Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Life Chat

Rise and shine! It's a beautiful day, and I'm so thankful for each and every moment.

I was having a very in depth conversation with my aunt yesterday about how short life is. I am not going to get in detail about what we were discussing, but after talking to her I got the courage to try and fix an issue that's been making me feel so low for an incredibly long time.

How hard is it to apologize? It takes a lot of strength, right? Yes of course, but is the couple of minutes of feeling vulnerable or scared of what the other person will say worth it in the long run? Absolutely.

Why waste our energy being sad or angry when we can just as easily put that energy into feeling uplifted and all around happy? We're all so caught up in the negative aspects of life. Lately I've been feeling so frustrated with different people because no matter what I say, whether it's simply asking them, "How was your day?" or telling them "Wow! You look beautiful today!" Instead of talking about something that made them feel good, or saying thank you with a smile, their inner instinct jumps right to something negative. I think it bothers me so much because I've tried so extremely hard to focus on the good and positive parts of life, and have found it rather easy. Everybody can find pure happiness and focus on the good, it just takes time and practice. So this is my challenge to you: Compliment five different people today, ask the people around you how their long weekend was, say thank you, go out of your way to make others feel good. It's a simple act that takes a couple minutes of your day.

My aunt is absolutely right when she says that life is so short. Anything/anyone could be taken away from you at any given moment. This is your permission slip to let go of any anger you have building up. This is your shot of insane courage to go say you're sorry. This is a beam of sunshine to go spread kindness into the world.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great day!

Love always,

Monday, May 30, 2016

Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

Good morning!

Today I want to share a super delicious recipe with you that my friend Lexxi so kindly told me about! It's very simple and quick to make.

Vegan "Tuna" Salad: 


1 can of Trader Joe's Organic Garbanzo Beans
1/2 of a red onion
2-3 pickle spears
3-4 stocks of celery
Vegan mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Finely chop up the celery, red onion, and pickles
2. Cut up the Garbanzo Beans to your liking, you can chop them up as finely as I did, or you don't have to chop them up at all. It's totally up to you, and what you want the consistency to be!

3. Add all of the chopped ingredients into a bowl, and thoroughly mix them all together.
4. Once you've mixed everything, I went in and added some garlic powder onion powder, and pepper to add a bit of extra flavor. You can really put whatever seasonings you want, this recipe is easy to make your own.

4. Add as much or as little mayo as you like,  again, this is totally your call.
5. Mix, mix, mix! 

At first my initial thought was to eat this in a whole wheat wrap, add some spinach, and maybe some vegan cheese but when I went to go grab my wraps they had unfortunately gone bad. Instead I put 1 to 2 cups of spinach into a bowl, put a scoop of the salad on top, and ate it that way! It was really yummy, and my favorite part about this recipe was that I could really taste all of the ingredients. Everything complimented each other really well. 

Let me know if you try out this recipe, and what your thoughts are!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thank you for reading!

Love always,

Sunday, May 29, 2016

30 Day Vegan Challenge

Hi everyone!

I hope you're all having a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, and are taking some time to enjoy this gorgeous weather.

I have some exciting news that I want to share with all of you! Today marks the very first day of my thirty day vegan challenge! My friend Adrianna texted me a week or so ago asking if I would be interested in going vegan, and if I'd like to join her in this awesome challenge. Of course my answer was one hundred percent yes! I think it will be such a fun and knowledgeable experience.

Yesterday I met up with Adrianna and explored the Amherst Farmers Market, and picked up some freshly picked kale, and some maple syrup. After we had finished shopping around, we stopped to enjoy a Champagne Mango popsicle from this company called Crooked Stick Pops that is located in East Hampton! Julie Tuman, the women who started the company, was so incredibly sweet and told us all about how she got the idea to start and develop everything.

After we finished up there we headed to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market to grab some exciting and interesting vegan foods. On Marissa Lace's YouTube channel, she has a whole series of videos about her own thirty day vegan challenge, so we had a lot of great ideas and suggestions of different foods to buy.

The reason I'm choosing to do this challenge is because I think it will do great things for my body and overall health. With my history of negative thoughts towards food, I think that filling my stomach with lots of nutritious and whole foods will keep the positive mindset I've been working so hard on keeping.  I'm ready to take on this opportunity with an open mind, and lots of enthusiasm.

I have so many recipes that I'm dying to try out. If I like them enough, I will be sharing them all on here. If you have any recommendations of foods you think I should try, or recipes you want to share with me, feel free!

Adrianna and I will be posting very frequently about the entire process, so definitely check out her blog too!

You can find her at:
Instagram - adddrianna
Twitter - adddrianna

I hope you all have an amazing day!
Thank you for reading!

Love always,

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Women In The World: 3

Good morning everyone, happy Wednesday!

Todays Women In The World segment is seriously so amazing. We have a beautiful set of sisters, Molly and Megan Glazier being interviewed! I was introduced to them through my sister Dani who has been living with Molly since her Freshman year at Fitchburg State. Both of these women are incredible people, and inspire me every single day! I hope you enjoy getting to know them just as much as I have.

Megan Glazier:

 Age: 17 years old
Location: Western Massachusetts
Occupation and dream job: I work at a local market, and in the future I'd love to work with children!

1. What are you passionate about? 

I'm very passionate about helping others and being as supportive as I can be. 

2. What in your current life makes you feel the most fulfilled? 

I feel most fulfilled when I am able to make others happy and feel good about themselves.

3. Go to breakfast?

My go to breakfast is either a toasted bagel with cream cheese or fruit and yogurt!

4. What's your all time favorite book?

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult is such a moving book, definitely my favorite! I could read it over and over again!

5. If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in 30 seconds?

I would say that being kind has the ability to change the world we live in. Be kind to everyone because you have no idea what people are going through. You don't have to agree with anyone's decisions or beliefs but don't degrade them because you don't agree with their choices. I would also say that mental illnesses are JUST as severe and debilitating as physical illnesses. They are real, they have the ability to destroy lives just as physical diseases do.

Bonus question: Describe yourself in five words!

Understanding, strong, open minded, and passionate!

Molly Glazier:

Age: 20
Location: Hadley, MA
Occupation and dream job: Right now I'm a student and a home health aid. My dream job is a neonatal nurse practitioner. 

1. What are you passionate about?
I am so passionate about learning. There are so many things you can learn everyday, whether it be a new recipe, learning about a cute new coffee shop/restaurant, or learning new things in school for your future career. The world is so big and there are so many things we don't know about and I think it is so refreshing to be constantly learning new things, and I think it makes you a better person. I honestly believe knowledge is power and I'm always seeking to learn. 
2. What in your current life makes you feel the most fulfilled? 
By far my amazing friends and family that surround me everyday make me feel the most fulfilled. I don't know where I would be without them. 
3. Go to breakfast? 
A huge green smoothie! I put spinach, banana, pineapple, mango, garlic, avocado, lemon juice, and chia seeds in it! 
4. What's your all time favorite book?
This is such a hard question. I love all of the books that I have read by Jodi Picoult, especially Handle With Care. It follows the life of a little girl that has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). It is so well written and has so many ideas that just tie the story together so perfectly. I definitely recommend it! 
5. If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in 30 seconds?
I would tell everyone to take a step back. People move at a million miles a minute because it's the normal, and that's what people do. It is SO important to slow down and cherish the little things because time really does go by too fast. Focus on yourself a little more and do what makes you happy. 
Bonus question: Describe yourself in five words!
Determined, easy going, logical, shy, and silly!
I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to the Glazier sisters for being so great and answering all of my questions with a tremendous amount of thought. I also wanted to point out that they didn't read or know each others answers before sending them in to me, and they both have the same favorite book! How cool!
I hope everyone has an amazing day! 
Thank you so much for reading!
Love always,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Summer 2016 To-Do List

So as summer is quickly approaching my mind keeps wandering to all of the fun filled adventures I have planned!

Since I'll be nannying some great kiddos during the week, that leaves me nights and weekends to explore! With all of the soul searching I've been doing lately it has really made me think about and appreciate just how gorgeous each day truly is. That being said, here is my summer of 2016 to-do list:

1. Go camping! Yes staying outside... all night... in the dark. Usually I'd be totally hesitant if someone were to ask, "Hey, want to go camping this weekend?" but why the heck not?! Thinking about sitting around a fire and enjoying some yummy s'mores.. How great does that sound?!

2. Buy my dream wedding dress (or find some strong contenders)! As some of you may know, I'm getting married next October. I'm so, so, so, excited to spend time this summer trying on beautiful gowns, and hopefully falling in love with the perfect dress!

3. Hike. This is such a simple thing to do, that I thoroughly enjoy, I just never make time for it! My goal is to hike Mount Greylock and Mount Monadnock. I've lived in Western MA my entire life and haven't hiked either of them! I'm totally planning on hiking other places too, so if you have any recommendations please let me know!

4. Watch as many sunrises as I can! Seriously I don't think I've ever experienced anything as perfect as walking along the beach, with your toes in the sand, drinking a good cup of coffee, and enjoying the sunrise on the beach. If I could do that just once this summer my heart would be so full.

5. I've just come across how beautiful the Norwottuck Rail Trail (Northampton/Hadley/Amherst bike path) is. I'm going to pick a day this summer and walk from the beginning to the end!

6. Have a picnic! I remember as a child my family and I used to have picnics all the time! Even if it was just in our yard! They're so fun.

7. Get a tattoo! I've always wanted to get a tattoo. I've just never been totally set on exactly what I wanted to get. Now that I am completely sure, I am counting down the days until I am able to call and make an appointment!

8. Play volleyball! I played in high school (seems like forever ago) I didn't really enjoy myself because I took the game (and life) way to seriously. But now that I'm older I've learned to laugh at myself if I make a mistake. I remember one night last summer I played with Zach's family while on vacation in North Conway. Still to this day it's one of my favorite memories I have with them!

9. Dye my hair more blonde! They have more fun right?!

10. Road trip with my sisters! I think it would be so much fun to just get in the car one day, sing to all of our favorite songs, and drive wherever our hearts lead us!

11. Go kayaking with Zach!

12. Volunteer at Camp Sunshine!

13. Take a cooking class!

14. Wine Tasting!

15. Go to a farmers market!

Alright guys, that's all I've thought of so far! I'm sure more things will pop up here and there! I hope you're all just as excited for summer as I am! Let me know what fun things you have on your itinerary this summer!

Have a great rest of your week! Thank you for reading!

Love always,

Sunday, May 8, 2016

To The Boy Who Broke Her

How dare you tell her she's weak, when she's anything but.
Call her terrible names, when she deserves to be praised every single day.
Tell her how useless she is, when she's the most incredible person you've ever met.
You destroyed her.
Or so you thought..

That beautiful strong girl will rise again. She will get back on her own two feet and live life to the absolute fullest. After listening to you tell her she isn't good enough day after day, she will do better for herself. She will get everything in life that deep down, she knows she deserves. She will succeed without you.

No matter how many times you try to suck her back into your silly games, it will not stop her.  I promise she will learn to love life again, and it will not be by your side. It will not be because of you. It will because she's unapologetically learned to be happy again.

You lost the best thing that ever happened to you.
She lost the worst thing that ever happened to her.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Women In The World: 2

Happy Friday! 

I’m going to keep this intro short and sweet. I hope you all have an amazing weekend ahead of you, and enjoy getting to know/read about the amazing people I’ve interviewed for this weeks Women In The World!

Lauren Bonatakis:

Age: 24
Location: Wellfleet, MA
Occupation and dream job: AmeriCorps Cape Cod Member and my dream job would be something related to ocean conservation and policy.

What would you say is your biggest acheivment so far?

My biggest achievement so far is a combination of graduating college, getting a job, and living on my own. Essentially, it's finding my independence.

2. Do you have any tattoos? If yes, what?

Not yet,
smile emoticon.

3. What outfit do you feel the most confident in?

It's hard to say! I feel most confident when I am dressed properly for the occasion, so that can range from a dress to work pants!

4. Favorite animal, and why?

I did a report on dolphins when I was 6 and I've been in love with them ever since.

5. Where in the US have you traveled, what’s your favorite state, and why?

I've traveled all over, but I have lived in Massachusetts and Tennessee. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I have been to western Virginia a few times and I can't ever get enough of those Blue Ridge Mountains!

Social media:
Instagram: lb_726

Brittany Pickunka:

Age: 18 years old
Location: South Deerfield, MA
Occupation and dream job: Right now I'm a cook/waitress at hillside pizza. My dream job would either be to flip houses, interior design, or what Joanna Gaines does! I also think it would be so cool to work for a magazine or something in fashion. I've also been very into fashion but it is just not a realistic job for me since I think I've always want to be located in the "country". Imagine working backstage at a high fashion show, how cool would that be?! Or even being somebodies personal stylists? I enjoy fast pace environments. When I had dance recitals in high school I loved the rush I got from only having one minute to change costumes. It was so exciting!

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grow up? And do you still want it?

There wasn't really any specific thing I wanted to be when I was younger. Most kids say they want to be an astronaut or pro football player but I never really felt that way about anything. I was usually pretty confused about what I wanted to be until senior year of high school when I decided I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, and that's what I'm going to school for now.

2. What is your biggest fear?

For fears I definitely hate spiders. I also fear getting in a car accident, that would be so scary! Another fear is that my mom's mental disorders will get passed down to me. Not that there is anything wrong with having one, I just don't want any because from what i've seen of them, they're not fun and can really effect everyone around you.

3. Who has influenced you the most in your life?

I'd have to say that my dad and grandma have influenced me the most. They are both very hard working people who just want the best for everyone. They put others before themselves and have taught me a whole lot.

4. Favorite movie of all time?

I have LOTS of favorite movies. I really enjoy comedies like Friends with Benefits and The Other Women. I also LOVE the Great Gatsby. Something about that era is so incredibly fascinating to me and I love it. I wish I could live in those times for a day.

5. If you could choose a celebrity to be your best friend, who would it, be and why?

If I could choose a celebrity to be my best friend I think it would be Kendall Jenner. I know people always say that whole family is messed up but i think it would be interesting to see what her life is like. She seems down to earth and funny. She also have the cutest clothes so then i could probably barrow them.

Social media:
Twitter: BPickunka
Instagram: brittany_kunka

Rachel Franz:

Age: 18
Location: Longmeadow, MA
Occupation and dream job: Fulltime student! My dream job would be something along the lines of a surgeon, maybe!

1. Favorite flower? Poppies!

2. What’s your all time favorite meal to cook? Pasta!

3. If you could switch lives with anybody for the day who would it be, and why? I would switch lives with my big sister Haleigh! She’s in Ireland right now having the time of her life, and it’s such a cool opportunity that I hope I have one day too!

4. Best local restaurant? Frigo’s in Springfield

5. If you could have one song playing in the background of your life at all times what would it be, and why?

My first choice would be Natural Disaster by Zac Brown Band because it’s so upbeat and exciting. I love to play it when I’m driving around because it’s such a fun song. My second choice would be Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan because I relate to it on so many levels and love it.  

Social media:
Twitter: Rach_F17
Instagram: rach_franz17

Thanks for reading!

Love always,

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