Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Motivation

After spotting this on Pinterest ages ago it's become one of my favorite pieces of motivation. We are so often searching for the next big thing in our lives or thinking "If only lived here..." or "If I only worked there..." thinking that big changes would make us more happy or successful. Life is truly lived when you work with what you've got and focus on how to be your best self in that situation.

Maybe you're living a life you've never imagined or stuck in a situation that is not the most ideal, but think about how you make the best of it and truly bloom. You can't always choose the hand you are dealt in life, but you can certainly strategize on how to play. So take some time this week to think about how you can make the best of what you've got--if not, all of that negative energy will just turn you into a weed!

ps. I love this little saying so much I painted a little canvas with it for me office that I'll be sharing soon and possibly more for my Etsy shop.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Every Mile With a Purpose

While everyone has been taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I have decided to accept a different philanthropic challenge. It was no easy journey to finally completing my first half marathon last October, but once I crossed that finish line I knew that it wouldn't be the last time. For that first half I would meet up with friends occasionally for longer runs, but mostly trained solo and at my own pace. As I started to feel ready for my next half I wanted to change things up a bit this time.

Read more about my first half marathon here!
At this time in exactly three months from today I will be running the streets of Richmond in the American Family Fitness Half Marathon with Team in Training (TNT) to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

There are several people within my online social circles who I've seen participating in TNT and I've been intrigued about the organization for a while. Everyone gets so into it--I knew that would be a kind of energy that I could get behind! In addition to going through my training with a team I was really interested in also blending my training with philanthropy and so TNT was a perfect option for me.

TNT raises both funds and awareness for the LLS and while I do not have a direct personal connection to either disease, I've had friends who have had to lose loved ones too soon to blood cancers. I am so incredibly grateful for my good health and able body and I hope to be able to put it use for something greater than my own personal gains. Not only will I have that awesome feeling crossing the finish line again, but I'll know that I have helped the effort of curing blood cancers.

Let's look at the facts...

Did you know that in 2013 there were an estimated 48,610 new cases of Leukemia? 
Approximately every four minutes someone in the US is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer. 
Over 1 million Americans are living with or are in remission from leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.
About every 10 minutes we lose someone in the US from blood cancers.
Leukemia causes almost 1/3 of all cancer deaths for children under 15.
Sources: & LLS

Here's where we can get together and help to fight blood cancers together. As you get up tomorrow morning and maybe plan to go grab a leisurely Saturday morning latte, skip out for just one day and instead donate to LLS. The next time you're in Target, skip The Dollar Spot and instead send a few dollars over to LLS. Fundraising is so much about engagement and participation, each amount and every dollar counts no matter how large or small.

After my first TNT training run!
So join me as I train for 13.1 miles and also work towards a goal of raising $1200 for LLS. If you're interested in donating, you can learn more on my personal fundraising page (thank you!). I hold myself accountable to blog weekly updates of my training to keep you in touch with my progress and also share more information about the blood cancers we're working to fight and the unreasonable amount of lives that they take from us each year.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Music City

This past spring my younger brother hemmed and hawed about whether or not he would walk at his college graduation. A few weeks before our wedding he decided to move forward with plans to walk across that stage. Great timing! So as I continued to wrap up wedding and honeymoon planning my mom started planning for our trip. My brother went to school at Middle Tennessee State University which is close by to Nashville so we took advantage of the opportunity to explore!

Since we were pretty tapped from wedding and honeymoon expenses and getting a flight from Richmond to Nashville a month in advance in about a bajillion dollars we decided to go old school and road trip out there. This trip truly showed me just how wide the state of Virginia is. We just kept driving and driving down 81 and Mr. Young kept asking, "Are we in Tennessee yet?!!" The good thing is that it was an easy drive, we saw only a few cops, and hit no traffic on either leg of the trip.

We spent Friday exploring Nashville and y'all...I LOVE this city! I have always wanted to visit and had friends who'd told me I'd probably enjoy our time there, let's just say I'm already trying to plan a trip to go back and see more. We hit up a lot of the big touristy stops like the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Even though it probably had the least amount of artifacts to look at, the Ryman Auditorium was my favorite. It's such a historic icon within country music and the music scene overall and it was awesome to be there and think about all of the legends who've played on that stage.

A good tip for the Hall of Fame is that if you go during the last hour of the day you can get your ticket 50% off for only having limited time in the museum. While there is a ton to see at there, so much of it is going wayyy back to the birth of country music and while I appreciated learning some new information I didn't spend nearly as much time looking at the first floor that we were on. So pending on what you know and what you're hoping to learn this could be a good option to save a few bucks as they have a pricey entrance fee ($30). Growing up outside of DC makes you a bit of a snob when it comes to having to pay to see a museum.

After having a late breakfast we also stopped for a late lunch/early dinner and decided to head to Honky Tonk Central to hear some music while we took a break from sightseeing. Each bar/restaurant on Broadway had music blaring out of it and I loved how there were three floors to this place and each one had a different band playing. As a pick me up on our way out of downtown we stopped at Mike's Ice Cream (which also has coffee) and I think that their Frozen Cappuccino was seriously the best cold coffee drink I've ever had. If you like coffee do not leave downtown without grabbing one of these!

The day ended at the Grand Ole' Opry house because I knew our trip wouldn't be complete without this experience. We saw so many awesome performances, discovered some new talent, and got to see teenage girls rush the stage when Hunter Hayes finally came on at the end. Y'all, he was so stinkin' adorable! While it was late and we were dragging a bit we did a backstage tour after the show and it was totally worth it. We got to see all of the dressing rooms, walk out onto the stage into the infamous circle from Ryman Auditorium, and we even ran into some of the performers who were lingering after the show.

With Friday's sightseeing under our belts we had a much more relaxed Saturday. After my brother's graduation we had a long and leisurely lunch and got to see his new house. It's crazy that my younger siblings are becoming real people which is starting to make me feel very old. But we couldn't be more proud of him graduating and snagging and awesome first job in the real world!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Motivation

For someone who really enjoys routine, I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of it. This summer has been amazing, but has been anything but routine and I'm looking forward to getting back into my daily rituals--including this poor blog which I have neglected for far too long.

What better way to get back into routine than with Motivation Monday! After spending nearly twenty hours in the car this weekend going to and from Nashville (more on that later!) I am in need of some motivation and extra caffeine this morning.

I think this one is the story of my life, hand picked for me via Pinterest. Whether it's over thinking or keeping an idea or dream in my head for far too long I feel like the queen of this quote lately. After a lot of thinking the past few years about some big dreams of mine I have finally taken the first step towards making it a reality and I am both incredibly excited and nervous. But what kind of big dream would it be if it didn't make you a bit anxious?

Now it's time to do. It's time to roll my sleeves up and grab an extra cup of coffee because while I know it's going to be a fun ride, it's also going to take a lot of hard work. And time, lots of time.

So whatever it is you've been thinking about whether it's painting your kitchen or making career moves--today is the day friend. Stop thinking and take some action steps towards making it happen!