Last week it felt like I went on a mini tour of Texas – a few hours of shopping and friends in Dallas, home to see my family in Stephenville…
to a lovely friend’s ranch wedding outside Killeen…
Congratulations to a match made in heaven – Meredith and Austin!
I can’t take too much credit for making Meredith look beautiful – it’s not hard to do pretty hair and makeup on a former Miss Montana USA! (and Miss Congeniality winner I might add!)
…and since Killeen is so close to Austin… I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a longtime friend and check out a tiny piece of their renowned food scene!
South Congress Cafe had come highly recommended and after viewing several different restaurant menus, it seemed like an easy choice! It’s a known fact that South Congress Cafe has one of the most coveted brunches in Austin, so it’s also a known fact that you’re gonna have to wait a while to get it. My friends and I were lucky enough to find seats at the bar where I downed several iced americanos and they enjoyed mimosas, so the wait didn’t seem bad at all.
In front of South Congress Cafe with Callie and Patrice. Such a great morning!
We decided to share 3 different items so we could get a good sampling and I’m not sure what my favorite was because it was all ridiculous.
Um… carrot cake french toast… what?!?
Just in case I needed to sell this to you more, it is comprised of: carrot cake and cinnamon vanilla egg batter served with cream cheese-pecan syrup.
short rib, fingerling potatoes, collard greens, red peppers, jalapeno, eggs your way
….aaaand an Austin staple, Migas, which I clearly couldn’t keep my fork out of for long enough to take a photo of it in one piece…
I think it’s safe to say I’m PASSIONATE about Mexican brunch items and this dish is everything I want at any brunch: eggs, house made corn tortillas, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, three cheese blend, refried black beans, smoked gouda potato pancake, and choice of salsa
It was also so great catching up with Callie, who might literally be my longest friendship… I don’t remember ever not knowing her. All in all, I had so much fun on this trip and would love to spend more time in Austin exploring their food and music scene! Where are your favorite places in Austin?
You may remember all the fun I had in LA in December – so much so that I had to split it into 2 posts! (here and here) I was lucky enough to go back about a week ago for some fun work projects with CMT! I was in town for work, but I managed to fit in a few extra activities too.
When I arrived, I picked up my rental car and had a few hours to kill before my first meeting in Marina Del Ray. I decided to wander that way and check it out since I hadn’t been to that part of town. I happened upon Cafe del Rey where I enjoyed friendly service, one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten, and this view:
Beet and Burrata Cheese Salad at Cafe Del Rey. I think I could have eaten 4 of these. So good! I’m going to try to recreate this, I’ll keep you posted!
I still had some time to kill and luckily that time coincided with my friend Dick’s commute home. We decided to meet for some lemonade and a walk down Venice Beach. I hadn’t been to this part of LA before and it was hilarious to walk by Muscle Beach. The next bunch of activities revolved all around work, which by the way was probably the most fun project I’ve worked on this year! CMT was in town shooting THIS!:
Tune in – I had the pleasure of attending this show and it was on another level. These two are a creative match made in heaven. They also wore custom self designed costumes, sang in perfect harmony, and made plenty of hilarious jokes. I can’t wait to watch it again! PS: How fab is this Hatch Show Print?! I would love to get my hands on one!
I can’t even handle how much I love each of them.
Tic Tac is the sponsor of this edition of CMT Crossroads and I got to star in a commercial promoting the special 50th episode. Look for me soon on CMT and possibly VH1! The commercial was shot on the Sony Pictures Lot which was fun for this Nashville girl to go to work on. I loved walking to my hair and makeup trailer and seeing that these two were right next to it.
Katy Perry’s wardrobe was set up on the other end of our trailer… couldn’t help taking a peek! I want a rainbow assortment of shoes like hers! :)
I also got to wear a really fun retro look for the shoot.
I loved the makeup artist Bethany. A.) She is super cool and from Colorado and B.) She is great at what she does. I usually hate getting my hair and makeup done by anyone else but she nailed it. The curls she gave me lasted for the next two days!
But before I show you, let me take a selfie. haha
The costume was designed and styled by the talented Amanda Valentine. (Project Runway fans will remember her from a couple of seasons ago. Some of you fashionistas may be familiar with her line Valentine Valentine.) She was assisted by the talented and creative Cheryl King who somehow made the adorable pillbox hat I wore and designed and made the Tic Tac tray I carry around in the promo.
Cheryl putting some last minute touches on the hat. Bonus: She is a professional belly dancer and taught (or tried…) us a few moves. Score!
The brains behind the commercial, Scott! It shouldn’t be called work when you get paid to have this much fun!
Once the spot is out, I’ll be sure to share it along with a few more photos!
That night I went to Villa Blanca for dinner with my friend Ray. It was even more delicious than the last time I was there. We are both avid Real Housewives fans, so it was fun bumping into Lisa Vanderpump!
Isn’t she fab?!
It wouldn’t be right to dine at Villa Blanca and not have a glass of rosé!
Wise words from Lisa herself, “Life isn’t aaaaalways diamonds and rosé, but it SHOULD be!” haha
Acting like tourists and not caring one bit!
The first time we bonded about loving RHOBH, we talked about wanting to go to Villa Blanca together – who knew that several months later, it would actually happen!
A stunning floral arrangement in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
From what I understand, all of Hollywood’s biggest deals are made here. :)
Salad with strawberries and toast with (more) burrata cheese and olive oil. Yummmm.
A friend in Nashville suggested that I should have lunch with one of his great friends, Leonardo, while in LA. Never one to turn down new friends, I took him up on the offer. I am so glad I did! Leonardo has lived a colorful life which has included: living all over the world, having a successful career as a cardiologist, and building and selling several very successful companies.
It was fun to pick his brain over lunch about what makes a person successful. Some of his advice included:
1. Realize there is no such thing as failure. The only things that happen are: success, or learning something. If you learned something, take that knowledge, apply it, and keep trying.
2. Don’t take no for an answer.
3. The enemy of the good is the very good.
4. Never get too comfortable, always strive to achieve more.
I have a feeling that this lunch was only the start to a long friendship.
It was also fun to get to stay with and see a little bit of my childhood best friend Claire! We painted LA red one night with our friends who also happen to be two former Miss California’s, Meagan and Mabelynn! Each time I go to LA, I find that I love it more and more. The weather is perfection, the people are so nice, and there are a million fun things to do! I hope to be back soon! What are your favorite LA activities?
Today 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. :)
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! :)
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!
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!
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!?
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!
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!
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!
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.
Tons of great classes with great instructors who keep me motivated to punch HARD!
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 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! Join 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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!