IMG_8302Today just so happens to be my 27th birthday. 27thhhhhhhhhh-th-th-th. Whoa. When did I have time to live this much life!? Usually I’m not so reflective on my day of birth, but this year has me thinking a little bit more – I guess because I can’t believe I’ve arrived in my late 20′s. Had you asked me at age 17 (feels like minutes ago) what I would have thought I would be doing at age 27, my answer would have been completely different than what my reality is. And you know what? For the most part, I’m pretty pleased about that. I wanted to share 5 realizations I’ve had in the past 27 years that I solidly believe and abide by (including some pics from all those years!) and I think you should too! Here goes:

It's kind of crazy how much things change as you get older... and also how much they don't. :)

It’s kind of crazy how much things change as you get older… and also how much they don’t. :)

1. Life’s too short to match your socks. This might sound funny – and plenty of friends have laughed at me when I shared this bit of wisdom, but think about how much of your life you’ve probably spent already teeeeeeeeeeeediously matching your socks. (I’m so bored just thinking about it. EW.) And for what?! No one even sees them. STOP MATCHING AND GET YOUR LIFE BACK. You’re welcome.

Less time matching socks... and more time for moments like these! :)

Less time matching socks… and more time for moments like these! :)

2. Life’s too short to stay in a job you hate. Let me clarify – we all have to do things we don’t like or don’t want to do in life, (hello, like working at the Cheesecake Factory for 3 years. Those white uniforms. EW.) and sometimes those things can afford us the opportunity to pursue something we love, or provide building blocks to a better career. However, if you are spending 40 plus hours a week in a job you hate, doing something you don’t care about at all, it’s time to evaluate WHY?! A 40 hour work week equates to 2,080 hours a year – which is probably how you spend most of your time. Doing a job in a field you love or are passionate about makes life much more rich and satisfying. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be a better employee. People are motivated in their jobs by all sorts of things – passion, money, coworkers, environment, etc. Find out what drives and makes you happy and go for it!

Early beginnings as a makeup artist. I wish I could find some of the video footage of me pretending to be a red carpet tv host!

Early beginnings as a makeup artist. I wish I could find some of the video footage of me pretending to be a red carpet tv host!

I've always loved glamming up! :)

I’ve always loved glamming up! :)

3. Life’s too short to stay in a dead end relationship. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they know a relationship isn’t going to work out, but that they can’t end it… “Valentine’s Day is coming up…” “We have a trip planned…” There’s no such thing as the perfect relationship, and there are many ways to work on and improve existing relationships, but staying in a relationship that isn’t healthy doesn’t serve either person. Oh, and staying in the relationship longer doesn’t make breaking it off any easier. The longer you’re with the wrong person, the longer it will be until you find the right one. This principle also applies to friendships. Toxicity isn’t good for your health!

With one relationship that will never be dead end - cookies! Oh, and my sister. (Her birthday is tomorrow!)

One relationship that will never be dead end – cookies! Oh, and my sister. (Her birthday is tomorrow!)

4. Life’s too short to say you’ll do things someday. One of my favorite quotes says, “There is one simple thing wrong with you – you think you have plenty of time … If you don’t think your life is going to last forever, what are you waiting for? Why the hesitation to change? You don’t have time for this display, you fool. This, whatever you’re doing now, may be your last act on earth. It may very well be your last battle. There is no power which could guarantee that you are going to live one more minute.” That trip you’ve always wanted to go on? That hobby you’ve been wanting to take up? The apology you know you need to make? Think about your life thus far and how quickly it’s gone. Make it (whatever it is) happen!

Australia is the place that cultivated my intense love of travel. Can you see why!?

Australia is the place that cultivated my intense love of travel. Can you see why!?

5. Life’s too short to treat your body with anything other than the utmost respect. If y’all read this blog regularly, you know how much I love health and nutrition and how much it’s changed my life for the better. That’s not to say that I don’t indulge sometimes – because I definitely do, but keep in mind that your body has an expiration date. The way you’re treating your body now has a direct correlation to what your health will be down the road. All of us could change some habits for the better – stop and think about your future children and grandchildren. Most likely they’ll want you around for a long time. Think about how unhappy you’ll be and how much money you’ll have to spend if you get a preventable disease. Think about how much better you’ll feel and how much more agile you’ll be if you fuel your body with good nutrients and keep it strong with regular exercise. We only get one body – today is the day to start respecting that truth.

These are my own pink boxing gloves. I'm obsessed! Come take class with me here!

These are my own pink boxing gloves. I’m obsessed! Come take class with me here!

As I said earlier, I strongly believe in each of these principles (especially the sock matching one! :) ) and I try to live my life keeping in mind that we are not promised tomorrow. None of these concepts are revolutionary or groundbreaking, but at different times in my life each has resonated with me on a personal level. I’m not always 100% successful, but I attempt to live my life as someone who takes action now, instead of saying that I will someday. What are some things you’ve learned throughout the course of your life?

Summer is right around the corner and a change of seasons always gets me thinking about new trends and what clothes I’ll want to wear that season. During the summer, I love to wear shorts, tank tops, sundresses, and lay by the pool any chance I get… which gets me thinking about my ideal bikini body…

I have long admired supermodel Marisa Miller’s lean, toned, but still curvy body. I chose this photo on purpose, since it isn’t photoshopped. This is her real body people!

I decided to do a little bit of research on how she keeps so fit. I found ridiculous amounts of videos and articles online about her love for boxing and how she used it to get in shape for Sports Illustrated as well as to lose her baby weight. I had tried a little bit of boxing and had always enjoyed it, but have never committed to doing it regularly.

THAT’S ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE!

These are my own pink boxing gloves. I'm obsessed!

These are my own pink boxing gloves. I’m obsessed!

This is where TITLE Boxing Nashville comes in. I have committed to attending class there 2-3 times per week (In addition to 2-3 other days of hiking, yoga, or stair-master). April just started – we all have some time to really get our sweat on before the hot days of summer are here – and TITLE is offering a cool offer for Wanderlust and Glitter Dust readers – keep reading!

The gym just after a 7 am workout - a thing of beauty!

The gym just after a 7 am workout – a thing of beauty!

But first let me give you a few facts about TITLE boxing classes:

  • Burn 1,000 calories per class
  • One hour trainer led classes
    • 15 mins of cardio warmup
    • 30 mins (8 rounds) of Boxing or kickboxing
    • 15 mins of core
  • 30+ Classes a week to choose from
  • Members can attend unlimited number of classes
  • 10 different trainers with unique boxing or kickboxing experience
  • TITLE Boxing Club has 130 locations across the country you can utilize with membership
  • Three different membership options to choose from.
    • Month -to- Month
    • 6 month membership
    • 1 year membership

In addition, here are some extra things that I personally love about TITLE:

  • The classes are really really hard, BUT they go by SO fast. Before you know it you’re walking out the door (dripping in sweat…).
  • They play really good music, this is everything to me during a workout. It either pumps me up or slows me down.
  • The instructors are really fun (and patient :) )
  • I’m not a particularly stressed or angry person, but we all have our days. Boxing is probably the best stress reliever I’ve ever experienced. It’s sort of fun to pretend that your bag is the person or thing that’s made you stressed or angry… (Does that make me a violent person…?)
  • Classes are an awesome mix of toning and cardio that is great for both men and women. You are ripping your muscles up, but also gasping for breath. (Good thing they make it fun…)
  • I feel like with each class I’m learning techniques to defend myself if I ever needed to. (Don’t mess with me!)
  • Each class is a good mix of male and female and all levels of fitness.
  • The gym is located in a convenient location and has tons of accessible parking

    I also love how big the gym is. I think there are close to 70 bags, so you can have you own space to do your thing. The ceilings are high... I just need my space to workout, y'all!

    I also love how big the gym is. I think there are close to 70 bags, so you can have you own space to do your thing. The ceilings are high… I just need my space to workout, y’all!

I walk out of every class feeling strong and empowered, and knowing that I didn’t waste an hour on a throwaway workout the way I often times do when I just go to the Y by myself… For this summer I want to be a little more lean and a little more toned. I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress. I’ve taken measurements and will be starting a bicep cam!
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetJoin me in class… seriously. I’ll be there 3 times per week and did I mention that your first class is free?! In addition, if you decide to join and mention Wanderlust and Glitter Dust they will give you your own pair of boxing gloves! I’m obsessed with my pink pair, but you can choose your own color and boxing swag! :)
Title Boxing Nashville

That bag looks just like some toned arms to me.

That bag looks just like some toned arms to me.

Let’s finish with a little video from our girl Marisa, telling us more about why she loves boxing.

See you there – and don’t forget to get your free gloves!

For the past 10 weeks I have been preparing for one of the most exciting events of my life thus far – a professional ballroom dance competition. You might think I’m joking… but I’m not. If there’s anything this girl loves it is:

1. A Sparkly Costume
2. Being on stage
3. Choreography
4. Layers and layers of spray tan
5. Not only having a great time, but being able to raise money for a cause I believe in with all my heart while doing so.

VOTE FOR US HERE!
safe

Similar to Dancing With The Stars, this competition pairs up Nashvillians with professional dancers who compete against each in a dance contest, all while raising money for one of Nashville’s coolest non profits.

VOTE FOR US HERE!

Safe Haven Family Shelter is an extra special homeless shelter. Safe Haven takes in homeless families and provides them not only with meals and shelter, but with assistance finding a job, and then a home, and then necessary services like financial counseling, etc. to end the cycle of homelessness for that family for good. As it’s been said, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

Each vote helps raise money for this special place. (Um hi, that’s also a tax deduction for you…) Please help us raise money for Safe Haven Family Shelter! In case you needed a little extra prompting, check out this video I made of some of my partner and I’s 10 weeks of preparation. (I’m pretty proud of this, I should actually be embarrassed, but I love it!)
VOTE FOR US HERE!

If you have an interest in ballroom dancing and you live in Nashville, I could not possible give a higher recommendation to my partner Donald Stamper. It goes without saying that he is an incredible dancer, but he is also a fantastic teacher, patient, hilarious, fun and ridiculously good looking. Book him today!

VOTE FOR US HERE!!!

And… just in case you were worried, I’ll make sure to post the video of our performance as soon as I can get my hands on it after this Saturday. A Scandinavian girl doing the cha cha… should be interesting!

Three (#firstworld) problems I have from time to time:
1. Ooops I made way too much quinoa/millet/amaranth, etc.
2. I don’t feel like drinking a green smoothie for breakfast
3. I drank my green smoothie and I’m still hungry

You may remember the spiced breakfast quinoa I talked about from my trip to Lake Tahoe. I’ve been wanting to develop my own recipe ever since and today was the day! I had some leftover amaranth (a tasty gluten free grain really high in fiber and protein – 26 grams per cup!) and decided to go for it. You could make this recipe with any grain you prefer – quinoa, millet, and amaranth would be your best choices in my opinion. I will say, because amaranth is so high in protein, it will help keep you full foreveeeeeer.

Y'all. I am trying SO hard to be a food stylist/photographer. I suck at it, but I'm trying SO hard. haha

Y’all. I am trying SO hard to be a food stylist/photographer. I suck at it, but I’m trying SO hard. haha

Ok, here’s what you’ll need (these proportions will make 2 servings):
1 cup amaranth (or quinoa or millet)
2 cups water
1/2 cup almond milk (check out my easy homemade recipe here!)
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 TBSP honey
Optional toppings: berries, chia seeds, almonds, flax seed, etc.

Bring the amaranth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Most of the water should be absorbed and you should still see the individual grains of amaranth, although they will stick together a little. Note: You can do this the night before and refridgerate at this point or use leftovers from another recipe – that’s what I did! Then, heat the cooked amaranth on the stove top with the rest of the ingredients.

Stir in the almond milk, coconut oil, honey, ginger, and cinnamon. Top with berries and nuts and enjoy warm after drinking your green smoothie!

Different backdrop, different angle. Still kind of sucks. I'll keep trying. haha

Different backdrop, different angle. Still kind of sucks. I’ll keep trying. haha

Y’all have no idea how much fun I have compiling each month’s playlist! Here’s my latest just in time for April 1st! (Like… how is it already April?!) There’s an interesting mix of genres on this list as per usual, but I would love to hear your thoughts! (Be sure to scroll down for the full list of songs and if you’re a Spotify user, you can follow the playlist!)