Finding Her Courage is now officially a podcast, too!
It seems like the next right step. I’m ready. I do podcasts for a living, and I have a vision for my own platform. Season One is going to really hit deep. I am ready for you to receive!
𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘏𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 is a podcast that taps into the minds of women whom embody courage in the everyday, and inspire others to live the same. These cultivated conversations feature artists and authors alike and you may discover just how similar our lives can be- amidst obstacles, doubt and intuitive nudges.
*NEW episode every MONDAY*
Episode One features JEN SINCERO. I know. You read that correctly. I couldn’t believe it either.
She published her latest book so she kindly took some time to speak with me on the matter. Read on & then…get to listening!!!
2021 is in full swing, and she has just the book for you. “Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick” is the kick in the butt you need to make real change and be your BEST self!
I sat down with Jen to talk about the book and topics like IDENTITY, BELIEF, COURAGE and more.
For more information on FHC, please visit findinghercourage.com.
When my sister moved to San Diego for work, I had to visit her any chance I could!
Last Halloween, I flew out for the very first time to celebrate my birthday (Nov 3) with Chelsea because I couldn’t imagine celebrating any other way. We laughed, we ate good food, we explored and it was just what my heart needed. 2019 wasn’t the best for me (it looks golden compared to 2020) but being with my sister always feels like coming back to myself – there’s a huge sense of understanding and connection I can’t quite explain. :’) I want to share some photos from our time together, and I hope you get to go one day – too!
One of our first outings involved brunch at Breakfast Republic and it did NOT disappoint. We sat outside even though for Californians they definitely would have been “too cold”. It was perfect to us.
La Jolla is a dream! There’s shops to walk around, coffee places (Better Buzzpleaseeee), the coast, seals & sea lions (!), activities and more. Once I laid my eyes on the palm trees I knew I had arrived to Southern California. Thirteen year old me was living her “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach” fantasies…more on that later.
City Tacos was my first “local” taco experience and MY OH MYYYYYYYYYY. Mexicali. That’s all. (Look it up)
On my actual birthday, Chelsea and I drove to Laguna Beach and dined at Las Brisas (recommended by my father) and I really have nothing bad to say…..holy stunning. I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m glad we rang in ’26’ that way.
Being in Laguna is something Chelsea and I talked about for over ten years due to our love for trash television. To be there physically was surreal. We walked around the town of Laguna and it’s actually so charming!! We then drove further to Newport Beach area (The OC fans, duh) and discovered Balboa Island. Probably the best hidden gem we happened upon the whole trip. The houses are all uniquely brilliant and quaint. There’s a port with sailboats and a walkway where people walk their dogs and it’s so….quiet. Still, even. I’d definitely live there.
Sunset Cliffs was a MUST. It’s one of the best places to view the sunset, and probably the most peaceful too. Something about the ocean, man.
Chelsea gave me a tour of her beautiful campus where she works and made sure to mention “canyon” at least 25 times 😉
On my last day with Chelsea, my flight was at night so we packed in a full day to make the most of it (and so that I would be more tired on the plane). It started with Balboa Park, then Taco Stand (their Baja and Al Pastor tacos…) and last but not least the gigantic San Diego Zoo! (Which is very overpriced in my opinion – but it is something you can easily spend all day in – we did not have that luxury but still enjoyed our time).
I forgot to mention I made a best friend – Peanut Butter Jones.
Peanut is Chelsea’s neighbor. She’s obsessed with kissing me. Miss you, PBJ.
This is merely snapshots of a four day trip with memories to last me a lifetime. I am grateful for every moment I get with my bb sister (she’s older but still my bb). I didn’t know it then, but I would be back in February! So stay tuned for the mischief we got into which includes crossing the border and getting lost in Mexico. Oh yeah.
What began as just a mere Sunday tradition quickly turned into a newfound love for cooking.
Yeah, I said cooking. ANYONE who knows me well knows I hate dishes. Not the cooking part. Yes…my nemesis…dirty dishes. I will avoid them at all costs. I claim to not even “see” them! Works for me, but not so much for my roommate…
Since discussing our pet peeves with each other I’ve actually become a lot more aware and considerate in keeping the kitchen tidy but I am getting off topic here.
We are now amidst Week Ten of Quarantine and hopefully you’ve gotten into a nice routine of things. I know it was weird at first. But I believe this reset is just what we needed.
I realized that whether I liked it or not, I was going to be home all the time and I would need to eat. Now, I’m not one to eat out every day…but someone such as me with a busy lifestyle and random schedule – I found myself on the go a lot.
But here I am – forced upon my will (that’s dramatic Kendra) – just me and the stove having a stare down.
It really wasn’t that dramatic.
I began making recipes my family used to make as well as finding new ones. I think a love language should be sharing recipes with one another because WOW. That is a way to my heart. (You could even offer to help cook it too? I’m getting ahead of myself).
Yes, cooking can be tiring and the last thing you want to do after a long day is stand on your feet for another hour slaving away.
But now that life has slowed down a bit, I’ve LOVED taking the time to really give my all to what I am putting in my body! It CAN be fun! I blast my favorite music (personal favorites are the throwback jams such as Spice Girls and Britney Spears…hello 1997-2000)
Being a dancer, I already was conscious of how much nutrition affects your performance, overall mood and more. But now it is as if the kitchen is my STAGE. And a dancer like me can’t shy away from the spotlight. (heeeeh. Okay c’mon guys, that was good.)
So I decided to dig up my old blog I started back in 2015 when I studied abroad (feel free to look at my old posts – I truly enjoy every single one) and share some of my discoveries with those who may feel lost or uninspired to chef it up!
Food not your thing? This won’t be the only thing I blog about. I alwaysssss say (ask my sister) that I need to start my blog up again but I don’t know why I haven’t. I have a lot to say, and the mic can’t be the only place! 😉 (I work in radio part-time as a producer and I also have my own podcast – The Purpose Project). But that’s for another time.
Welcome old and new friends, thanks for joining. I’m glad you’re here.
I’d like to think I came out of the womb an artist. In the broadest of terms. I observed quietly. But boy was I the opposite when music came on. My childhood was filled with my Dad’s 60’s/70’s classics – I grew up knowing the real good stuff. My sister Chelsea and I would run around in a circle to The Eagles’ “Get Over It” and I would drop down on one knee – pucker my lips – and raise my right hand in a fist and go for it. I was a rockstar.
I have dabbled in the arts. I painted all throughout high school and I was decent. I took up guitar and well…that wasn’t so good. I took drama & photography. One thing that has stuck with me since day one is dance. 18 years and going strong. It is a relationship. Dance has been there when no one else has. You lose yourself in the moment to find yourself. How cool is that?
Art is many different things but it all comes down to one item in specific – a way to express yourself.
Having an outlet to express yourself is important. We all vie to be great. Extraordinary, even. I think what lies within us is more extraordinary than anything you could put on display for others.
I can’t promise a regularly scheduled posting. But I can promise you that what I do put out is from the heart. If you take something away from it, that’s a bonus. All I could ever really ask for.
Helloooooooooo. It’s 2017. And I’ve neglected this blog. But I’ve been living my life, so that’s a pretty good reason for my absence.
My most recent post back in August 2015 left off with a promise to myself to never lose the willingness to step outside my comfort zone as I began senior year of my undergraduate studies.
Well, I did that.
I joined RUKUS Entertainment and no one but me knows how much courage that took for me. I look back on it and think, why was I so scared?
It brought me people I am closest to today. And I’m a different dancer now.
But enough about the past. I began this blog when I moved to England. I just got back from a two week Euro-trip, and thought, why not continue sharing? And why do I only feel the need to talk about things outside of life in the US? I should talk more. Get my thoughts out.
So that’s what I’m gonna do!
I’ve evolved, grown, changed and molded myself into a better me these past two years.
“When you come home from traveling for a long period of time, it’s hard to put it all into perspective, it’s hard to describe to people what you saw, how you felt you know, what you experienced. That’s something you won’t ever be able to properly explain. There’s a feeling, being on the road in a foreign place, that charges you with so much…life and energy. It’s such a rich experience to have. I completely forgot just how good it is to be on the road again, to see history and culture and experience it all at once. No matter where you go, you’re re-living history. You can’t recreate that whole world feeling somewhere else.” -Scott Wilson.
I started a blog post a while ago actually, but never expanded on it. It never felt complete nor did I feel like it had a purpose yet. But then I heard this when I was watching one of my latest obsessions – a travel series shot documentary style. When he said this I hung on to every word as if I was experiencing some sort of deja-vu…it was as if I had spoken those words before. Probably because I just experienced the same sensation recently. I am now on the other side of it, but I hope to not inhabit this area long.
Let’s rewind a month ago back to July 30th when I wrote this section of my blog and how I was feeling at the time:
They tell you about the rollercoaster you will go on, and emphasize culture shock once settling in a new country. But they only briefly touch on the reverse culture shock you will face. And I think that is an important thing to elaborate on and confront. I am facing it now.
I was blessed to acclimate to my new surrounding with ease – it felt like it was exactly where I needed to be.
But take that new and improved girl and place her back where she grew up, and all of sudden things don’t seem as normal or comfortable anymore.
I lived the first half of 2015 with every day being an adventure, every day being a challenge. I would be on trains and wake up in a new city on the weekends. During the week I’d walk to a university that was so foreign to me and I liked the way that pushed me. I was growing exponentially. Something I had hoped for in my admissions essay.
You take that person and all of sudden you feel like you are living in a fish tank.
*Disclaimer I am in no way saying anything about being back with my parents because I love every minute of bonding with them. I appreciate everything they have done for me. I am talking about me as a person being back in a state I always felt out of touch with. (They feel it too)
I feel confined.
Let’s fast forward to now. August 28th. 2015. I’ve just finished my first week back at UCF and it is my Senior year. To say things have been hectic would be an understatement, but being busy is always something I thrive on.
However, I did not expect the weird sensation I have being back here…I can’t put my finger on it. Like Scott said with traveling, this feeling is also something you will never be able to properly explain.
I guess the best way to sum it up is readjustment. There is no question I have grown from being put into a place I’ve never been before. The new and improved me is taking a step backwards and finding herself in an odd situation.
I told myself I would never lose the willingness to step outside my comfort zone. Look fear in the face. Explore with the eyes of a traveler.
As time comes to a close here on my fantastic 4 month ‘holiday’ (trust me – there’s work involved too), I decided to come up with a list (in no particular order) to reflect on England. And how much I will miss my home.
The best thing about living in England is the rest of Europe is a short flight away. London is a two and a half hour drive. Small towns like Holmes Chapel are two trains from London. Basically, there’s no excuse to not explore. It is so tempting!! I’m really going to miss researching (did I actually just say that) and purchasing all of the coaches and trains practically every weekend and the occasional plane. As much as a nightmare planning the 2 week Euro-trip was, I would do it all over again for what you get out of the experience.
2. Living Simply
You do not realize how great and convenient life is until you take a step into a new environment and culture. We take dryers for granted!!! It’s actually been kind of nice to get into the routine of doing my laundry weekly and laying everything out to dry. Sure, it’s not a time saver but it is a different way of living and I like it. I like that this whole semester has challenged me. I like that everything is different from America.
3. Walk Walk Walk
The luxury of getting to walk everywhere and not die of heatstroke is something I never thought I’d experience. It’s May, and yesterday I wore a sweatshirt in the middle of the day. How you may ask? Well I’m in a cute little town called Bournemouth. Not Orlando. I LOVE that you can walk to the grocery store to grab a few items, or that you walk into town to run a few errands. I appreciate living simply.
4. The Terminology
I’m going to miss how Brits say things. I have found I have picked up on quite a lot of it and I hope it never leaves me. Here’s a few of my favourites: hoover, ta, full stop, ending a statement with “tough”, bollocks, rubbish, jumper, proper and the ‘toilet’ as opposed to “bathroom”. There are so many more I wish I could record my course mates for you guys! It’s so entertaining.
5. Tick Tock
Military time is something I have gotten used to! I set it on my phone a couple months ago and now it is second nature for me to be able to tell you the time. It’s oddly comforting and will always remind me of my time here. Ha, time. Get it.
6. My walk to Uni
As I walk up to uni, on my left there is a beautiful green field and when it is sunny it is just the most beautiful sight. What makes it even greater is there are two foxes that are occasionally around playing in the field. I love that I can walk to uni and look and see foxes. FOXES. Cue “I Know Places.”
7. Mature Cheddar cheese
This deserves a category of it’s own. Mackenzie can back me up on this one (Right Kenz?!) Haha. I bought it my first week here and never turned back. Okay, I strayed twice and bought this Mediterranean cheese with olives and tomatoes mixed in from ASDA but that is purely because ASDA doesn’t carry the delicacy that is Mature Cheddar. It’s cheddar, but a white cheese. And it is heavenly. Don’t ask me how much I consume on a weekly basis.
8. Coffee shops
But in particular Caffe Nero and Costa. (Team Nero though) Literally everywhere you look in town there is probably one. It’s sort of a comfort. Their Belgian hot chocolate is to die for and has kept me warm on the coldest of days. Their almond croissants I would 100% recommend. And the atmosphere is everything you would expect. A wooded flooring with steps up to a loft type area with couches and tables, and even a bookshelf where you can take a book as you please (if you replace with another…maybe. Not sure how it works but I like the idea).
9. Taco/movie nights
Danielle, Mackenzie and I made it a ritual to have tacos as family bonding time and although it hasn’t happened every week (we need to have one soon!!) I cherish them when they DO happen. Sometimes we’ll decide on a movie and all snuggle into one of our beds and watch. Love.
I love Bournemouth town centre but there are also places nearby my flat that I have grown to love exponentially. My walk to Ensbury Park happens to feature a place I like to call Narnia – a forest, rather, and it is magical. You have to walk by horses (I know, how boring) and then go visit some more horses as you walk through the enchanted woods and can’t help but fall in love with nature. Then once I’m at the park you’ll catch me acting like a five year old (this is often) swinging on the zip line in the playground; but sometimes I like to park myself on a bench, lay on my back, look up and think about life. The world is pretty neat. And in these moments of serenity I’m thankful for where I am.
England, you have been so good to me. I will forever be missing you until I return.
It has been almost a month since I returned from my 2 week trip around Western Europe. And I’m still eating like I’m in those countries.
Don’t get me wrong, the food is AMAZING and you SHOULD indulge while on holiday. These places are known for their food!! But I feel like I’ve adapted cravings that are starting to become bad habit.
Hence, why eating around the world ruins you for life. Warning: This post will 100% make you hungry. I advise you eat a big meal before reading this. If you decide not to, just say I warned you.
Paris – ahhhh the land of romance, beauty, pastries and…..BREAD.
This is where my sweet tooth craving really kicked into high gear. Everywhere you look there’s macaroons and a thousand different pastries waiting to be taken into your loving hands and devoured. I’m a little dramatic. Actually I’m not.
Here is an example of why Paris has ruined me. Yesterday I was in London, and on Oxford Street I smelled the deliciousness that is street crepes so I was like “oh! I’m going to get one. I miss Paris street crepes.”
No no no. Don’t. Nope. It does not even begin to COMPARE. Plus they were stingy with their strawberries. >:l
Italy – or should I say “Eataly” Pasta, pizza, desserts galore….my literal HEAVEN.
I knew going to the birthplace of my favorite food in the world was going to be damaging to my heart once I left. I knew it. Can I say my gnocchi was life changing? It was, folks. It was. I think the photos speak for themselves so I won’t ramble on too much about how I could be perfectly happy eating all day every day from one city to the next.
I didn’t think about Greek food as much as I did with Italian beforehand but wow. I sure enjoyed all the traditional Greek food Santorini had to offer. Complete with an unbelievable view – this island is definitely something.
I don’t have a photo but I forgot to mention I lived off croissants for breakfast in Italy. And they have the most amazing cream filling inside. So now I buy way too many croissants.
As you can see (if you survived this post), the food in Europe (and across the world) is undeniably amazing. And now I’m sat here thinking how can I book a flight to Rome for the night…just for the Giolitti…won’t take long.
I am a firm believer in achieving bucket list dreams and travel is a huge part of that.
I’ve had the opportunity to explore a small percentage of Western Europe the past few months but I crave more. Here are my top 3 travel destinations:
1. Prague, Czech Republic.
This is a recent development and after seeing photos from a friend – I simply must go. The architecture is beautiful and my eyes are very drawn towards it. The ‘Dancing House’ is very intriguing!
2. Grand Canyon
This might be slightly weird to have a landmark in America in my list when I am FROM America (I am currently living in England) – but I have yet to see the natural beauty that is the Grand Canyon. It fascinates me. I hope to road trip across America one day and see all the historical landmarks our country is made up of.
3. Northern Lights in Scandinavia (Sweden/Finland/Norway/Denmark)
The beauty of the Aurora Borealis has tempted me from 4,500 miles away. I simply cannot imagine how one must feel seeing it in person. I love star gazing – and this takes the sky to a whole new level. It is amazing what Mother Nature can do! The opportunity to visit a reindeer camp seems like something out of a childhood dream. You think of reindeer as some sort of magical and mythical creature but in certain parts of the world (where it’s very cold), they do exist! I would be the happiest person on the planet seeing them :’) Plus, the cold doesn’t bother me! I much prefer that to heat.
Runners up: Sicily (and Italy in its entirety), Bali and the Netherlands.
Dreams have a funny way of coming true when you least expect it. Or maybe your dream is so far fetched you think there’s less than 1% of it actually happening.
This past Sunday, I had a brief encounter with one of my favorite humans on this Earth. I’ve been waiting 3+ years for this…
I met Louis Tomlinson from One Direction in his hometown – Doncaster. Feels weird even typing this. Here’s what went down:
We arrived into Doncaster on Saturday April 18th and kept checking twitter to make sure he hadn’t been spotted in Donny. We were thinking of going down to check out the stadium but there really wasn’t much point. We decided to stay in and plan to be up early because we found out from a girl who is a regular that girls plan to get there early’ish. We then saw updates that people were camping out which is extreme and not necessary for something like this.
We woke up pretty early and got ready. Our bnb host made us breakfast which was very nice of her! She offered to drive us to Keepmoat so that was nice to save on money, but we were on her discretion of time. It ended up working out though 🙂
We arrived at the Keepmoat a little before 11 am. There were girls there but it was hard to judge just how many because a car boot sale (yard sale) was happening at the same time and it lasted until noon so the car park was swarmed with people. We found the players’ entrance where we knew he would enter and then saw some barricades and decided to stake out there although we weren’t particularly happy with the location. (Soon after they would be changing barricade locations on us like 3 times).
Security kept telling girls to stay away from the closest barricades to the players’ entrance but finally it opened up and it was a free for all. We didn’t bother running because honestly what can you do? And this wasn’t the last time we changing positions, haha! It was here that we met this cool girl from Atlanta and ended up spending our day with her. (I love how this band brings people together!) The security kept telling us to move back or forwards and would even break off the line and have us move diagonally to let a car through…talk about a nightmare when everyone doesn’t want to “lose” their spot. (We weren’t at the front at this point so this was a window of opportunity for us!)
We saw that they opened up more barricades and I found it strange not a lot of people were running to it. Yes, it wasn’t as near to the entrance but it gave us the ability to be at the front of a barricade. Mackenzie and I decided to stake out a front spot while Danielle and Danielle (same name, how ironic!) stayed at the other. It was evident that the original spot where the Danielle’s were wasn’t ideal because none of us were at the front.
Danielle x2 ended up finding a front spot opposite us. It was sort of like our own pathway separate from the main group of people. James Coppinger arrived so we knew Louis had to be coming soon. Some important guy walked past us and I overheard him on the phone say, “Tell Louis to come…”
I think it was about 1:15 pm when a van pulled up and so many people started screaming I was like this is it this is real. Sweet little tommo pops out and heads over to the end of a barricade and starts MEETING PEOPLE. This shocked me and simultaneously made my heart melt because in America if this was the set up the best thing to happen would be them waving and walking straight inside. I started crying…I don’t know if it was because he was meeting people or the fact that this precious person is REAL? I had to tell myself to hold it together.
He was taking time to take photos and I was nervous. I had a sharpie and the ticket in my hand but I was like “Kendra…when it comes down to it I 100% would rather have a photo than an autograph.” He’s making his way and it’s complete chaos…everyone is following him down so that adds to the mob and so many people are screaming I was surprised he was still outside to be honest, you need to chill. Apparently people were grabbing at him I didn’t see it but that makes me sad – you do not treat a person that way. As I watched I saw of course he couldn’t get every single person, he was skipping patches every and now and again (probably security’s doing no doubt) but around mine and kenz’ area it seemed like he was doing every person leading up.
I was taking time to just look at him like he’s not real he can’t be…he’s so precious and beautiful and his hairrrrrr. ugh. When he got to me I made sure to stick my phone out to hand to him. He was the one to take the photo (deep breaths) but he didn’t know what button to press so we stood there for a few seconds and I had to show him. As I watched his finger press the button I wasn’t fully ready so that is why my mouth is open in the photo but it’s ok I find it funny and a good story to tell!
It was such a quick “meet” I wanted to hug him and talk to him for a minute and I would be content but there were 6 dudes surrounding him pushing him along there was no time for a word exchange 😦 I turn around after our photo fully expecting Mackenzie to be taking hers but he was pushed to skip a bunch of people and I feel really bad 😥 Of course I had no way of knowing that would happen, and it was completely out of my control. It just sucks. He continued but as it went a long he was spending less time and before you know it he was entering the stadium after another cute wave to us.
I am really grateful for the photo and honestly the fact that he took time to meet fans in general. I fully believe there will be a time in the future for me (and my friends) where I will tell him how much I adore and admire him. It really has to be a coincidental meeting on the street type thing or VIP experience where they have the time to have a short conversation. But honestly never give up, because you never know what could happen!!! I’m still in disbelief about it all.
The game…I am a happy girl. He was so smiley and happy doing what he loves (a man of many talents) and soooooOoooOOoooooooo attractive. We watched their warm up. He played the majority of the first half, and came back the last 20 minutes of the 2nd half. It made me happy just to be there and help the Bluebell Wood Charity. He is a genuinely amazing person, how do we deserve him?
A moment. This happens in a blink of an eye, but there are some moments you will never forget. April 19th, 2015 was one of them.
I was inspired to study in England because of 5 special boys and then during my studies I get to see one of them face to face? Dreams become reality.
Doncaster, you were so lovely and I can’t wait to be back!