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Life has an extremely interesting way of throwing you curve balls. I used to be a bit dispassionate about “things happening for a reason” but 2015 has taught me, if anything, when one door closes another opens. And it might end up being the right door for you.

Slippers (on sale for $12) // Pants // And probably fave purchase of 2015, white Faux Sheepskin Rug (under $30)

It's 2016 and I'm kicking off the year with a life lately post. I feel like it's been a while since I sat down and honestly blogged about what's going on in my life. Sure, I wrote a “Helene's Best of 2015” post. But I want to get down to the nitty gritty of now.

This past weekend was glorious. Michael was out of town, with the dogs, which meant I spent my time cleaning, organizing, solo dance party-ing, and blogging. Sometimes I can be a bit of a hermit and this weekend was full on hermit-mode. It was awesome.

On Saturday, around noon, I decided I wanted to stretch my legs. I
strapped on my worn, Asics tennis shoes, a ratty sweatshirt, and hit
the pavement. I put my playlist on shuffle and decided to cloud out all
the noise in my brain of all I have to do and just focus on the path ahead.

I
was feeling good and in the groove. The weather was chilly, but clear,
and I had yet to get that hacking feeling in my throat when I exercise
outside when it's cold. Yeah, getting in better shape is part of my goals for 2016.

The next song came on, and it was one
of my all time favorites that I used to run to all the time: Michael
Buble's version of “Feeling Good.” I was really hitting my stride,
certain songs can do that to you. Suddenly, just as the song
crescendo-ed to Buble crooning about “feeling good” a red cardinal flew directly past my head and perched itself on a nearby tree.

I stopped dead in my path. It was such a pretty bird and I wanted to get a picture of him. But he wasn't having it. Every time I tried, he'd move. I tried dozens of time, but the dang bird kept fluttering off and plopping himself down on a different branch. I decided maybe I didn't need to take a picture of him. I could just appreciate his beauty and then move along. Stay on track.

You have to do that in life, too. Not let yourself be derailed by something that catches your eye, or your competition, or a pretty bird. Sometimes, you just need to appreciate them, and then keep going. 

I think what I've learned lately is that if there are things you want in life you have to go out there and take hold of them. You have to make a choice to keep going on the path you want to forge for yourself. I don't want to be one of those people waiting in the dust and watch everyone do great things.

I desperately want to do great things.

So, I spent my whole weekend working on a new project. Details on that tomorrow.
Whatever I hope to do, I want to stay on track. It's okay if that track is no longer right for me anymore- but I need to face it and then keep making plans. Keep striving for whatever greatness means for me.

I know this post got a little whimsical at times today, so thanks for sticking through it. 

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Today on the blog, I have the lovely Megan of Freckled Italian. She's an incredibly brave woman with the kind of writing style that honestly, makes me jealous. She draws you in and you can't help but want to follow her blog. Megan is a full time blogger and has created some really cool things from her blog.  I am so appreciate to have Megan on the blog today!

What's one thing someone might be surprised to hear about you?

My first job after college was as a used car salesperson.



When you started your blog, what did you have in mind? Has it stayed pretty true to that original idea?

I first started my blog when I was in college. For a while it was kind of
an embarrassing online journal that no one but my roommates read, but
after a couple of years I figured out how much design and creativity
could go into an online space. I like to think it's held on to my
personality over the years–authenticity has always been my biggest
priority.


Where do you see yourself (and/or your blog) in 5 years?

We've moved around a
bit, so in 5 years I see myself feeling settled somewhere (maybe even
Charlotte, where I am now). I've always wanted to write, so I hope I'm
still doing that, if not more of it. I just recently found out that I have the BRCA2 gene mutation,
so it's really suddenly made my “five year plan” matter a lot
more–right now when I look five years ahead, all I want to see is a few
kids, a successful preventive surgery, and a future without cancer.


Tell us about your journey on Paleo.

It's a long one–I've written about it here and most recently here.


What's one of your favorite posts you've written?

My husband and I threw a puppy birthday party for our dog and it was absolutely hilarious–I'm pretty sure that post will be my favorite for some time.


What's the biggest risk you've ever taken- was it worth it?

I definitely think
making the jump from my 9-5 to blogging full-time was the biggest risk
I've ever taken–and it's definitely been worth it. I have loved getting
to know my readers, sharing bits and pieces of my life, working from
home, all of it. Lately I've been thinking about going back to a more
traditional job, and that's been strange, because a part of me feels
like I've failed in some way if I stop blogging for a living, but if
I've learned anything over the past few years, it's been that everything
happens for a reason, and every step along the way matters to where
you're going.

Check out Megan's blog here. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bloglovin.

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