Happy Thursday, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! This post is intentionally coming late. I didn’t want what I have to say to get washed up with all of the other obligatory Mother’s Day posts. So, Happy Thursday, Mom!

I know Mother’s Day is tough and complicated for some. It can be a day that people wish they could forget about. Sunday might have been a day where emotions erupted from past loss, heartbreak, and hurt. For those of you who felt that way, I was thinking of you. As sensitive as the topic can be, I however do not want to overlook the relationship I share with my mom. Words can’t possibly describe it all and this post doesn’t replace a massive thank you for all you have sacrificed but it is a start.


When I think of my mom and the long list of things I have learned, these few things, amongst many others, come to mind.

  1. Be independent. My mom’s motto is “I can do it better and faster”. Some might look at this as an opportunity to accept help but I see it as a way of taking action and control of the situation. You demonstrate time and time again that the best way to get something done is to do it yourself. Learn what your capabilities are and act on them. It doesn’t mean we are afraid to ask for help - it is simply a way we show ourselves that we can do it on our own!
  2. Be a giver. If you know my mom she is the most selfless woman you know. This isn’t about picking the best adjectives to describe on Mother’s Day, it is the truth. She puts everyone else before herself whether you are family, a friend, or a stranger. Mom, your natural ability to give to others is unmatched. You have taught me that when in a position to support and lend a hand, do it! When you give positivity and kindness to the world it comes right back at you.
  3. Do your best and don’t look back. I struggled with a lot of anxiety over the years and my mom was always the person who had my back. She taught me to do my best and control what I can control. She never once said to give up or give less of an effort - it was more about doing what I can and not dwelling on what could have been. It has not only helped alleviate a lot of the anxiety I experienced in school, but I now carry this thinking into my every day life as well. Worry more about what you can control and worry less about what you can’t. End of story.

The best (and maybe scariest!) part of all of this? I catch myself saying things you would say in certain situations, laughing the exact same way as you, answering and chiming in at the exact same time you do with the exact same response…I even had to listen extra close on a recent audio clip because I wasn’t sure if it was me or you! Guess that means I am becoming more like you every day? Not something I can complain about. If I can become even half as selfless as you, putting others forward I know that I am doing something right. 

Mom, keep being you. Everyone around you feels your presence when you are around and we appreciate everything you do. I want to offer you a piece of advice after all that I have received from you. Take time to find your identity again. For so many years it was us first and you second. You deserve to put yourself first before anyone else. Now, don’t forget to stop and enjoy sometime for you, not just on Mother’s Day but every day!

Yours in self-discovery,


Staying on track while traveling

Today I arrived in England to embark on two weeks of travels through Europe! As exciting as this is for me, others may view the weeks leading up and the actual weeks spent traveling with anxiety. Why? We like to worry about the weight we need to lose before departing and stress over how we will maintain our regime of sleep, nutrition, and movement while away. I love traveling and each time I head out on another adventure I come back better understanding what my body wants and needs while traveling. Although traveling does not allow for the perfect environment, I usually go into my trips with a plan.

How do I stay on track of my nutrition while traveling?

The number one thing is to always bring a reusable water bottle. Hydration is key for long flights and having a bottle ready to go not only saves money from buying expensive bottles at the airport but it also ensures I don’t go for juice or pop on the airplane. I try to pack snacks ahead of time for the flight (thank you Mom on this trip!) to allow me to munch on healthier alternatives compared to the airplane and airport options. While on vacation I enjoy! I still aim to eat foods that will make me feel good but I don’t get hung up on every little thing. If a destination I am exploring has a special food then chances are I am going to give it a try. 


Do you still workout while away from home?

As a fitness professional, this is the time I give my body a break but also move my body for ME. I usually allow for a few days off on the first part of the trip to rest but then I try to squeeze in workouts at the beginning of the day to get my body moving and start my day off right. This time around my dad and I have planned ahead to go to the gym together - meaning we will both be accountable for one another staying on track. If a gym isn’t in the plans or at the hotel try to create opportunities where movement can be involved. Traveling can usually include lots of walking so get site seeing! Depending on the destination this could include swimming, running, skiing, or biking to allow for movement while you explore your new surroundings. Since we are staying in a small space I also plan to take advantage of working on my rehab exercises as well as pilates movements that can be done in close quarters.

But what about sleep?

Dealing with a time change is never easy and every body is different. One’s sleep schedule on vacation is also determined by what type of attractions you are interested in seeing. I am an early bird and prefer day time activities over evening and late night events so I try to get to bed early to be well rested for the day ahead. When I have a good night’s sleep, I know I will be ready to wake up to sneak in a workout and a solid breakfast before embarking on the adventure ahead. For me, sleep is imperative to setting myself up for the best possible day ahead.

We know what our ideal lifestyle should be. However, let’s not allow the stress of living up to this ideal take away from the memories we can create and the moments we can enjoy throughout our travels. Traveling the world is a unique and special experience - allow your worries and stress to take a back seat while you explore and learn from the new culture around you.

Yours in self-discovery,


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Summer bodies are made in the winter

Summer bodies are made in the winter.

With the awful mid-April weather looming outside, this statement still rings true, or does it? You don’t have to be a fitness professional to know that when the weather is colder, days are shorter, and we seem to constantly live in the dark, we lose our motivation. On a day like today when I have not even left my house because of the weather, I can understand why this time of year makes our energy levels and mood lower. Insert motivational statements such as the one above to keep us on track through these long, cold months of the year.

I totally get it. As a fitness professional this can speak to your clients. Everyone wants to look good in the summer months and show off the hard work they did over the winter by wearing shorts, dresses and swimsuits. These statements keep us motivated to want to be disciplined through the dark early hours of the morning and cold snowy nights. I bet it works. And I can imagine it works often. However, in our current world where we are constantly bombarded with reminders that we aren’t good enough the way we are, isn’t this just another reminder to add to the list? Your body is not good enough the way it is.  Change it so you can be proud when the sun comes out. 

Not all forms of motivation work for everyone and this may work for some. My approach is to focus on why you are doing it and how it makes you feel.  If we delve deeper than our superficial looks, more often than not movement can lead to a long list of positive improvements for every day living. My blog post from a few weeks back reminded us that weight is just one reason to move. Let’s not forget about all of the other improvements movement can bring to your life! 

So what’s the solution?

Find what works for you! Regardless of what gets you motivated remember that when you can develop and sustain healthy habits you will see the results you want and feel your best. Creating positive health habits in terms of movement, nutrition, stress levels, sleep, and relationships all play a factor into looking and feeling your best.


Don’t feel like you must change or lose weight to be ready for summer. Accept where you are in your life right now and roll with it. Our daily lives are already filled with reasons to be anxious so don’t make your body be one of them. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is - let’s be more kind to ourselves and care for our bodies for life, not just summer.

Yours in self-discovery,


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Did you really eat it if you didn't post it on Instagram?

Vegan. Paleo. Raw. Gluten-free. Keto. For a moment, think about all of the words we throw around with food on a daily basis. Have you ever shared your food via social media to the world, tagging the healthy ingredients or products used? Chances are you don’t as often publicly document your ‘slip-ups’ or not so healthy meals, right? Is it just me or is it strange that we feel the need to document and share everything, including our food choices online to the world? As the millennial saying goes, “did it really happen if you didn’t post about it on Instagram?”


Depression, anxiety, and body image issues are running high in our society and I am not surprised - we are all busy trying to keep up, worrying about how we measure up to our peers and counterparts. We have anxiety about feeling the need to share what we do at all times - but only if it matches what society wants from us - and so we overshare about ourselves, our hobbies, and the foods we eat.

I too fall into the category of wanting to share food online. If I am being honest, I don’t share my food as often simply because I am THE WORST food photographer! And sometimes a girl is hungry so I would rather eat right away than patiently plate my food beautifully. Also, now that we are on the topic, who decided whether or not our food was ‘Instagram worthy’? If it tastes good why does it always have to be on display! Social media has played an extremely large role in people’s confusion with nutrition and eating today. If we aren’t following the no diary, no gluten, whatever seems trendy food rules, we feel out of place. One day I actually wanted to share the pancakes I made with the Instagram world to remind us that it is okay to eat foods without putting a tag or name to it. My pancakes had white flour and sugar simply because I ran out of my other ingredients. I survived and they tasted amazing! 

I have taken a few nutrition courses myself but I am by no means an expert in this field either. However, I like to compare nutrition to fitness, something I know a little more about. Think of an individual training. No two people will ever find that the exact same formula of training programs and workouts gives the same results. Every person has an individualized program to give them the results they want to live their best life.

The same should go for food! It is all about listening to your body. Become aware of the foods that make you feel great physically and emotionally and take note of those that don’t. Your food consumption may end up being a sometimes vegan/paleo/gluten-free/ALL the gluten/meatless/MEATLOVERS/dairy-free formula. We are all going to find a different combination that works for us.

My best advice? Do you! You will learn what fuel makes you feel and function at your best. Follow that regardless of what others are consuming or trying. Take all the food photos you want or just eat your damn meal with your own internal satisfaction without having to share it with the world. Keep it a secret with yourself. Listen to your body - you are the person who knows what is best for you.

Yours in self-discovery,


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What does healthy really look like?

Too fat. Too skinny. Tall and slender. Short with broad shoulders. Washboard abs. Big bum. What does health look like to the naked eye? In my community I preach that health looks different for everyone. The act of being healthy can mean different things to different people. I don’t believe there is one way to look or a specific body shape and type everyone should attain. Each individual body has a different point of homeostasis and our bodies all require different things to function optimally. So, it would only make sense to find out what works right for your body instead of aspiring to achieve something that won’t make you feel your best, right?

Social media can be a dangerous place to spend time when it comes to having a positive relationship with your own body. Coming from a fitness point of view, think about how many people we see working out shirtless (males and females) and in revealing outfits. Now think about how well received those photos are. Most times the photos where we look the most revealing actually get the best traction in terms of likes and comments. When we display our bodies looking ‘ideal’ we seem to get more attention. But, who said that having a flat stomach was the epitome of health? And that if you don’t you won’t get as many likes on your photo or be considered as healthy? 

The reason I say that it can be dangerous is because not everyone views that ‘ideal’ look as motivation. Some may find that intimidating or stressful if they don’t feel their bodies level up. On the other hand, some might actually feel their best and look nothing like that. Who is to say that we aren’t at our most optimal if we don’t achieve that look? 

Often times this perception of optimal can be linked to weight - when we can lose a certain amount we will look and feel certain way. Let’s not forget there are so many other ways to measure health! Weight is one component and should not be the main focus. When it comes to health these are the things I measure instead of weight:

Energy levels. Am I tired all the time? Do I have steady energy throughout the day or does it go up and down?

Sleep levels. Am I getting an adequate amount of sleep each night? Do I wake up energized or do I feel exhausted each morning?

Movement. Am I capable of moving my body in the ways I want to pain free? Remember for this one it doesn’t always have to look like a session in the gym, it could simply be a walk around the block with your dog.

Nourishment. Do you practice consuming whole foods on a regular basis? How is your relationship with food? Is it restrictive? Do you practice the 80/20 rule? 

Stress levels. How is the state of your mental health? Do you have strategies to manage stress?


SO many things can add up to one’s health before mentioning their weight or physical appearance. Although it is perfectly fine to have goals linked to weight and physical appearance, that stuff most often sorts itself out when you have the above list in check. Focus on how you feel first, always. It is an inside out approach - once the inside is working best, the outside will show for it in the best way your body can. There is more to life than the numbers or appearances we see and it usually has a lot with how we feel and how we make those around us feel. Next time you find yourself overwhelmed with the number on the scale or the way an image makes you feel about yourself, look back at the list above and remain focused on the other factors that add up to health.

Yours in self-discovery,


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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My home gym essentials

Working out, especially in big cities like Toronto, has become all about the fancy lights, Instagram worthy backdrops, and perfect workout gear. Class prices are increasing all the time and somehow fitness, which in my opinion should be an essential on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is now some sort of luxury most of us are stuck only dreaming about. Although participating in group fitness classes in the city can be a wonderful experience - how could I disagree since I am the one leading them - we can’t forget about the good old home workout! 


Today I have put together my list of home gym essentials so that you can save a few dollars yet still get a good workout while staying in.  I completely understand that not all of us have the money to spend on equipment and the space to store it either so just focus on the necessities. If you can determine what types of workouts you will do at home and which ones you will save for when you attend gyms and studios, you will get the best of both worlds, work on some things in the comfort of your home, and not sacrifice the quality of your workout.

  1. Yoga mat. This is an obvious one but having a mat is provides comfort and grip when performing mat exercises. It doesn’t take up much space and it can easily be rolled up and tucked away in a closet or under the bed for easy storage. 
  2. Foam roller/lacrosse balls. I will admit I have these tools but should brush the dust off and use them more often! You can implement these tools to self massage your body and help your muscles recover AND it saves you a few dollars in between massage appointments! If your foam roller is big, you can use it as a tool when performing core exercises or lay on it to help improve posture too.
  3. Mini bands. Everyone is ALL about the bands these days! Bands are a great tool to help with glute activation and knee tracking when performing movements like squats. Besides the obvious lower body uses, it can be used for core exercises as well as shoulder mobility and strengthening movements for the upper body. These bands are such a small, versatile tool that aren’t only good for at home but travelling as well.
  4. Stability ball. If you are going to choose to not invest in any of the pieces of equipment on this list, in my opinion make it this one. Stability balls are great and not too expensive but they can take up a lot of space and most of us don’t have an abundance of space if you live in Toronto! But, if you have space make sure this piece of equipment is on your list! Stability balls test our stabilizers, SHOCKER! You can use them in a variety of ways to test your core muscles using an unstable surface and in some upper and lower body exercises to add variety. 
  5. Gliders. The good news is that you don’t even have to buy these! Grab towels or use your socks! Gliders add extra challenge to work your stabilizers and can get those inner thigh and core muscles working in ways you didn’t even know they could. 
  6. Light and heavy weights. Of course that as time passes, you will be increasing your strength and the weights you purchase won’t apply for all exercises all the time but having a lighter and heavier set is a good place to start. To add variety, your home workouts could always be more endurance based and you can save the heavier lifting on days where you have access to multiple sets of weights and equipment.

If you currently have no equipment to do a home workout, pick one thing from the list. You can gradually add more pieces of equipment over time as you get creative when working out at home. Don’t underestimate the power of body weight movements too! Perhaps use your home workouts to master the basics in terms of the movement pattern and form of the exercise so when the time comes to be pushed in a class or at a gym with lots of equipment, you feel confident in your foundational skills. Basics always come first to avoid injury and develop the best movement patterns.

Yours in self-discovery,


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Spring cleaning your New Year's resolutions

Happy Spring and RIP to all of those New Year’s resolutions, am I right?! It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago we were excited for a fresh start this year, setting goals and resolutions about how we are going to meet the partner of our dreams, be our fittest, eat home cooked paleo/vegan meals, and travel the world. Fast forward three months ahead to today - how are those goals and resolutions coming along?

If you are managing to stay on track and accomplish what you set your sights on back in January that is great! Keep it up! But if you are still sitting here disappointed in your progress thus far, let’s take a moment to get you back on track and onto success so you don’t wind up wasting the next 9 months of the year until we hit 2019.


Need to reset, reevaluate, and get your eyes back on the prize of having your best year yet? Follow the tips below!

  1. Do your goals match your values? Do your goals get you excited? Have you chosen your goals based on what you value or from what you saw on social media? Make sure your resolutions speak to what fulfills you rather than fitting in with society and getting likes on Instagram.  When your goals align with what speaks to you, chances are you are setting yourself up not only for success for short term but a lifelong lifestyle change.
  2. Set smaller more achievable goals. New Year’s Resolutions are often lofty goals we set without much thought and can leave us feeling extremely disappointed when we don’t achieve them. Try setting smaller weekly or daily goals for yourself to serve as small stepping stones in achieving the larger, overarching goal. This not only helps you stay on track for success but you also feel like you are achieving a whole lot along the way! For me personally, I find it hard to make big changes at once, so implementing changes in smaller doses allows me to gradually build on the healthy habits I establish. 
  3. Enlist an accountability buddy. Friends, family members, or co-workers are great people to enlist to help you get to where you want to be. Whether it is eating healthier or hitting the gym more often, they will not only help you stay on track but help themselves along the way. Invite a friend over for a healthy potluck dinner or sign up for your workouts together to hold each other accountable in achieving your success.
  4. Schedule for success. A goal without a plan is just a wish. We have all heard the saying before and it couldn’t be more true. Plan your meals for the week ahead, book your workouts, and schedule in your activities the week ahead. Scheduling helps you stay organized each week. It is an easy way to check things off your list and visually see all that you are accomplishing and what is up for your week ahead. Sunday nights are my go-to time to plan everything for my week ahead.
  5. Come find me! If you are still feeling like the four tips above aren’t going to make a difference in getting you back on track let me know. Whether it is personal training, group fitness classes, or workshops, my goal is to help you live your best life. If I can help lead you on your path to self-discovery let’s work together!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.


Risk versus reward

Over the last two years, I have been fully engulfed in the fitness industry. I have loved it and still do but I have come to realize that in order to make a real go at it you need to be working hard all the time, thinking of your next move before your current one is over, and networking with a great group of like-minded, supportive people. The social media world, and Instagram specifically, make fitness seem like such an easy world to enter into, but let’s remember that those beautiful photos are not taken when we are truly grinding the most.

Like many of you who may be finishing school and trying to make your mark on the world, we are often left wondering how do we do that? For me, I am lucky that I found my passion for fitness and helping people early on so I was able to establish relationships and build experience while still in school. But, don’t be fooled - I have been in this industry for 6 years now and I still feel like a beginner. Regardless of your field and how much you know, things are constantly changing and there are still so many things we just don’t know! My best advice is to continue learning, whether that be from your peers, courses, books, or online resources.

My biggest obstacle lately has been risk versus reward. My dream is to solely work for myself. I want to run classes, offer workshops and events, and develop a personal training clientele that I have created for myself. I am a dreamer through and through but I sometimes need the reminder of what is realistic at the current juncture. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race as you develop a community, clientele, and following that will serve you for the long haul.

So what is next for me? I have decided that in order for me to take the next big step in my career, I need to move on from old experiences and create some new ones. I am saying good bye to teaching at the University of Toronto, a place I have spent 7 years learning and teaching fitness. It was a wonderful starting point for me but I am excited to take my experience and apply it to a new situation. I am starting my own Pilates classes! I am running more events and workshops to offer more to the Discover You community! 

And how do I feel about it all? Nervous AF! I am excited for the new adventures I have planned but terrified that I will fail. Will people show up? Who knows - you don’t until you try! In the past I have been more of a perfectionist, worried about everything going right all the time. Now, I try to take every new opportunity as a chance to learn, develop, and adjust to make the next class, event, or workshop that much more successful for not just me but for those in attendance.

Still on the fence about making a big move in your life? Just do it! With hard work and an open mind, the risk will eventually pay off into a great reward. Remember though, that it isn’t always about what is portrayed via social media channels that will establish you in your field, it is the stuff behind the scenes and the relationships you build and nurture that will lead you where you dream of going.

Below is a list of upcoming events happening in Toronto if you would like to support me in my new adventures! See you there!

Fully Fearless - THIS Saturday March 24th @ Calii Love. Click here to reserve your spot!

Weekly Pilates classes - Mondays from 6-7pm beginning April 2nd*

Barreworks Best You Series - Saturday April 7th and 14th 1:30-3pm. Click here to reserve your spot! Information is under the "Workshops" tab.

Boxing Class event - Sunday April 15th 1-2:30pm @ Sully’s Boxing Gym*

*contact rachel@letsdiscoveryou.com to reserve your spot today!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

My body is more than my appearance

Our lives are often spent in comparison - comparing ourselves to other people and places, and also comparing ourselves to what we were previously.  I too often hear clients reminiscing on old times of looking a certain way, weighing a particular amount, or getting back to their pre baby/wedding/university weight. Then, because we are busy looking back, we don’t often realize the capabilities our bodies currently possess and where they may be heading.

In a society where we receive instant gratification and almost always based on our appearance, it makes total sense that we may feel insecure when those things change. Think about your first moments of an interaction with someone else. It is usually spent saying how great they look or how amazing their hair is that day. Compliments based on appearance are not bad, but it can become a problem when that is the only thing we feel valued for. 


Your value does not lie in how your body looks.

Over the last several months I have made a conscious effort to ask people how they are feeling, to ask about their career or even simply how their day is, rather than always taking the easy route of complimenting appearance. These small steps are simple reminders to the person on the receiving end that they add more value than simply their appearance to this world.

From a fitness professional perspective, I know a lot of people get hung up on the weight, the size of the pants, or the way they look. My goal is to make people aware of their bodies as being more than just an appearance. Take a moment to thank your body for having the capability to move - something we often take for granted. Every day you wake up and choose to move, whereas some people unfortunately don’t have that luxury. Can you lift heavy things? That is pretty awesome! Can you hold your own body weight up in a plank? Amazing! All of these things to be grateful for and none have to do with your outward appearance. We don’t move for a quick fix, we want to be movers for life.

Life is not a straight, steady line. Throughout the lifespan our bodies change and as such your appearance changes too. It does not mean that it is bad or needs to go back to how it was before. No one ever mentally or emotionally thinks of living in the past so why think we need to physically get back to that past time. Your body adjusts to protect you and allow you to give your best effort for what you need at that given time. It is time be become proud of the current body we are in as it functions well for us to be exactly where we need to be at this moment.

This week, I challenge you to take five minutes to yourself and create a list of things that make you proud of your body, none of which can relate to physical appearance.  When you can shift your focus from appearance to gratitude, you will learn to love your body more as you begin to realize all that your body enables you to do. Love your body - it is the only place we have to live.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


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Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Love YoSelf Workshop Recap

Last Wednesday, Brittnei, founder of #itsalifestyle and I combined forces to bring to the community our body image and body positivity workshop creation - Love YoSelf. Although I have run a panel discussion on the topic, this was the first time that I was going to be hosting an interactive workshop where the attendees could reflect, share and learn throughout our two hours together.

Before putting anything out to the rest of the world, I am always a little nervous as to how it will be received. When you are the one creating the content, you always have a different perspective than those on the outside looking in. I am so thrilled with the feedback we received and Brittnei and I are excited to continue to offer this workshop in the future.


The underlying goals I have at any of my workshops, panels, events, or classes is the following:

  • thank yourself for making time out of your schedule for you
  • reflect on your strengths and understand how to tackle your weaknesses
  • learn something new about yourself you didn’t know prior to attending

I want people to be better when they leave. Even if it is one small ounce of change, motivation, or inspiration, I want to ensure people have a take away to help them on their way once the event, workshop, or class is over. Especially after my classes, but this can be applied to anything I offer, remember the feeling you have and use it as motivation to help you create the change you are looking for.


This workshop in particular was a HUGE success. Not only was it the most well received workshop I have run from a client perspective, but I also think that it was the most impactful on myself as the facilitator. Maybe it was the combination of people, the content and activities, or my co-facilitator, but everything exceeded my expectations. It is something truly magical to bring women of all ages, sizes, experiences, perspectives all together in one place and realize that we aren’t all so different. We recognized that regardless of who we are, relationships with friends and family, our work environment, our nutrition and movement, our self care, and social media all reflect how we perceive ourselves.

Life will have its ups and downs - that is why it is often referred to as a roller coaster! The most important thing to do is to understand and surround yourself with the people and things that make you most happy and to eliminate or reduce the things that don’t fill you up inside. Positivity breeds more positivity and it all starts with you. When you can feel good on the inside it is then reflected on the outside not only through yourself but through the energy you give off to the world and the connections you can make with others.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.