27 in Heaven

Monday, December 14, 2015
I'm 27.

And life really, truly feels like heaven....

I spent my birthday weekend in the Florida Keys.
I've got some kind of spiritual, past-life connection to that place.
It's such a strong draw - I don't think there's a way to put it into words.

And if you are thinking about visiting, one of my most popular posts 'Things to do in Key West' can be found HERE

I dream of living down there and spending my days rescuing turtles or photographing beautiful places and faces. I want to spend my evenings sitting on the beach singing to acoustic guitar with friends while drinking wine. Most of all I just want to be engulfed in that carefree Keys energy....

I pulled up to my favorite park, Bahia Honda, late in the evening one rainy night and began my sob story of why the park ranger should let me in for sunset photos even though they were supposed to close in a few minutes. His response? 
'pffff don't worry about it, just go in and have fun. We'll close whenever.'

I flashed him the biggest smile, and off I went.

You guys I'm 27. Twenty-Seven.
Saying it out loud makes it really hit home. But even though my youth is slowly slipping through my fingers, I feel so good. Physically and mentally healthier than I've ever been in my life.

I grow, change and evolve SO much every year.
I always get very introspective & reflective around the new year thinking: How will I ever top all of the adventures I went on this past year!?

Then things happen.
Sometimes planned, most of the time out of the blue.

My old soul comes out to play a lot and I love to think of things like, if you would have told me back in October - just two months ago! - that I would be turning 27 in Key West with a fresh coconut in hand.... I would've never believed you. Yeah right. No way. That's too good to be true.
I don't have the money. It's busy season at work, I won't have the time.

But then.......

So with that said, I want to share some invaluable life lessons I've picked up and thrown in my glass during my 26th trip around the sun.

Think less, do more.
Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can't or why it won't work and JUST DO IT.
Most difficult yet best piece of advice I've learned this year.

We may think we know everyone well given our connection through social media. 
But truly, you have no idea. There is always so much more behind the photos, the posts, the political rants...

Changing your diet can change your life.
I mean truly, it can. I have used food to heal a number of ailments throughout my 26th year of life and I can't harp about it enough. If you're dealing with a health issue and want to know of natural ways you can heal, email me. Obviously I'm no physician but there's no harm in having a little chat...

Going off of that, once you stop focusing on dieting to 'look good' and changing your diet to 'feel good'....only then will you be able to shed weight and keep it off.

Judging does absolutely nothing for you.  Nothing.
Besides create hatred and hostility inside yourself. As humans, it is hard for us to not jump to conclusions about someone based on their physical appearance, or the photos/things they share on social media. I do it every day but I'm quick to remind myself that Nope, that's not who they really are. Meet up with them at a quiet coffee shop or at a bar over some coconut rum and the stories you hear will make you question everything you thought to be true. If the conversation goes well you'll find there's a reason, a pivotal moment in that person's life, that makes them act, look, or be a certain way. Actually, once you really grasp this concept, you can live your days in peace with little work. It will be hard for any negativity to break down your walls.

Kindness will bring boat loads of abundance into your life.
Smile at everyone. Show extreme gratitude to everyone you interact with, every day. Baristas. Nurses. Coworkers. Cashiers. We go to the same Starbucks every weekend for our Saturday coffee, so we eventually got to know the store manager. His name is Wayne and he loves when I pretend to act offended by his red cups. HA. Anyway, we were there this past weekend and after I told him I was sad the coffee shop in Miami didn't have my favorite roast, he sent me out with a free bag.
Made my day :)

Manifestation is real and works.
When you notice your frequency (the energy you have inside) shifting to a lower level, such as feeling jealous or angry-- acknowledge it, then immediately do something to raise that vibration! Even if that means isolating yourself. I'm human and I get moody just like anyone else. Some days I don't want to look anyone in the eye. But I've found that when I go out in public and treat everyone I interact with, with kindness and respect...not only do they enjoy it, but it makes me feel a lot better too. I raise my vibration. And a lot of unexpected good things soon come my way...

Our smartphones are a blessing in disguise.
Excellent source of connection for social ties, getting updated on news, etc. But there is aboslutely nothing that can replace throwing your phone away for a night and laying around with someone you love with zero electronics. No phone. No iPad. No TV. Silence. Stare at each other. The conversations and emotional connection that come out of this 'technology isolation' are ground breaking...

Everyone that shows up in your life, has shown up for a reason.
Every single human interaction thrown on your life path was strategically put there to help shape & mold you into the person you are today and the person you are destined to become. Some people will be around for the long haul, others will blow away in the wind... Sometimes it will be immediately clear why that person was thrown on your path, other times, it can take years. Decades.
Trust the process....it will always bring you peace.

"This too, shall pass"
I don't know where it came from, but I would whisper that quote either in my head or under my breath during really rough times. In March I was realllllly sick...like... 104 fever sick. Horrible congestion to the point I could barely breathe, aching all over, it was dreadful. I was laying in bed one night unable to sleep because of this illness, in tears because I felt so awful. I hated that my mom was so far away because not only is she a nurse but she's my angel who makes me feel better with just the touch of her hand. I was just so sick and sad. I stared up at the ceiling fan and kept slowly repeating in my head 'this too shall pass...this too shall pass....'  until I fell asleep and woke up feeling a lot better. Call it what you want, but this mantra really helped me get by. I still use it today and plan on it for life. You can use it for anything...
Because like I said on my birthday last year, nothing lasts forever.

Never grow up.
Don't do it. Like that meme says, it really is a trap. Always play. Always joke around. Always laugh at inappropriate, immature things. Or my favorite-  laugh during really serious, 'grown up' moments...because none of us are getting out of this life alive. The only thing that should matter is love, and that is no flower child hippy speaking. That's coming from a human.

Concern --> Worry --> Anxiety.

Ahh yes. A recently learned life lesson that is going to help me so much throughout life. I have a problem with anxiety, but who the hell doesn't these days. The above quote has helped me tone it down big time.

So listen.
Anxiety is created because at first you were concerned about something. Then you thought too much about it, so you became worried. Then your beautiful, over-thinking brain kept churning and that worry spiraled into full blown anxiety.

Train your mind to stop at Concern.
You can have all the concern in the world for anyone or anything. But do not let it turn into worry otherwise you're destined for anxiety. My brother suffers from epilepsy and being 1,000 miles away it gives me great anxiety that I can not run to his apartment or meet him at the hospital when he has a really bad seizure. But I learned that I can forever be concerned about him because he is my brother, but I cannot let myself worry about him every day. Because even if I was his neighbor, there is nothing I can do to control his seizures. Therefor, the intense worry that caused my anxiety was completely unnecessary.
 So because I love him, I will remain concerned about him.
Nothing more, nothing less.

It's never too late.
To get back on your life path. To get back in touch with who you really are. To change your life.
To get back in touch with someone. To make huge life changes. To take up a new hobby.
To say sorry. To reconcile.
To say I love you...


When all else fails, stop and stare at the sky.
Watch planes fly by and daydream. Watch a storm roll through. Stare at the stars. Go somewhere way out in the country to see the milky way. And my god, watch a full moon rise. Life changing...

Most importantly:


Signing off from South Carolina with love,

Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Thursday, October 22, 2015
While we've been out to the Blue Ridge Mountains several times since moving down here, we've never gone out there to see the Fall foliage...

...and this month we finally did

It was cold! and the overlooks had no parking. But it was worth it. We drove from Boone to Asheville in a day and it was the perfect Saturday getaway.

While I've been known to love a wild life full of spontaneous moments, I have to say...grabbing coffee with my husband on Saturdays and driving around aimlessly in new places kind of lights my soul on fire.

I never in a million years would've imagined this would be my life in my late twenties.

That's a mantra I frequently use when using meditation to overcome a stressful day. I'll usually go sit under a tree in a pasture or by a lake and think to myself: I am in South Carolina. I LIVE HERE. Just 3 years ago if someone were to ask me where I want to live I would've had no idea, but SC wouldn't have crossed my mind. But here I sit.

...and things have never been better.

Do you guys like Fall? I have a confession.
I don't.

AHH I know! I'm probably the only person on this planet who doesn't. At least it seems that way. I've been trying for years to see the bright side of it (pun intended, ha) but I just can't. It's a feeling in my soul. It's like my soul naturally feels the decaying of this once new life just a few months ago, dying away. 
And then comes winter.

I don't like pumpkin spice flavored anything anymore because once you've transitioned your taste buds to love natural foods, the shit tastes like soap. LOL just keeping it real.
Can you tell I'm a health nut? I have an instagram account dedicated to it: Evolve2Health

I have a sneaking suspicion that once I have kiddos, I will learn to love Fall. Once I see their eyes light up picking out their first pumpkin or jumping in piles of leaves...I'll 'Fall' in love with it.
I am just on fire tonight with the puns.

Until then, I'll just use Fall as an excuse to drive 2 hours for pretty photos


I went to Colorado

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The second I returned home from this trip out to Colorado I wanted to share every single moment, every single photo, and grab my loved ones and return to show them.

But in just 5 short days I saw so much beauty I was blown away.

When I got home I kept thinking, how will I ever summarize this trip into words?
Every time I close my eyes now I feel the perfect mountain breeze, I see the most bright white sunlight and hundreds of vibrant gold aspen tree leaves raining down on me.

Time, to me, seems to be accelerating with each passing day, week, month....does anyone else feel that?
It's October. I'm exactly 2 short months away from bidding 26 farewell and welcoming my 27th year of life.


Our trip to Colorado, like most, was very spontaneous and not really planned. We started in Denver, drove West to Breckenridge then South to Crestone where we spent majority of our time.

We took these Aspen Tree photos on Boreas Pass in Breckenridge. What an adorable little ski town... I would love to spend a Summer there!

I mean, they paint their trees Blue ...what's cooler than that?

So after doing the cliche Colorado touristy things: visiting a marijuana store and stopping in South Park (yes the cartoon is based off a real town in Colorado) we made our way to Crestone where we would stay the rest of the trip.

in the middle. of. nowhere.

Every time we told friends or strangers that we were staying in Crestone they gave us a confused look and said:

How we found this place I will never know. Actually, we didn't find it.
It found us.

I was searching Air Bnb a week before we left trying to find a place to stay in Colorado.
I kept circling back to This Rental and kept receiving signs that that's where I needed to go.

So, off we went!

Ahh here it is. The entire space was ours.
This is actually a holistic healing retreat called Haelan Lifestream Center owned and operated by a trauma surgeon turned holistic physician named Dr. John Day.

Extremely smart guy who makes you feel very welcomed as soon as you arrive. He fed me fresh snap peas and cherry tomatoes from his greenhouse and answered some questions I had about my Hashimotos Thyroid disease.
Guess who can no longer eat gluten.

The retreat was out of this world. It was so still and quiet that I could hear a bunny hopping through a big tumbleweed bush. The sound of a blue jay echoed. Getting up with the sun, bundled in cozy sweaters, watching the first peeks of sunlight come up over these mountains is something that will live with me forever.

The property has a few meditation stations where you can sit in peace and stare at the mountains. To add more to the experience, you can bang on some meditation gongs which were the coolest ever.

Crestone is a very spiritual, health and eco conscious tiny community. A place where every single item at the only grocery in town is organic and most bakery items come gluten free. We spoke to a local one morning at the cafe over breakfast and he said while they are trying to grow the community they enjoy how small and tight knit it is, everyone loves and supports each other. Right in their downtown they have a 'Give & Take' box where people exchange clothing or housing items in return for something else they need.

There may not be much in this tiny run down town, but it sure is full of love.

Crestone has a history of being a hot spot for aliens. They even have a UFO Watch Tower...it was so fun to hear stories from the locals. There was even a college class there on a field trip. They were taking a class geared towards thinking outside the box...
(omg- get with the program SNHU)

But our favorite part was an hour South of Crestone.....
The Great Sand Dunes National Park.

I sware you guys.
Just last month....well, wait. August. So 2 months ago
(See! time...)

I was sitting on Hunting Island with happy tears in my eyes because I got to capture on film my first tornado/water spout. After the storm I sat in a hammock under two palm trees thinking,
There's no way it get's better than this. I will never see anything this cool again, at least not for a long time!!

Then September 24th came around.

 I felt like I was on a different planet while playing on these massive sand dunes.
A planet where nothing mattered anymore. I didn't have to pay bills, I didn't have to worry about what my future looked like or what other humans thought of me.
It was only joy and love.

A group of middle aged tourists arrived shortly after us and they were running and giggling and sliding down the dunes...it was so adorable and, refreshing. To see that no matter what physical age you are, you can always let your guard down and be a 'free spirit' again ;)

Don't let the world make you hard.

 The National Park Service has said that walking on these dunes in the full moon light is similar to walking on the moon. I can totally see that, because as the sun sets and the quiet darkness begins to  creep in... it turns into another world.

You're hundreds of miles from any major metro area. It's so dark, and so quiet.
So still...

We wrapped up this short trip with a visit to Garden of the Gods then made our way back to Denver to fly out.

This trip changed me.
I was just starting to feel like OK, I want to buy a house and settle down into a routine life.
But now I feel like... no way. I want to live in an RV and live in each state for a week!
There's so much out there to see!!!

But then again, owning a house with a yard where I can run around with chickens and cats and dogs while growing my own food & flowers sounds pretty darn enticing.

Back and Forth
Hot and Cold.

Story of every 20-somethings life?

All I know is it's raining, and I've got a cup of tea waiting for me in the kitchen.
Time to kick my feet up and pretend like I'm sitting here:

Ahh travel.
It truly is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

Sending you lots of love friends.
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