 seconds until warmed. Cook the oats about another 2 minutes until whites are combined. Top the oats with the berries, pomegranate seeds, and almond milk.
Flourless Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes
-1/2 cup raw oats
-1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
-1/2 cup egg whites
-1/2 cup blueberries
Combine the oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, vanilla, and cinnamon in to a blender until smooth. Heat a nonstick pan on medium high. Pour the “batter” on to the pan, and cook just like a regular pancake. Once bubbles start to form, sprinkle in the berries, and flip to cook the other side.
These pancakes are fantastic, low fat, and super healthy! I enjoyed mine with some coconut cream, extra cinnamon on top, and sugar free maple syrup.
What are your favorite antioxidant rich foods or recipes?
Lastly, anyone else feeling the winter blues? I am really craving the warm sun, wind in my hair, and the sound of late summer nights. How can you break the sadness of the sun going down so early? Well, you can do what Andy and I did…. road trip and visit friends! We went to West Chester this past weekend to hang out with good friends that we haven’t seen in quite a while. I had such a fun time. It felt so good to get out of town for a while. Even though I don’t get to see my friends all of the time, some things never change. :)
Happy Friday everyone! So excited for this weekend… going on a little road trip back to West Chester to see some friends and catch up with the town. It’s always nice to get away from your normal surroundings, even if it is just for the weekend. It helps to keep you fresh. It’s a good idea to break away from your usual routine every now and then.
This week I’ve been on an oatmeal kick. It’s just so good for you! The health benefits are off the charts. Oatmeal helps to kick start your metabolism, provides you with fiber and energy, as well as helping you to stay full so that you can avoid those mid morning cravings. Plus. you can do so many things with just plain oatmeal… the possibilities are endless. Here are some of my creations this week.
Vanilla Blueberry Cobbler Oats
Quick cooking oats
Frozen blueberries thawed in microwave for 1 minute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs Vanilla Greek yogurt (optional topping)
Chocolate Strawberry Peanut Butter Oats
Quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons chocolate PB2
1 tablespoon coco powder
Stevia or Splenda packets
sliced almonds (optional)
almond milk (optional)
Raspberry Maple Pomegranate Oats
Quick cooking oats
1.5 tablespoons sugar free raspberry preserves (mix in to cooked oats)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup
Breakfast really is my favorite meal of the day. What’s your favorite breakfast foods or oatmeal concoctions? I’d love to know! :)
Don’t forget to be happy.
Any plans for you this weekend?