Grandma, I Miss You...

Grandma, I Miss You...

Losing someone you care about is one of the hardest things to cope with.


There is a not a single day I do not think about my grandmother. It's coming up on four years since her death, and I miss her more and more everyday. I wish I would have the opportunity to talk to her just one more time, for closure or perhaps just to see hear her voice one more time. Grandma, here are the things I want you to know...

I would not wish Alzheimer's Disease on my worst enemy. To see your once vibrant mind dwindle, absolutely broke my heart. You were the most kind-hearted and wise woman I have had the privilege of knowing. When people say strong women raise strong women, all I think about is how you raised my mom and how my mom and raised me. I cannot say thank you enough for all you have given me through yourself and through my mom. Your hard work, stubbornness and preservation to make something of yourself and not be stuck on the family farm your entire life, gives me loads of motivation to get through college and the knowledge that I can do anything I desire with a little hard work.

Your death was so unexpected. I am so thankful that out of the blue, I decided to spend that last weekend you were alive, with you. I have an incredible amount of guilt for not spending more time with you in your last months, when I could have easily made time to. It was very hard at times to see you struggle to talk, to remember family and friends, to not be aware of times and places but I still undeniably regret not being with you more. I want you to know to know how hard it was to see you in that state- being mindless from the Alzheimer's. I was barely a teenager when the Alzheimer's started. By the time I was able to grasp politics or needed advice on relationships, life, or just needed some words of wisdom, it was already too late to talk with you about them. This still haunts me to this day. Your wisdom and advice is irreplaceable. I'm not perfect, I have made my fair share of stupid decisions, and I would give anything to talk with you during those times and it hurts awfully bad that I cannot and will not be able to in the future. This, by no means, is your fault, it's, if anything, somewhat selfish on my part. You just were unlike anyone else, and I look up to you more than you will ever know.

On a brighter note, I am confident that in my lifetime Alzheimer's will see it's demise. My beloved university seems to have found a break-though treatment for Alzheimer's. It makes me beyond proud that this research and discovery was done at WVU's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. Although, this treatment is still in it's early stages of testing, it makes me so happy that this disease will most likely not have the ability to take away anyone else's loved ones in the future.

I see so much of you in my mom, my brother, and even myself. And it's not the same not having you around, but nonetheless it's comforting. Your sayings, your expressions, your stories, I have such vivid memory of them. Oh how I remember every detail of your stories, but what I would do just for you to tell them to me one more time. You lived such an extraordinary life and I hope I have as bright of a future as the life you lived. I will forever cherish all the memories, and most importantly you. I love you so much and forever will.



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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.

I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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An Open Letter: To The Simple Things

An open letter dedicated to living within the small and simple things in life.


To the Simple Things,

I know there's probably a saying dedicated to the "simple things," that life gives us. I suppose one could label that phrase, indeed, a cliché. However, could it be that maybe, just maybe, the simple things do impact us positively?

Recently, there was something that happened to me that I wished would come to pass a while ago. I let that hope pass as time quickly produced no results. But then, without warning, little bits of positivity would come about: a word of encouragement here or healthy advice there. It all seemed to be smaller pieces of a bigger puzzle. These simple things lead to that one event I wished for long ago.

We often times think that the major occurrences should happen right now. And if they happen right this moment, it'll appease us in all we've hoped for. But what is overlooked is the simple things that helped build your positivity along the way. I understand that it may not seem like much, but any sign that everything will work in your favor is worth remembering and living in. The smaller moments are just as important as the bigger ones.

Life is difficult. However, I wish for everyone out there to admire all of the simple things that come your way. And most importantly: believe that those small moments will lead to something greater for you. Anything is entirely possible, and you're worth all of those possibilities. I've said many times before, but here it is yet again: never let others mute your happy little moments. These simple things in life hold various meaning for each individual. No one in any shape or form is allowed to tell you what exactly that meaning is. That is completely up to you.

As with anything I write, I am only voicing from perspective. But I know how hard it is to see the positive in small bursts and not getting the immediate result. I have learned to look at these simple things as building blocks and relish what they give to me. All things will work out fine; just believe in the simple things.

May you find comfort in these mini bursts of happiness even if, at first, they're hard to place faith in.



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