pisces, aquarius, libra.

When I tell people I struggle with anxiety, they don’t always believe me.

“But you’re so outgoing!” is a common response. “Yeah, but, it’s probably not as bad for you as it is for other people,” is less common, but definitely more hurtful. “I’m stressed too,” is a familiar retort, and though I appreciate the camaraderie, when I’m having an anxiety episode, it doesn’t matter how relatable my issues are–I feel them as isolating and my own.

Since January, I have belonged to a small women’s group focused on positive life change (you should go here to learn more about the program). Through movement, discussion, and knowledge, I have understood more about myself than ever before.

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Engagement Party, aka The Games Begin

When Craig proposed to me this past Christmas Eve, I was elated. Not only was I about to spend the right of my life with the most perfect man ever for me, my Type-A personality was ready to shine: I feel like I’ve been prepping for planning a major event like a wedding since I was a little girl.

Never one to shy away from hosting anything (from intimate dinners to lavish themed parties), planning a wedding seems like a stressful, beautiful time. As someone who has gotten a bit of an adrenaline high from stress since she was little (I always secretly loved having multiple deadlines), I can’t help but smile when I say “I can’t believe I have so much to plan!”, because I am actually quite excited.

The first event for wedding business seems natural enough–the engagement party. I was excited to share the good news of our engagement with our loved ones (not like I hadn’t text them within 24 hours of Craig proposing or anything…), but was a little nervous about how to get a party going while working full-time and being a busy bee in general. Luckily, I have an amazing family team behind me, so my parents and sister took on the bulk of the planning and executing. I was able to pipe in with some hopes and expectations, but for the most part they took charge and it was AWESOME.

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Tip-Toe Into Keto: Thai Chicken Zoodle Soup!

It’s that time of year in the Blue Ridge Mountains…one day it’s a temperate 60 degrees, the next it’s a horrific, chilly-to-the-bone evening. The older I get, the more I realize I’m not a “winter” or a “summer” person…I’m more of a “unless I’m totally comfortable, I hate it” kind of person. Don’t get me wrong–I would much rather be in the cool breeze of winter than the unbearable heat of summer, and I have spent many a winter season with my fair share of snow.

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A typical winter scene in Boone, NC (this pic was taken in January 2009)

Ok, so I’m getting off track a little bit here, but I just want it to be clear: I ain’t no whimp when it comes to the cold.

That being said, when it is a little chilly, I like to warm up with hot food. Revolutionary, right? No one has ever though of that before!

Jokes! Although hot food is a must-have when the temperatures drop, something that is new to me is the craving for soups. I’ve never craved soup before in my life, but for the past few months I can’t get enough. French onion, creamy tomato, a mushroom sherry masterpiece from Cúrate I tried during Asheville Restaurant Week–mmm! Craig is not much of a soup-eater, so I knew to satisfy both my craving and his stomach, I’d have to wow him with something tasty. Which is exactly what this healthy soup turned out to be!

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to be so bold.

“I did something kind of weird,” I confessed to one of my best friends in a drunken haze. I was visiting her in our sleepy college town–a place where we had found soulmates in friendships, but not in boys.

“What?” she replied, politely listening while trying to fight off sleep (I’m notorious for chatting all night while people are trying to go to bed).

“I told the universe I was ready for the big love. The man I’m going to marry,” I said with a dumb, inebriated smile on my face.

“Do you think it will really happen, though? Like, this soon?” she asked. A valid question.

“I really do.”

Fast forward a couple short weeks, and that’s when I met him–Craig.

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Stitch Fix #10!

If you have ever complimented an article of my clothing, at this point 80% of the time I chipe in that it came in a Stitch Fix box. I love this service, and think it is extremely helpful for bizzay ladies like myself. Not sure how Stitch Fix works? Let me explain real quick, or you can check out my first review:

You get a Stitch Fix account. You fill out a detailed, wide-encompassing style profile explaining what you like, what makes you feel confident, etc. From there, you are assigned your own personal stylist that hooks you up with 5 super unique pieces. This service costs a $20 styling fee. Once your items have been shipped and you receive them on the date of your choosing, you have three days to play around with the items. Try them on, pair them with things you already have–just don’t rip off the tags! Love just a few items? You pay for only the things you keep, and deduct the $20 styling fee from your total. All you have to do is plop the things you don’t want to keep in a prepaid envelope and ship it back in your mailbox. Love it all? Enjoy a 25% discount on TOP of deducting the styling fee. It’s pretty much the sweetest deal.

So now that you get how it works, let me show you how my November Stitch Fix turned out!

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Man, honestly? It’s hard to remember the first time.

I remember the first time I outwardly thought I was fat.

I was putting on a favorite dress of mine–a little worn, probably a little old. I may had outgrown it a bit since I was growing quickly. I was 5 and my mom was helping me get dressed when I asked her, point-blank:

“Mom, am I fat?”

I remember the look of surprise on her face. Here was this tiny creature, dressed sweetly in a 101 Dalmatians dress and bare feet, asking one of the most loaded questions possible. Her surprised face became a furrowed brow. “No, you’re perfect just the way you are,” she told me, as stern as I’d ever seen her. “I think I like the way I am,” I remember telling her. And with that, I demanded my photo be taken in my favorite dress.

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Not me in the aforementioned dress, but looking cool as hell with Jasmine. Unabashedly baring my belly!

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