Dippin for Derby!

Hey y’all! Super excited to be teaming up with my fellow Kentucky bloggers to share with you ALL things Derby! Being a Derby newbie, I know I’ll for sure be checking out their posts! If you’re headed to a party or just wanna make something at home–this is the perfect dip for ya! Loaded with flavor and a beautiful colorful presentation, you’ll definitely wanna make it all the time! (Or at least I sure do) I’ve made this recipe on repeat lately and even have had it for lunch (super filling–and thats saying a lot coming from me) Pair it with your favorite chips and you’re all set! Some of my faves are: Siete Foods, Late July Snacks && Rice Chips



Derby Dip

  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 dozen sliced cherry tomatoes
  • handful of goat cheese
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 red onion small dice
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste



**Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl to create the perfect creamy consistency AND serve with your favorite chips**

ALSO–Be sure to check out what other Bluegrass bloggers have to offer this Kentucky Derby season!

Where to Celebrate the Derby in Lexington / Lex Eats

Plus Size Derby & Oaks Style / Authentically Emmie

The History of the Kentucky Derby + Kentucky Derby Facts / Fabulous in Fayette

Oaks & Derby Looks from Amazon / Munchkins and the Military

How to Throw the Best Derby Party / The Bliss Between

Affordable Places to Experience Derby / Loud Girl Big World

Derby Party Cocktail / Space Place and Southern Grace

Horse Cupcakes with Bourbon Icing / Kentucky Girl Ramblings

Derby Cocktail / House Three Thirty Six

Beers for Bourbon Lovers / Love Me Brew

Advice to Survive Derby Week from a Multiple Derby Attendee / Dog Lady Horse Crazy

Derby Party Appetizers Fashion, Frappes & Felines

Derby Recipe Bourbon & Lipstick

How to Dress for the Derby / Styled in Blue

Vineyard Vines Run for the Roses Scarf Benefiting Norton Cancer Institute / HerKentucky

Affordable Derby Outfit / Same McKenna

Derby Outfit / This Lexington Life

Derby Party Recipes Gathered Living

Hope you all will enjoy this super easy and delicious recipe at your Derby party this year!




New York City Foodie Favorites

Hi friends!! If you’ve been following along the instagram–you’d know I went to NYC recently with my mom and sister! We always have the best time, basically eating our way through the entire city– but that’s how we like it :) I quite honestly can’t get enough of this city. If I won the lottery, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Every time we go, we always have to hit some of our all time favorite eats such as Hu KitchenDean &Deluca  and of course Eataly!! BUT, we did find some new spots that I think you all would love to check out and put on your NYC bucket list!!

Foodie approved by yours truly, my unofficial list of new additions…


Corkbuzz: 13 E 13th street 

Definitely a must go–if you consider yourself a charcuterie&cheese board connoisseur like myself (and like to drink nice wine would be a bonus) Such a cute little spot for some light appetizers and good ambiance before hitting the main course!



Uncle Boons: 7 Spring Street

You guys!! This place was one of the coolest spots I’ve been to! You know it’s an awesome place when there is a line out the door at 5pm! Oddly enough, we were able to get in right away and enjoyed one of my favorite meals of all time. Super unique menu–with some of the options being bone marrow and curry snails–this place is perfect for the adventurous eater who also happens to LOVE spicy foods (aka ME) Pictured is the spicy chicken salad and it did not disappoint! I also ordered a spicy tamarind margarita that was off the chain gooooood!


Juice Generation: 644 9th Ave

Super yummy smoothie and snack shop not too far from Soul Cycle! Took a leisurely walk from the 46th street soul location to this spot to get a delicious green smoothie (tryin to fit in with the locals ;) ) I love nothing more than an early morning walk through the streets of NYC—would probably wear comfier shoes next time! This is the “Supa Dupa Greens” smoothie and it was quite tasty–perfect post workout meal!


Ladurée: 398 W Broadway

Hands down one of the cutest places I have ever been! If you’re not even big on macarons and just trying to get that cute pic for the gram–this is the place for ya! With all the pretty pastels, It is so gorgeous inside! PLUS, who doesn’t love an amazing french macaron?! So many awesome flavors to choose from!



Los Tacos No. 1: 75 9th Ave (Located inside Chelsea Market) 

Now you all KNOW how I feel about tacos…and these were honestly insanely delicious!!! Something about a perfectly seasoned meat paired with a fresh salsa and homemade tortillas (cue heart eye emoji) Super conveniently located in Chelsea Market, which is basically a food lovers paradise. A MUST go while in NY!!



Big Gay Ice Cream: 125 E 7th Street 

This place was SO cute! While I am definitely Team Ample Hills Creamery , this spot was recommended to me and I just HAD to try! First off, this place had a giant unicorn on the front of the building so I naturally felt right at home. Second, they had MARSHMALLOW ice cream…like what?! Can you say YUM?? I ended up getting a marshmallow hazelnut swirl and it was everything I could have ever wanted! Oh and wait, it gets better—they have GLUTEN FREE CONES! I literally did a double take while looking at the menu, too good to be true, but it is 100% true friends!!


Butter Midtown: 70 W 45th Street

If you don’t know who Alex Guarnaschelli is, you likely haven’t watched a minute of Food Network…and if that’s the case, I feel bad for you and I don’t think we can be friends (lol half kidding) Anyway, Butter is her restaurant in NYC and it definitely lived up to the hype..especially the brussels sprouts salad ( which we ended up ordering twice ) The inside of the restaurant is really neat too and they had an awesome bar where I had the most amazing mojito of my life!!


Babbo: 110 Waverly Pl

Speaking of Food Network, We miraculously got in at Babbo, which is Chef Mario Batali’s restaurant! Super cozy vibe and classic italian food was the perfect touch to our last night in New York! They even had homemade gluten free pasta, which is always a plus in my book. We finished off the dinner with an amazing pavlova dessert that was to die for!


The Butcher’s Daughter: 19 Kenmare Street 

This place was seriously made for instagram (not even kidding) From the wooden tables, to the avocado toast, and bright colored juices–it is an extremely aesthetically pleasing kinda place! Good news, it is also super delicious, fresh, and healthy. I remember saying this place looked straight outta California (before realizing that there indeed is a location in Los Angeles) I always say this, but it is such a relief going to a restaurant where you can order whatever you want off the menu without having to worry about allergies!  I got avocado toast on gluten free toast with a fresh watermelon juice AND the most amazing gluten free banana bread!


Cafe Clover: 10 Downing Street

GUYS, I am so insanely happy to report that Cafe Clover goes on my unofficial best restaurants of ALL TIME list. I actually got the recommendation from a fellow insta blogger and I am THRILLED that we ended up going! Everything about this place was perfection. From the decor to the food, I just cannot say enough good things. Another place that is super allergy friendly, I was ecstatic to find out everything could be made gluten free! We started off with the smoked salmon and prosciutto flatbreads…HOLY SMOKES, they were out of this world. (Currently in the process of remaking the photo above) We also got the burrata which was BOMB and an insanely unreal dessert that blew my mind. Lastly, mom finished off with some bone broth and I had an awesome immunity tea! No joke, I would 10/10 fly back to New York just to eat at this restaurant!


Thanks for reading!!

Until next time NYC,

Can’t wait to come back and experience more good eats!!!





I am such a breakfast person to the point where sometimes I have it all three meals…guilty!! However, I’m definitely an eggs, potatoes, turkey bacon kinda gal. BUT lately I’ve kinda not been feeling my usual and wanted to switch it up. If I were to do a sweet breakfast (which is so unlike me) I’d definitely do pancakes or oatmeal. There’s nothing quite like hot oatmeal right off the stove but I’ll tell ya a little secret… it is even better in the cast iron ;) or maybe i’m just convinced everything tastes better in the cast iron (lol) This recipe features TWO ways to do baked oatmeal, but really there are an infinite amount of possibilities! You could even make it savory (which I have yet to try, but now I think I gotta!!) My favorite toppings are fresh fruits, lots of cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup never hurt nobody ;)

Get pumped to change up your breakfast game and try something new, you’ll thank me later!!!



  • 2 cups of oats (I use Gluten Free Oats from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (I use Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of PB (or any kind of nut butter you prefer–I used Crazy Richard’s creamy PB)
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (agave or honey would also work)
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (depends on your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • toppings of choice (fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, cinnamon, etc)


**First, you’ll want to combine your wet ingredients together (whisk egg before adding) and then add the dry, folding the oats in. Be sure to oil the skillet before pouring the mixture in! Once you pour in the skillet, add your toppings! Bake at 350 for 25- 30 minutes**

Annnnnd it should come out looking all crispy and golden brown deliciousness!!


Blueberry Baked Oatmeal


Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal


Hope you enjoy!!!



Recipes · Uncategorized

DIY Chipotle Style Burrito Bowls

Helllllllo friends!! I’ve been meaning to get this out to you all sooner…but ya know, this thing called “life” kinda hit me in the face! I think if you take one look at my foodie insta, you’ll probably see a trend…and that would definitely be mexican food. tacos, nachos, taquitos, burrito bowls, i love it all and eat it quite frequently! However, when you’re trying to hit chipotle multiple times a week…it is sure to make your wallet cry! BUT good news y’all…I think I’ve made something that is just as good (if not better) than your average chipotle burrito bowl…plus WAY more budget friendly too :) Keep reading to see how I make it and how you can use it as your weekly meal prep, like I did!!!



Homemade Burrito Bowls

What you’ll need…

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 3 green/red/yellow bell peppers
  • 2 white onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 package of cilantro
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • 2-3 cans black beans (I would recommend buying them in the can/or already precooked. If you wanna make dried beans (keep in mind, it is a lengthy process) I used this recipe: Cuban Black Beans)
  • 3 packs of spanish style rice (I’d recommend the Seeds of Change brand)
  • 1 package of cheese of choice, I used mozzarella BUT (queso fresco and cotija are mexican style cheeses that would taste even better!!)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 pack of romaine lettuce
  • 2 avocados (If you are trying to keep these fresh throughout the week, squeeze some lemon juice on them)
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • your choice of seasonings (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika, fresh lime juice for the chicken marinade)


Where to begin!?

  1. Start by dicing up and marinating your chicken… ( Use the juice of 1 lime, 1-2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons cayenne or ancho chile powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, add enough olive oil to coat the chicken — mix together and add to a resealable bag and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes)
  2. Prep ingredients for your salsa (Use 1/2 cucumber rough dice, 1 package of grape tomatoes, 1/2-1 small red onion cut into chunks, a handful of cilantro, 1 serrano (seeded, if you aren’t feelin too much spice) 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, juice of 1 lime…use your best judgement/own preference for the garlic, salt, and lime measurements) Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until desired consistency— add a little olive oil if salsa is too dry and squeeze in desired amount of lime juice) Set aside in the fridge! ***TIP: You certainly do not have to use a food processor for this and leave it nice and chunky if you’d like !!!***


3.Julienne (long thin strips) 2 bell peppers and 1 white onion for your fajita vegetables. Sauté in avocado oil (high smoke point) until slightly tender. Add a little bit of minced garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.

4.If you are making the black beans from dried beans… follow the linked recipe and start this step FIRST!! If not, heat up your beans in a skillet with some oil (optional: add in some diced bell pepper and white onion for added flavor) and make sure to season slightly with salt and pepper

5.Additionally, heat up your already cooked spanish rice in a skillet with some oil too

6.Rough chop the romaine and use as the base for your burrito bowls

7.Take your chicken out of the fridge—cook in a skillet with avocado oil

8.Dice up an avocado and cilantro for garnish (add a squeeze of lime and a little bit of cheese to each bowl)

*** These ingredients made exactly 7 portions, perfect for a dinner meal prep for the week!! Assemble the ingredients however you’d like and place in tupperware containers for the week (Put salsa in a separate container) ***



Hope you all enjoy and give chipotle a run for it’s money ;) !!

Until next time,




Whole Foods Guide (Fave Brands & Products)

If you keep up with me even the slightest bit on any of my social media, you’d know I’m a Whole Foods obsessed freak (but a healthy obsession, right ;) ) Actually, to be honest, I am just grocery store obsessed in general. However, over this past year, I have seamlessly added Whole Foods into my routine…which you all should know by now a successful Whole Foods trip is ALWAYS  followed by Cyclebar! I can honestly say if I were to shop at one place for the rest of my life– it would hands down be Whole Foods! You can find anything and everything there and they have all my favorite brands plus there’s always something new to try!! With that being said, I think we are all aware that it is not the most budget friendly option, I definitely have to practice self control when I go in there and only buy the products I swear by! Thankfully, there are places like Kroger and Trader Joe’s that are MUCH nicer to my wallet ;) *PS. I definitely just said “Whole Foods” four times in that paragraph…

Anyway, last week I did a poll on whether or not you’d want me to write about all my favorite Whole Foods finds and I got a unanimous response, YES (and the most engagement I’ve ever gotten on a poll too) Sooooo here we are! I hope you all like my list and DEFINITELY try out these products…. because they are approved by the Whole Foods queen herself ;)

Disclaimer: these are all GLUTEN FREE products and I’m not 100% that Whole Foods is the only retailer for these products–but that is where I buy them :)

Let’s get on with it!

Simple Mills


When I say this brand can do no wrong, I sincerely mean it! Literally all of their products are straight FIRE! They have a giant array of different products ranging from coconut oil frosting to these almond flour cheddar crackers…AND y’all I swear they are laced with crack, they are TOO good to be true! I could 100% live off these and be a happy camper. I love this brand because they use clean, “real food” ingredients and the taste is ON POINT!



I started buying Applegate at Trader Joe’s, but have recently found out that Whole Foods has a WAY better selection! Including bacon and turkey bacon!! I love this company because they really produce a high quality product that is free of nitrates and nitrites, which is VERY difficult to find in packaged meat! Plus, their stuff is just so freaking tasty! I especially love their herb roasted turkey breast for sandwiches :)

Tres Latin Foods




Honestly, it is super difficult finding good quality and nutritious freezer items that aren’t filled with crap! I first stumbled upon these at my local Kroger but have since seen that Whole Foods sells them too! I can 100% stand by this brand and say they have developed such a delicious product without compromising health! Very simple ingredients and lots of tasty flavors to choose from! I especially love the chicken and cheese +black bean and corn for a convenient meal when ya just don’t feel like cooking! :)

Perfect Bar


Oh perfect bar, how I love you so much!! My mother literally has to tell me to stop buying these…because I’m OBSESSED! I’ve never found a protein bar that satiates me quite like these bars! Annnnnd they are so so yummy, legit they taste like cookie dough and filled with an incredible amount of nutrients, protein, and superfoods! Definitely my go-to after an intense cyclebar workout ;) Definitely check out the dark chocolate peanut butter with sea salt—and thank me later!! TIP: they are almost always on sale 2/$4!!

Kite Hill


All my life i’ve hated yogurt! The consistency and taste freaked me out and as much as I wanted to like it, I couldn’t get myself to eat it…. Introducing Kite Hill almond milk yogurt, my saving grace! I absolutely love this brand and this yogurt. Something about the almond milk–creates such a great texture and has completely transformed me into a yogurt lover!! I especially love the strawberry, vanilla, and key lime flavors :) ALSO–they have super flavorful cream cheese made from almonds which is definitely worth trying out!



Again, adding on to my “hard to find good quality freezer items speech” these falafel poppers make the cut! I’m a huge fan of falafel ( and just made it from scratch in class yesterday ;) ) but what makes these EXTRA tasty is that they are filled with different flavors of hummus! So delicious, good ingredients, and GLUTEN FREE, of course :) These are super tasty added on top of a salad or added to an egg scramble in the morning!



When it comes to tortillas—this brand cannot be beat!! You’d never know it–but these chips are grain free and dairy free! Just a fair warning, they are scary addicting and one second you’ll be eating a few chips and the next second the bag will be gone (personal experience) my personal favorite flavor is the nacho because it is insanely flavorful without adding any dairy or gluten!! They also have a lime and sea salt flavor which are equally BOMB! Oh, and you gotta try their almond flour tortillas (freezer section) you will be amazed! Great company with only the best wholesome ingredients :)

Whole Foods


Y’all, you can basically buy ANY vegetable you possibly want spiralized into noodles at Whole Foods! At my location in Lexington, I’ve seen turnip, beets, parsnips, zucchini, carrot, squash….etc etc IT IS INSANE! These conveniently packaged goods make the BEST dinner or an addition to any meal! While I do own a spiralizer, sometimes it is just WAY more convenient to buy them already done for you and ready to be cooked and added to healthy meal :) TIP: I really enjoy my veggies noodles sautéed with homemade pesto OR a peanut sauce :)



Oh Banza, another product I 100% swear by! The cool thing about their products are that their pastas are made with chickpeas which means increased protein and less carb-y than your traditional pasta, OH and gluten free, which is essential for me :) Much like the veggie noodles, these noodles can also be used as a blank canvas for whatever flavor you wanna add to them! You’d never know that it isn’t “real” pasta because the mouthfeel is perfection! Plus SO many added nutrients that you’d never get from traditional pasta ;)

Better Bean 


Better Bean: One word…DELICIOUS! I love this product because their beans are already fully cooked and ready to go and can be added to literally anything you want! I’ve tried all the different flavors and I always always always reach for the cuban black beans. I love to add them as a side to rice, nachos, quesadillas and some extra flavor for breakfast:)

Canyon Bakehouse


There really aren’t any words to describe my love for Canyon Bakehouse! After learning I could no longer eat gluten, I was legit bummed and SUPER discouraged that I would never be able to eat “normal” bread ever again…because let’s be honest, majority of gluten free bread is TERRIBLE—crumbly, flavorless, and cardboard texture! Until I discovered Canyon Bakehouse– and I’ve never looked back! This bread is a celiac’s dream come true! I love all of their products from their focaccia, cinnamon raisin bread, and new bagels–It is all 100% perfection! I honestly don’t know how they do it, but I’ve never missed “normal” bread since! :)

Califia Farms


I’m normally a black coffee drinker…BUT this stuff is just too good not to buy!! I first discovered this brand when I became an almond milk obsessed freak and now I can’t live without it! They have so many different kinds/flavors that it is hard to choose just one…but if I had to go for a favorite, I would go for the mocha cold brew made with almond milk…it is great late at night when I’m craving sweets or just straight in the morning if I want some chocolate with my coffee…which is almost always a yes! TIP: You can use this stuff baking too! I use their almond milk to make my dark chocolate raspberry tarts :)

Annnnd there you go :) Now, there are MILLION other products I love and buy at Whole Foods but that list would be pages and pages long and would take weeks to write! Your best bet is hitting me up on instagram with questions and maybe we can even hit up Whole Foods together :) The key to grocery shopping is sticking to your basic essentials (fruits, veggies, protein) and keeping your processed treats very minimal on ingredients!!

***This post is not sponsored, I simply just love health, food, and everything Whole Foods!

Hope you enjoy and that this motivates you to hit up the grocery store!!








French Macarons 101 (Recipe + Tips)

I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to cookies–the macaron is right at the top of my list! With the slight crunch of the cookie and the creamy filling on the inside, it is the best of both worlds! Plus, can we just talk about how gorgeous and absolutely photogenic they are?! Just to be clear: macaroons and macarons are two different things! All my life, I thought they were pronounced macaroons but I soon realized there is a big difference between the two! I think the french are probably fed up with us Americans butchering their dessert (lol) with that being said, this is the difference…

chocolate-dipped-coconut-macaroons.jpg     IMG_0162.jpg

               MACAROONS (LEFT)                          FRENCH MACARONS (RIGHT)


There ya go! Back in the summer, I attempted to make french macarons for the fourth of july and it went something like this…

IMG_8004.jpg      IMG_8005.jpg

 EXPECTATION  (LEFT)            VS             REALITY (RIGHT)

I’m almost embarrassed to show this picture, but this is real life peeps! I always say I am a cook, NOT a baker. Baking is it’s own very different animal that I really have never had a natural talent for (exhibit A ^^ LOL) I quickly figured out I wasn’t going to be able to master the macaron on my own… It really is a tricky cookie to make guys, not even kidding!! Since mom and I both LOVE macarons and had no idea how to make them—-we called on a professional pastry chef to help us out!




*** Recipe provided by Betsy Sanchez, Pastry Chef  ***

Betsy showed us step-by-step how to make the perfect macaron and let me tell you…they turned out AMAZING! The recipe above is what she followed as we went through the process and hopefully it is helpful to you all, whenever you decide to take on the macaron!

Here are some tips we learned along the way…

  • Macarons are very sensitive to weather/temperature– choose a day that is very low humidity
  • Aging the egg whites (24 hour minimum) gives them strength and makes for a better consistency
  • Even the tiniest bit of fat (yolk) will break the mixture. Make sure all beaters and bowls are clean!
  • After they are piped, be sure to slam the pan down a couple of times to “set” the macaron shells THEN wait at least 20 minutes for them to dry before baking. They should develop a “skin” on the top of them after the time has elapsed!
  • This goes without saying–BUT always, always, always measure everything as exact as possible!
  • Once they come out of the oven, let them rest until they are cool and then place them in the refrigerator AT LEAST overnight before consuming (this is the toughest part, self control people!!) the end result will be worth it!!

Annnnnnd then, they should HOPEFULLY look a little something like this ;)


Remember to always be patient when making the french macaron, follow the recipe exactly, and you too will have instagram worthy cookies ;)







5 1/2 years later…


My college experience is not your traditional one.

I know some of you, definitely my parents, were like wait, she hasn’t graduated yet?! To be honest, I myself was starting to think this day would never come! But I am happy to report that as of December 15, 2017, I have completed my undergraduate bachelor’s degree of science in Dietetics! (YAYY) To say this has been a long time coming is no understatement! It truly has been the most taxing, lengthy, confusing at times, BUT most rewarding experiences of my life. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am to even be given the opportunity to go to college, especially without any student loans. It is not a gift I take lightly and I forever owe my parents for giving me this chance (and then some) !!

But to truly grasp the extent of my excitement, accomplishment, and even my gratitude—I have to take you back to my senior year of high school. To put things into perspective, 18 year old Kelsey was in a (what I thought to be) serious relationship that was “guaranteed” to result in marriage. When you are in an all consuming relationship like this at a young age, you lose so much of yourself. It’s like you don’t know who you are without the other person. That is exactly where I was at. Because of this, I was not very motivated about college. I didn’t know what my interests were and I didn’t really care. I wanted to be with this one person and that was it. For some reason, my parents decided to keep me from attending the same college as him–so I went off to Illinois State. I spent one miserable semester there before calling it quits and coming home. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I were struggling to do long distance and it was becoming evident to me that he was pulling away. While I was home, I decided to enroll in a local community college, do some general education credits—while trying as often as I could to visit him on the weekends…

You can probably see where this is going. Yup, he dumped me. And I have to say, It was the greatest blessing in disguise because it forced me to get my life together. But at the time, it was like my whole life was falling apart. Like everyone around me was going on with their lives and I was stuck on pause. As you can probably imagine, I went into a deep depression that I didn’t see myself recovering from. Because without him, what did my life even mean? Writing this now, it is easy for me to remember back to this exact moment, these exact thoughts, but it is also easy for me to recognize how toxic and unhealthy this relationship was becoming. Due to my mental state, I wasn’t quite ready to go back to school, so I took the semester off. And when I finally felt up to it, I started to look for a job and that’s when I found PetSmart. PetSmart was the perfect distraction for me. I met awesome friends, was working all the time, and constantly surrounded by animals. I credit a lot of my healing to this job, keeping busy, and my family’s support. Once I was getting back on track, I went back to community college and started to think more clearly about my future. Through vacations to New York, working long hours, getting to know myself again and spending time alone, meeting new people, constant therapy by not only my psychiatrist, but my superhuman mother– I found myself. I found my passion, my drive, and a much clearer path for my future.

And that is when I found the University of Kentucky. It wasn’t exactly a place I really had a desire to go to, but it piqued my interest. Going somewhere warmer, far away from home but not too far, with a completely different feel and scenery was right up my alley. It turns out, I made the perfect decision for myself, without even knowing it! Lexington quickly became home. I made friends in my first few weeks that continued to be part of my life throughout the entirety of college. I joined choir which became a great outlet for me during a stressful day ( and also conveniently supplied most of my friendships and relationships ) I really enjoyed most of my classes, finally learning more about what I was passionate about and taking on culinary school halfway through—another great decision (thanks mom) And of course, I got swept up into the Kentucky basketball phenomenon which is absolutely unavoidable when you attend UK! Road trippin to games and making crazy memories–I’ve had the best time here!

As I said, my college experience is not your traditional story. It definitely did not come without failure, heartbreak, and hard lessons. But I am happy to say, I made it! Through it all, I became a much better version of myself that I never would have discovered if I would have given up a long time ago! I won’t annoy you with a cheesy pep talk.. (never give up, reach for the stars…blah blah) I think you get the point. But I will say, I am so thankful to be here now telling this story!

Cheers to graduation and 5 1/2 years! Thank you UK for all the good times! GO CATS! 

I hope everyone has a great holiday with friends and family! Remember to be thankful for all you do have in your life :)