My Early Morning Routine

I have a new morning routine, and it is AMAZING! 

No, stop. Stop right there.

It’s actually incredible. I really mean these adjectives… so much. 

Anyone who knows me well knows two things about me: I love sleep, and I love food. For the point of this post, we’re going to focus on the former.

(Dangit, now I’m thinking of cheese curds.)

(And tacos… help.)

I’ve loved sleep for as long as I can remember. In kindergarten, we would have nap time after art, and immediately following nap time was story time. Some kids chose to color or read, but each and every day, I would sleep right through nap time AND story time. 

When I was in middle school and my mom would wake us up in the morning, I would get dressed, brush my teeth and hair, and then go back to sleep until the minute we had to leave to go to the bus stop. We’d get on the bus and guess what? I’d literally sleep on the way to school, too.

Now at this point you may be thinking I struggled with narcolepsy. I promise I didn’t; I just always loved sleep! In fact, up until recently, I only gave myself 25-30 minutes to get my daughter and myself ready every morning. That’s it. If I got to go into work an hour later than normal, you better bet your bottom dollar that I used that extra hour for sleep, not leisurely morning time. My point is, it’s how I’ve always been. 

I recently finished reading Rachel Hollis’ book “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and she touted the importance of being intentional about your mornings. She insists on waking up earlier than her kids and using that time as self-care time. She prays, reads, and writes down her dreams and goals to help her focus on and manifest them. I felt so inspired from each and every page in her book that I decided to try it for myself!

You?” you say? Yes, me! Nap Katrina, sleep anywhere and anytime Katrina, rather-have-frizzy-hair-and-sleep-than-spend-extra-time-straightening-my-hair Katrina! Me!

So I set my alarm clock for 5:50 the next morning, and guess what? I frickin’ did it! I pressed snooze twice, but I woke up! I started my coffee maker, climbed back into bed, and cracked open my bible. I read several verses, reflected on them, prayed, and just spent time with Jesus. {This part may not apply to you, and that’s okay. Continue on!}

I fetched myself a cup of coffee, complete with a sprinkle of sugar, and moved on to my then-current read, Rachel Hollis’ aforementioned book. I spent 20 minutes reading and just GOT. MY. LIFE!

With so much inspiration, passion, and can-do attitude coursing through my veins, I pulled out my journal and listed 5 things I was grateful for. I also wrote down 5 things I wanted from my day. Before I knew it, it was 6:45am and time to begin getting ready for my day.

You guys. This new morning routine? It changed me. Let me tell you WHY!

Naturally, with only 30 minutes to get myself and my daughter ready, my mornings felt rushed. I didn’t have a minute to even think about my day or try to mentally prepare myself. I used my car ride to her school and then to work to chug coffee! I woke up each morning feeling like I was being led by my day – not me leading my day.

By waking up earlier, I was able to slowly and calmly wake up, and focus on my thoughts immediately. I connected with God’s truth and started my day with Him leading my heart. Writing down what I’m grateful for? It kept things in perspective, and knowing I’d write a new list the next morning meant I was looking for good things to happen throughout the day.

Now when I wake up to complete my morning routine, I feel inspired. I find calmness and gratitude at the start of my day, which sets my heart and my mind in the perfect position. I go to work wide awake. I leave my home feeling refreshed and excited to make an impact wherever I can.

Sure, morning me-time wasn’t my original idea, but that doesn’t mean I can’t support it and shout it from the rooftops! Eating carrots may not have been my idea either, but damnit people, I stand behind this concept firmly! Morning journaling and carrots, hoo-rah!

I can’t recommend adopting this practice enough. You have the power to shape your thoughts, and your thoughts shape your life. Take them seriously and do all you can to set yourself up for greatness every day!

Imposter Syndrome and Being Afraid to Take Up Space

I’m a people-pleaser, and at times it can be quite debilitating. I 100% prefer to inconvenience myself rather than other people.

I was laying in bed last night wondering why. Why are most women I know like this? Why are we afraid to say no, stick up for ourselves, and prioritize our own needs?

I think it’s because we’re afraid to take up space in the world. Stick with me here…

We’re afraid to make a mistake, to be wrong. 

We’re afraid to correct someone because we don’t want them to feel bad or to come off as harsh.

We’re afraid to tell someone what we want, need, or prefer because we don’t want THEM to be inconvenienced.

We’re afraid to accept a compliment because we fear coming off as conceited, self-centered, or even delusional.

We’re afraid to share our opinions, emotions, decisions, and dreams in fear of being ridiculed.

Let’s pause for just a second. Have you ever heard of Imposter Syndrome? It’s a collection of feelings (anxiety, fear, intimidation) that result from feeling undeserving of accomplishments, success, attention, and certain titles. Imposter Syndrome causes you to feel like you’ve accomplished what you have because of luck or by mistake, not talent or skill. While not an official diagnosis, psychologists say that it was first recognized in women (although both men and women suffer from it).

We feel like imposters, and not just in our careers.

We doubt that we deserve what we have. We hide from praise and recognition for what we do and who we are. We’re afraid to be seen – to take up space.

But ladies, you deserve to be here on this Earth. You deserve to stand tall. You deserve to pursue happiness, to make decisions that benefit you, to speak up.

Don’t be afraid of how people will perceive you. (That’s not your business anyway, and truthfully, regardless of what you do or what the reality is, people will see you as they want to see you.)

Don’t be afraid of being too bold, being too loud, being too goofy, too energetic, too sure, too driven, too emotional, too ANYTHING.

Don’t be afraid to be immovable, bold, unapologetically yourself, and steadfast.

Don’t be afraid to take up space in this world.

Be calm and sure of your importance and value, and refuse to move so someone else can pass through. Claim your spot in this world. Take up for your space. Own it, and the world fill follow.

I Can’t Be the Only One Afraid of This

I’m terrified, genuinely terrified, to live an average life.

I have wonderful, big, extraordinary dreams, and some days I get so frustrated that I don’t know each and every step it takes to get there, that I want to give up.

In these moments, I believe that I’m crazy and unrealistic. What makes me capable of something so many aspire for, when nothing in my past says it’s possible?

So I imagine myself working a normal 9-5 and simply being thankful that I’m able to pay my bills. I imagine 1 or 2 vacations per year. I imagine saving my money for a year to help my daughter get her first car. I imagine the tiny house I’d be able to afford if I just rode the wave of life from where I am now to somewhere slightly better. I imagine what my life will look like if I don’t fight for more. Let me tell you… I refuse it.

I refuse to settle. I refuse to let my hopes and dreams for my life die. I refuse to match my future to where I am now. I refuse to trade my time for money, to spend most of my days working on someone else’s dream, and to find myself obsessing over what could’ve been if I hadn’t believed that successful people were a different breed of human than me.

I KNOW, with everything in me, with God’s wisdom on my heart, that the ONLY thing that separates successful and flourishing people from those who are not, is that successful people simply refuse to give up. They refuse to accept “no.” They see the impossible as possible.

So I go back to dreaming, planning, praying, and expecting incredible things, and to clawing my way through discouragement, depression, exhaustion, and plain laziness.

I may have gloomy, doubt-filled, and frenzied days, but those days won’t last forever. And they’re outnumbered by days filled with passion, confidence, love, and hope.

God has big plans for me and His plans will come to fruition. I declare it, y’all!!

I Just Took a DNA Test – Turns Out I Don’t Have Time

Do you know what I realized? I don’t have time to dislike my body or myself. Like none… at all. When I hate who I am and how I look, it consumes my mind, my energy, and my time.

I look at pictures over and over and end up not posting them on social media because I don’t like how I look.

I look in the mirror and think of everything that I don’t like. I obsess over clothes and outfits so much because I’m harder on myself and want to hide what I see as my flaws and imperfections. 

I think about how I look or how I’m perceived when I meet new people, when I go to the beach, when I’m with my friends, and more.

But do you know what? I don’t have any more time to spend on disliking or worrying about how I look or who I am. I don’t have the mental space for such negativity and toxicity. As a busy single mom, I have so much going on. And I can’t afford to waste my mind’s potential or my days worrying about something so trivial.

I can spend my time and mental energy on so many more worthwhile things:

  • Reading more
  • Being present with my daughter
  • Planning for our futures
  • Praying and meditating
  • Writing down my goals and journaling
  • Organizing my home so I can function better and be less overwhelmed with clutter
  • The list goes on!

How I look doesn’t matter. How I’m perceived doesn’t matter. How I FEEL mentally and physically matters.

Let me tell you – you don’t have time to hate yourself. The hours in the day are limited and your time is valuable. Treat it like such, friends!

Making Fitness Personal

I workout for me and not anyone else.

Every time I lose sight of my own “why”, I quickly lose all motivation.

Health and fitness are such personal things!

Have you ever really thought about that? That our reasons to exercise and focus on health fall under large umbrellas, but that the specific reasons each of us choose to exercise is unique?

Sure, many of us may workout to gain confidence, but Person A may have the memory of her boyfriend calling her fat and telling her no one will love her, while Person B remembers trying to fit into a swimsuit at 12 years old and not being able to pull it up past her waist.

Many of us workout to feel better mentally, but Person A may do it to escape the familial cycle of depression and emotional eating, while Person B works out to keep their work stresses from overpowering their life.

I say it again:



Based on our own experiences.

It isn’t about what the person next to you is doing. It isn’t about following the latest trend you see on Instagram. It isn’t about trying to make yourself conform to a lifestyle overnight that you know you can’t realistically maintain, eventually resulting in feeling like a failure.

It’s about you. 

It’s about your why. 

It’s about finding your own avenue of exercise that doesn’t feel like weekly torture. It’s about using that exercise to improve your own life and improve your day-to-day experiences.

So keep it about YOU! Focus on YOU! Do it for YOU! And show up for you, your family, and your community to the best of your ability

Not Many People Know This About Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about how most people don’t really know me.

It’s so easy to assume people know what I think, what I believe, and what my intentions are because, well, I spend so much time in my head; I easily forget it’s not common knowledge!

As I seek to inspire and encourage people to own who they are, believe in their dreams, and fight the good fight every day, I want people to know how much I truly mean what I say.

It is my absolute top priority to be authentic and write from a place of experience and truth; I don’t just want to share “pretty words” or “content fluff.”

My desire to share who I am, my thoughts, and impact others comes from this: My greatest hobby, the thing I spend the most time on outside of work and being a mommy, is self-development. I am absolutely and whole-heartedly obsessed with growing as a human being! 

I read EVERY DAY about self-love, empowerment, confidence, business and entrepreneurship, spiritual growth and faith, the power of manifestation and positive thinking, and how to live life with a joy and peace that, for many, feels like a pipe dream.

I listen to several podcasts and interviews from some of the greatest minds and powerhouses in the self-development and coaching sphere every week. Let me tell you, NOTHING fires my soul up more than learning how to love myself more, love others more, love God more, and love life more. Absolutely nothing.

Because here’s the thing: our whole human experience is based on our perceptions.
Seems obvious, right?

But really think about that for a second. Your entire life on this earth is based solely on your PERCEPTION of your experiences. Your life is shaped by your thoughts about your job, your views of your relationships, your memories of what you’ve experienced, and so on. It is not based on an unbiased, objective reality – it is based on what you THINK of what you’ve experienced.

In other words, it is not what happens to you in life, it is what you think about what happens to you in life.

When I truly learned that, I realized that there is nothing more important or powerful than my state of mind. I want to view everything that happens to me in life through rose-colored glasses.

So, I work on cognizance.
I focus on self-awareness.
I prioritize self-reflection.
I challenge my beliefs, societal norms, and assumptions as much as I can.

My happiness, my anger, my fear, my struggles are controlled entirely by my mind.

I spent so much of my life suffering, drowning, waking up every day with a heavy heart – I felt tortured by life every single day. But I had the answer within me all along – the world didn’t have to change, I did.

I have to share this new way of life with the world, even if just one person reads this. If it helps that one person set out on the path of self-discovery and growth that leads them to happiness, I will thank God for putting blogging on my heart.

SO, if anyone wants to know who I am or what I stand for, this is it. My passion, my energy, and my heart are fueled by my desire to seek the best human experience possible.

Expand your mind and you will expand your life. Join along on my journey. 🙂

Bare Face, Invisalign, and Pimples, OH MY!

Bare face. Pimples. Invisalign trays. Loving it all. 

Self-love is one of the greatest gifts we can not only give ourselves, but our families, friends, colleagues, and community. When you love yourself, your capacity to love others grows exponentially; your self-love overflows onto everything and everyone. 

It’s a battle that isn’t won just once or twice. You have to consistently practice self-care, gratitude, and positivity to keep the love for yourself alive. I haven’t mastered it at all, but I feel immense peace with who I am far more often than I ever have. And I know I’ll say the same thing a year down the road. It’s not easy when life gets chaotic and others’ voices creep into your own thoughts, but the fight is so worth it.

I See Beauty in All Women!

Do you know what I hate seeing? I hate seeing women being ashamed and/or apologizing for their bodies. I know too many women who I seriously think are just stunning with KILLER bodies – curvy women, strong women, tall women – who don’t see what I see at all. 

I compliment them (this is so important to me!), and they oftentimes get uncomfortable. They wince their faces, roll their eyes, and laugh while saying “thanks.” They don’t see what I see.

I know ladies that I love and adore who think that because they have bigger calves or thighs, they shouldn’t wear shorts. Some that call their stomachs tires, or their arms bat wings. I know brave and loving women who are ashamed of their cellulite, stretch marks, or under-butts (I call this my second butt – the “rolls” I have under my booty cheeks because they can’t be perfectly perky due to GRAVITY). And these women? They’re extraordinary.

The reality is that we all have moments where we wish we could be more curvy like Bebe Rexha, tall like Chrissy Teigen, have our best friend’s boobs even though they insist they’re not what they once were before kids (okay, just me?). But almost daily, I am in awe of how beautiful somebody is, and it’s very obvious that I’m NOT looking at “perfect” celebrities all day.

I see women come and go in the gym, in the grocery store, and at parks. 

I see women following their own fashion rules, women who wear gorgeous makeup, and women who only wear their smiles.

I see women with dreadlocks, women with short, silver hair, and women with tattoos.

I constantly see BEAUTY! No body shape is the sole “woman” body type. DAMNIT, y’all are SENSATIONAL and y’all are ROCKSTARS capable of so much more than feeling tethered down because you don’t see your body for everything that it IS!

We deserve better for ourselves! It’s time to love your body, blissfully and fully!! 

I Never Envisioned Life as a Personal Trainer!

I found myself through two things that will forever be massive parts of my life: my faith in God, and the gym.

I had never joined a gym prior to 2016 and knew very little about fitness and nutrition. Like very.little. y’all.

I hated my body. I felt weak. I felt exhausted. I felt trapped in a body that I knew deep down needed to be challenged and pushed for health and longevity, but also for my own sense of confidence. I swear, during pregnancy, your body does this seemingly satanic, evil thing where it dissolves all of your muscles and replaces it with fat. I am not kidding. My butt sunk 2 inches lower after I had my daughter! Sometimes at night, I heard it laughing at me. Swear.

Anyway, I had absolutely no idea where to begin.

I was never athletic. I did gymnastics for a bit but didn’t stay in it for a long enough period of time to really create healthy habits (still my favorite sport to this day!). I grew up in a family where we ate what we were given, and it was usually what was cheapest (and yes, I still love hotdogs and ramen noodles). Cheap usually doesn’t mean nutritious though, so forget about any knowledge of a balanced meal, micronutrients, calories, etc.

When I started thinking about improving my health, post-baby, I fought hard with my past identity. My mind said that because I never played sports, I couldn’t be athletic, in shape, or comfortable in the gym. I told myself that I was who I was and there was no changing that. I felt like I didn’t belong in a gym, that I certainly didn’t belong in the free weights section, and that everyone else thought that way of me too. They would all see I was trying to be something I wasn’t – and I didn’t want anyone to see through me. This embarrassment would fuel my fear of rejection (which masked itself in insecurity and anxiety back then), and rejection HURTS.

Have you ever experienced that? You had a thought about something you wanted to do, try, or be, but because you never had before, you felt incapable. I think we all have. I know that I’ve questioned:

-My ability to get a good grade on a test.

-My ability to get my license when I was 16.

-My ability to participate in a research lab in college (I ended up managing it and presenting my own research in NYC!).

-My ability to be a good mom when I was pregnant and had no idea what the heck to do.

And the list goes onnnn & onnnn.

When I was thinking about exercising, I was at a crossroad. I could accept that I had never done it before, believe that I couldn’t learn, and accept my body as it was, or I could use Google to research weightlifting for beginners, screw those thoughts that kept me tied to the same place in life, and start somewhere.

Although I lived in Hawaii at the time and didn’t have practical access to a gym (super long commute and actual negative account balances – for real), I looked up what I could. After 6 months, I moved back to Wisconsin, secured enough money to join a gym, and promised myself that I would never see the monthly cost as an EXPENSE, but instead an INVESTMENT.

I may have hid in the studio room and exercised in there until I needed heavier weights (think months) but I learned more, improved my form, adapted to the loads I was using, and kept working at it.

I made the choice to challenge my limiting beliefs and to start learning. I made the choice to try, even when I felt uncomfortable and inadequate. I made the choice to see my mew gym membership as the BLESSING and PRIVILEGE that it was.

Here’s the takeaway: You are who you say you are. You can do what you believe you can do. Your thoughts control your feelings, words, and actions. Think wisely. And then do everything in your power to be who you want to be. 

Choosing to Believe in You

“It doesn’t matter if your dreams make sense to other people; they are YOUR dreams!” –Rachel Hollis

Y’all, I have such big dreams and have since I was really young. I imagined, all the time, what my life would look like if I got to have everything I wanted – to go to college, get a job I loved that would support me financially, a home I could own, a wonderful husband & lots of kids, a chimpanzee.

I’ve thankfully moved on from the chimpanzee desire.

My momma always told my sisters and I that we could do and be anything we wanted. Only within the past two years have I recognized a voice, coming from within my own mind, telling me that I CAN’T & WON’T.

Do you know how sad and unfair that is? To believe in something so much, to dream big dreams and have big goals, only to hear a voice within yourSELF telling you that it won’t happen & it’s not realistic? Like… WHAT?!

We have two competing beings in our heads. We have one who is a child, who believes in magic, who is optimistic and encouraging and just overflowing with love. This one is kind, to other people & to ourselves, and believes that there are no limits in life. She sees endless possibilities and growth beyond what we can comprehend.

Then there’s the other voice. The one that reminds us of our mistakes. The one that sees the darkness & pain in the world and uses it to define our hopes & dreams. This one recognizes all of the shortcomings, the flaws, and the awkward in our lives. This one is a pessimist, an exhausting force, a constant reminder of statistics and what our past means for our future. She is mean, she is dark, & she is hopeless.

Our lives change DRASTICALLY when we choose to listen to the light, the endless believer, the dreamer that lies within us. She may be silenced for you, talked over in your mind, by the nagging voice that clouds your skies and makes you feel small. BUT, light can drown out darkness.

You can choose to listen for the happy whispers. You can choose to break the strongholds that entangle your mind and place limits on your potential. You can learn to silence the fears that turn into monsters & take control of your thoughts. Choose the joy. The hope. To believe in YOU!

Once you do, your work ethic will multiply. You will lose hope and feel discouraged far less often. Other’s criticism won’t derail you or make you question yourself. You’ll believe in yourself and love yourself so damn much that your dreams will become reality. I promise you that it will change your life!