Volunteers of America

Volunteering has become a very important part of my life, especially since joining the Junior League of Louisville last January. For me, volunteering has provided valuable insight into the community I live in and I love having an opportunity to give back. It has certainly made Louisville feel more like home. Most of my friends know that I work with many local organizations, but I want to begin sharing some opportunities where you can become more involved.

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting and poverty simulation at the Volunteers of America facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Until last night, I had heard of this organization, but didn’t really know much about the work they do throughout the region. This organization serves as a shelter for the homeless community, but not only that, they are unique among other homeless shelters because they are able to keep entire families housed together. They also serve as a launching pad to help people overcome the challenges associated with pulling themselves out of poverty. The organization provides:

  • Addiction Recovery Services
  • Veterans Services
  • Developmental Disability Services
  • HIV Services
  • Homeless and Housing Services

The Statistics

  • 4,025 people are homeless in Kentucky (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • Largest percentage of homeless are in Fayette County (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • The fastest growing homeless population is 18-24 year olds (KET, 2017)
  • There were 1,330 overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2016; 31% were among people ages 33-44 (Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2016)

The best thing we can do to help our community is spread the word and step up and get involved. If you are interested in learning more about getting involved in Louisville, feel free to message me. If you would like to learn more about the work that Volunteers of America does in our community follow this link.

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Living My Best Life at 32

And no where close to where I thought I’d be.

This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday (yep… the BIG 3-2). Birthdays have always been a bit melancholy for me. I think because it is a reminder of how quickly the years are going by. Often times, I seem to catch myself focusing on the milestones and goals I haven’t yet achieved.

Honestly, if you had asked me 5-10 years ago where I would be at 32 my vision would have been very different. Back then, I felt sure that I would’ve been married with children by now. Sometimes that isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, especially as I watch my friends begin that phase of their life. It has been a challenge for me to accept that there isn’t a “right” timeframe for life.

One thing I can undoubtedly say is that I love the life I am living. It isn’t always perfect and some days are better than others. My 30’s have been amazing so far and I feel less pressure to fit in and more relaxed in my own skin. I have fun, I challenge myself and try new things. This past year I have been fortunate to make new friendships with some of the most talented, compassionate and intelligent women I have ever known.

As I reflect on the last year, it definitely had its lessons and challenges – oh did it ever! But I am grateful knowing that everyday I am becoming stronger, braver and growing closer to the woman that I would like to one day be. I am living my life for me.

Louisville Lady Adventures

I tend to hike alone quite a bit, I love it because it gives me time to myself to recharge. It’s been a hobby of mine for a while to spend weekends hiking and taking photos for my Instagram account. Since I started doing this on a consistent basis I always have friends who mention how much they would like to join. Since starting this blog a couple of weeks ago, it sparked an idea to create a Facebook Page just for that. A place where I can plan various meet ups and adventures with other individuals who enjoy the outdoors.

Last night I created my Facebook Page called Louisville Lady Adventures (*follow me*). I have already created my first two events. The first is a hike at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. The second planned event is a hike is one of my favorites (Hansen’s Point) at Red River Gorge. If you’re in the Louisville area and are interested, feel free to join us! I will also plan some casual meet ups and other adventures like kayaking, rock climbing, and zip lining once the warmer months get here.

Anyways, if you are interested at all follow me on Facebook at Louisville Lady Adventures and on Instagram @thelouisvillelady. Also, if you have any ideas for hikes let me know! I would LOVE to know what everyone is interested in!

 

 

Novice Runner & Yogini Begins Her Journey

A little over a month ago, I decided to get back into a solid fitness routine. I have always been very active, but I really HATE going to the gym – I mean REALLY HATE. There have been a couple things that sparked my motivation. Sometime in early November, I got a wild idea to sign up for Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running (this includes a 5k, 10k and finally a 10 miler). I also signed up for my first 502 Fit Pass in December. This has been amazing because I can schedule classes with ease and attend classes throughout the city – never bored with the same old thing. I have really focused my fitness routine on three things right now. Once I have a better habit developed, I’ll begin adding more to my repertoire but this is a good start.

Running

Well as much as I hate it, I am trying to get in at least 4 runs in a week. Lately, they’ve been on the treadmill, I know… NOT the same, but I refuse to freeze my ass off. I have never really been a runner, so completing a 10 miler this Spring is going to be a challenge that I am really going to have to work for.  Slowly, I am beginning to enjoy my runs a little more each day – despite having to get to the gym by 5:30AM to avoid the New Year’s crowd.

Yoga

Lately, I have been posting a lot of yoga pictures and that’s because I have been taking A LOT of yoga classes. My 502 Fit Pass has let me try some new studios with a variety of yoga classes including (Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram and Kundalini). I love my yoga practice because it helps me to reduce my stress level and calm down at the end of the day. I have suffered from terrible (sometimes debilitating) anxiety since my early teen years, and having a grounding yoga practice has worked wonders for my stress level.

Various Activities

I really don’t hate the gym that much, I just get really bored with it and often prefer other activities. I really enjoy going to the climbing gym near my apartment and as I am sure you know I love a good long hike with my dog (Minnie Pearl). I also like riding bikes at the park. Winter has slowed me down on a few of these things, but it is a huge part of my fitness life.

I really just enjoy staying active. I plan to add more weight training and cross training in the future, but hoping these practices will give me a strong foundation to build some positive habits. What are some of your favorite ways to keep fit? If you’re in the Louisville area, do you have any classes you would recommend?

 

5 Days In and 4lbs Down!

So to kick off the New Year I decided to read and begin Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet. Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and I really like his holistic approach to wellness. I really wanted to start eating clean for my health, but I don’t like focusing on a number on a scale because it can be so disheartening.

The Blood Sugar Solution incorporates meditation, light exercise and it is a detox program where you are encouraged to eat… Hallelujah!! Now I do have to admit, I am only 5 days in and I have had to cheat. This diet is not easy as it cuts out all sugar, gluten, dairy, starchy carbs, caffeine and alcohol for 10 days. After the 10 days you can add a few things back in moderation. I am training for a 10 miler right now and plan to do a half marathon after, so I am running a lot. My body needs carbs to not feel like complete garbage. So I have made some modifications to meet my own needs.

I will say the first two days I was following this diet to a “T” and I had a pounding headache, and was dreaming about chocolate; however, I have not felt hungry so far. Now my body has seemed to adjust to the lack of caffeine and sugar and I am sleeping really well. The change on the scale isn’t a primary goal, but I have dropped 4lbs already and feel a lot less bloated.  So I am going to see this through to the end and I will keep you updated.

If you’ve completed the 10-Day Sugar Detox, I would love to hear comments on your experience. I would also love to hear from anyone with any questions! If you’re interested here is a link to Dr. Mark Hyman’s Facebook Page.