When Matcha drinks Coffee: Why I’m Loving Pour Over Coffee

Matcha here, checking in to share a new coffee machine and method of preparation that I have been loving: pour over coffee. Do not get me wrong, I love a good frothy matcha in the morning. There is something so cozy about coffee to me; I love how its smell instantly signifies the start of a new day. It signifies that it is time to wake up and get started on whatever your day has to offer.

Coffee is definitely known to go through trends; whether it be Nitro brew or oat milk lattes, the list is endless. The latest buzz I’ve been seeing at coffee shops and from different baristas is pour over coffee. There is nothing too fancy about it, which was a big reason I was so interested in trying it out. Pour over coffee simply gives you total control over the brewing process and allows you to have a stronger and tastier cup of coffee. It also yields a much smaller mess than other methods, which I am all about.

So, whats the buzz?

I’m excited to share that the pour over method is my new method of choice thanks to Mr. Coffee. Sadly, I have been attached to my Keurig machine for years. It definitely makes me cringe at how many K-cups I have been through and wasted. But alas, we cannot all be totally perfect in our sustainability efforts. This is a big reason why I wanted to share my new find with all of you. I am happy to have found a method that reduces waste and tastes a LOT better in my opinion.

Pour over coffee is a method of brewing coffee that allows you to control the temperature of water you are using. Because of this, the water temperature is at the optimal heat to brew your coffee — 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You are also able to control how fast the water pours over the coffee. In this case, the slower the better as it gives more time for the water to absorb all of the flavor notes of the coffee beans.

How do I make it at home?

One thing I really love about the Mr. Coffee Pour Over Machine is that it is extremely intuitive. It has an LED screen with instructions and the machine beeps at you if you miss a step or if you do anything wrong. I mean, I totally need this setting on for all of the happenings in my life! Forgot to lock the front door? Accidentally left the lights on before leaving the house? Dog has to go to the bathroom? Please beep at me!

You have the option with the machine to make 2, 4, or 6 cups of coffee. I really love this feature as it allows you do reduce waste. It’s really nice that you aren’t required to brew an entire pot; you have total control over what is made.

The machine retails for around $139. To me, any machine like this is a smart investment as we all know how expensive coffee shops can be. To purchase the machine, you can click the link here. I will add a highlight to my Instagram page showing how easy it is to brew with the machine. Because, who doesn’t love a tutorial?

This blog post is sponsored by Mr. Coffee but all of the opinions and recommendations are wholeheartedly my own.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about pour over coffee! Tell me, have you tried out this method before? What is your brewing method of choice? Are you a coffee or a matcha person? As you can tell, I am a happy mix of both and am extremely excited to have found this new method to use in the ease of my home. Wishing you all a great day ahead!

xo,

Cori

A Guide to All Things Mykonos, Greece

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my Santorini Guide yet, you may not know that this past June I traveled with a friend to Mykonos and Santorini in Greece. It truly is hard to say which island I loved most. They were both extremely different in their own amazing ways. Mykonos definitely had more of a “party” scene and is known for its picturesque white roads in Mykonos town. We stayed in Mykonos for four nights and in Oia, Santorini for five. For the sake of organization, I am going to keep the guides separate as I have so much I want to recommend and share about both places!

Taken at 180 Sunset Bar, more details on this spot below!

This guide shares all of my favorite things that we ate, drank and more in Mykonos! All of the opinions are 100% my own. If you visit any of these places, please tag me in your pictures so that I can live vicariously through you!

How to get to Greece

For us, it was definitely cheapest to fly into Athens, Greece and then take another flight to the Mykonos Airport. Being that the Mykonos airport is small, flights into here from the United States can be a lot more expensive. You can also take a ferry from Athens to Mykonos; it totally depends on your travel preference and what is most cost effective for you! We flew Ellinair from Athens to Mykonos and had a pleasant experience. The same thing goes if you are going to Santorini first; your cheapest bet is flying directly into Athens and then taking a flight or ferry to the island from there.

Where to stay in Mykonos

Although Mykonos is a small island, the areas are definitely a little spread out and taxis are not cheap. There are around 32 taxis on the island and they charge high amounts to get to extremely short distances. We stayed about halfway between the beaches in Psarou and Mykonos town in an area called Agios Ioannis. It was located away from the “hustle and bustle” of Mykonos and we loved that we had our own little oasis to come home to. The hotel was called Anax Resort and Spa Mykonos and it was extremely nice and accommodating. It was definitely more on the luxury end, so it really all depends on how you like to travel. I had a friend (@amesoutloud) on the island rent an adorable Air BnB right in Mykonos Town and it was more of an authentic Greek experience.

Our hotel had a beautiful infinity pool with extremely friendly staff, an unlimited breakfast buffet spread every morning from 8:00AM – 11:00AM, and gorgeous architecture that we could not get enough of. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone coming to Mykonos in search of a luxurious hotel. Food wise, the Greek salad here was one of our favorites and we got a Greek frappe every single morning. The froth was unlike anything I had ever had before and I could not believe they didn’t add milk to it!

One of my first plates (of many) of the amazing breakfast buffet at the Anax Resort & Spa
Our favorite discovery in Greece – a Greek “Frappe” – an extremely frothy coffee with no added milk or sweeteners.
The Greek salad at the Anax Resort & Spa was surprisingly one of our very favorites!

What to Eat in Mykonos

Kastro’s:

I felt like every time I storied a meal in Greece, I was like “THIS IS THE BEST MEAL EVER”, but Kastro’s was hands down the best meal we had in Mykonos. The waiters were extremely accommodating and each plate we ate, we loved more than the last. We started with the grilled calamari which came with a basil pesto, tarama mousse, and quinoa. They also brought us out pita chips and tarama dip for starters. Kastro’s was the original restaurant that we discovered tarama at (a dip with fish roe, lemon, and olive oil), and it was our favorite here.

We ordered a vegetable salad with truffle yogurt that was to die for. For our main dish, we split the almond crusted sea bass with an olive oil lime sauce and a broccoli coconut puree. It was all truly incredible and not to miss. The restaurant is in the heart of Little Venice and has a beautiful view of the water in Mykonos. I would recommend booking a reservation here beforehand requesting a table outside.


The calamari, sea-bass, truffled yogurt veggies and tarama dip with pita.

Price: $$$

Bowl Mykonos:

Bowl is an adorable Australian inspired health cafe that was located near our hotel. At first, we were hesitant to visit a health spot as we truly wanted to take in all of the Greek food we could. If you find yourself in Mykonos, definitely do not skip out on this spot! The food is extremely fresh, flavorful and different than your classic “health” cafe. The owner is from Australia herself and is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.

It was here that we discovered halloumi and became obsessed with the cheese. Order the “Green Brekkie Bowl” with kale, spinach, quinoa, chopped almonds, a soft boiled egg, avocado, halloumi and lemon. We went multiple times and never strayed away from this bowl. They also have a delicious matcha latte with house-made almond milk, which is not a common finding in Greece!

The matcha latte with house-made almond milk and the Green Brekkie Bowl.

Price: $$-$$$

Jimmy’s Gyros

If you are looking for a cheap, authentic gyro experience in Greece, Jimmy’s is your place! It is found in the heart of Mykonos town and has a delicious spread of classic Greek staples.

The classic Greek gyro with french fries!

Price: $

Scorpios:

We made a late reservation here around 10:30 PM and it was pretty crazy! Right next to the dining area, there is a large area with music where people are dancing and drinking. There are also plenty of bars and beds on the beach to hang out at after. Food wise, they had one of the best Greek salads that we had on the trip. The meatballs and the mushrooms were also incredible. The seafood here is extremely fresh and a lot of people around us were ordering the fish of the day.

Price: $$$-$$$$

D’Angelo Mykonos:

You will probably see this restaurant advertised all around the streets of Mykonos. This was a really cute lunch spot that we really enjoyed in Mykonos town! This was the place where we got the Greek salads served in watermelons. We had the best mushroom appetizer here that we ordered a second plate. I’ve also heard the seafood pasta is incredible here!

Greek salad served in a watermelon and the best mushrooms ever.

Price: $$

What to do in Mykonos

180 Sunset Bar:

This was definitely my favorite place that we visited in all of Mykonos, and maybe even Greece as a whole. 180 Sunset Bar is the cutest bar that overlooks the beautiful island and gives you the most perfect view of the sunset. They have incredible cocktails here that we could not get enough of. The one we kept coming back for was the “Curly Sue” — their Bloody Mary which was the best one I have ever had. The Watermelon Colada was super refreshing as well! You can also order food here, but we really kept visiting for the views and cocktails. Make sure you do not miss this amazing bar and atmosphere!

The “Curly Sue” – best Bloody Mary ever – and the Watermelon Colada!

Scorpios (daytime):

We went here for dinner, but they also have an extremely fun day time beach party that turns into a club at night. I recommend you get a cabana here in the daytime for a day drinking activity or come for dinner and stay after for the club! You could do both if you can handle it, all power to you lol.

Negrita:

This was a really fun cocktail bar that overlooks the water in Little Venice! Kastro’s is in Little Venice as well, so definitely come to Negrita first if you plan to eat dinner there. It is a great spot to hang out at and watch the sunset! Little Venice is a town in Mykonos that you do not want to skip out on.

Rent ATVs:

I definitely recommend this activity but with caution. My friend and I got totally scammed when we rented ours, but that is a very uncommon occurrence! Just make sure you do not rent from JOE’S ATVs in the heart of Mykonos town. Being that there are so few taxis in Mykonos, this is an extremely fun and cheap way to get around the town. We had a blast when we drove around in ours!

Shop around Mykonos Town:

Mykonos Town is the area of Mykonos that you will recognize from its beautiful white streets. We spent a good amount of time shopping in boutiques here and found a lot of cute “Greece” like clothes for cheap! They also sell adorable evil eye jewelry all over, but make sure to ask questions to ensure what you buy will not rust.

Recommended restaurants and activities we did not make it to:

  • Pho’s Restaurant
  • Sea Satin Restaurant – you get the authentic Greek “plate-smashing” experience here and I have heard that the food is great! Rowdy spot with dancing on tables, etc.
  • Buddha Bar Mykonos – fancy cocktail bar with sushi ($$$$)
  • Nammos – really fun and well known beach club in Mykonos (similar to Scorpios), peak hours between 5-9pm
  • Fato a Mano – authentic Italian food
  • Reeza – restaurant inside of the Rocabella Hotel, reasonably priced
  • Vegara for dinner – amazing view, was told to order the fish of the day
  • Kiki’s Tavern for traditional Greek seafood
  • Alemagou – another fun, hip beach club

I hope you enjoy this travel guide and are as inspired visit Mykonos or Greece in general in your near future. If you do make the trip out to Greece, let me know and I am more than happy to share personalized recommendations or elaborate on any of the above. Happy traveling!

Xo,

Cori (+ Amanda, my favorite travel partner!)

A Guide to All Things Santorini, Greece

Traveling always helps me grow as a person as it gives you new perspectives, new experiences, and so much more. I knew I would feel this way about Greece, but I was definitely was not prepared for the immense impact that Santorini would have on me. Everything in this city resonated with me so much: the people, the culture, the delicious food, the way people scheduled their days around appreciating the beautiful sunset, and so much more. It is one of my favorite places that I have ever had the chance to spend time in and I plan to make many trips back in the future.

This guide shares all of my favorite things that we ate, drank and more in Santorini! All of the opinions are 100% my own. If you visit any of these places, please tag me in your pictures so that I can live vicariously through you!

Where to Stay in Santorini

This past June I was fortunate enough to spend around five days in Santorini, Greece with one of my very best friends, Amanda. We stayed in the breathtaking town of Oia, Santorini. There are three main towns that most people stay in in Santorini: Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. Our stay in Oia was more calm than it would have been in the city of Fira, the city with more bars and late night activities to offer. Imerovigli is a town in between Oia and Fira and it is a little closer to Fira. We found that a majority of our favorite restaurants were in Oia and it was definitely a nice area to spend time in after four late nights in Mykonos.

In Oia, we stayed at the Atrina Canava hotel. The hotel was perfect for us and our needs; it was in a great location and offered a free breakfast daily. Each day, you were able to choose the time you wanted breakfast and the menu items you desired. You were able to enjoy your meal on the deck and take in all the beauty of Oia. This was definitely one of our favorite parts of the hotel as it was the best way to start the day.

One of our breakfast choices one day of poached eggs, smoked salmon and spinach on top of ciabatta
Our full breakfast spread from another morning at the hotel

Canaves was another hotel that was recommended to us. We went by it during our trip; it looked extremely nice and it was a little secluded from the busier parts of town. We did not stay there because it was too expensive for the dates that we were going to be there, but I hope to on future vacations! There are so many beautiful hotels all around Santorini and Airbnb is always a great option if you are looking to spend less money.

Where to Eat in Santorini

Melitini:

I cannot recommend this fabulous Greek tapas restaurant in Oia enough! All of the food was amazing and extremely affordable (including the wine!). Make sure to order the fried zucchini chips, the Santorini Salad, the octopus and the grilled cheese with herbs. This was one of the restaurants we came to twice in Greece and I will definitely be back on future trips!

Tip: Make sure you make a reservation on the rooftop terrace area and go around 8:00PM so you can watch the sunset!


The fried zucchini and the grilled cheese with herbs.

Price: $$

Catch:

We had an incredible seafood meal on the rooftop of Catch one night at sunset! You’ll want to make a reservation here around 8:00PM so you can enjoy the sunset on the beautiful terrace. The view and the food are both not to miss. They brought the most delicious, homemade turmeric sourdough to our table that I will dream about until I gain the confidence in the kitchen to mess around with a sourdough starter. They brought it out with “Taramasalata” which is a Greek dip made out of fish roe, olive oil, and lemon. We were absolutely obsessed with it. Sometimes, it could be found on the menus in Greece as “Tarama”.

We enjoyed the fish of the day, sea-bream, cooked and filleted fresh with olive oil and lemon. The octopus appetizer was delicious. Everything was so fresh; definitely make a reservation if you love seafood!


The octopus and tuna appetizers and the view at sunset!

Price: $$$

Roka:

We had another delicious, very reasonably priced meal at Roka in Oia. It was here that we discovered our favorite Greek red wine from Domaine Sigalas. We got the delicious Santorinian salad made with a goats cheese instead of feta, the mushroom ragout on sourdough, the sea-bass and the Santorinian fava beans with with fresh shrimps, Greek soutzouki sausage and herb crust. Everything was super tasty and the staff was extremely friendly! Roka did not have a view of Santorini, but the reasonably priced food is not to be missed.


The Santorinian Salad and the Mushroom Ragout on Sourdough.

Price: $$

Ammoudi Fish Tavern:

This was the second restaurant that we went back to twice during our stay, and for a great reason! The area of Ammoudi Bay in Oia is a must visit when you are in Santorini. More on this later in the guide, but our absolute favorite seafood restaurant here was Ammoudi Fish Tavern. When you see the hanging octopuses outside of the restaurant, you will know you are at the right spot.

Ammoudi Fish Tavern is another wonderful restaurant to enjoy the sunset at. During our visits here, we tried the sun-dried octopus, the lobster with orzo and truffle oil, the mussels cooked in a white wine sauce, and a delicious Ammoudi special salad. Everything was incredible here, but definitely do not miss out on the sun-dried octopus! When you go, ask for Harry the waiter; he was incredibly nice and welcoming both times we visited. Tell him Cori and Amanda sent you!


The delicious sun-dried octopus appetizer.

Price: $$$

Onar:

Onar popped up right when we needed it one day during our hike from Oia to Fira, right before Fira in the town called Firostefani. We were so “hangry” we didn’t care where we ate, but we were so pleasantly surprised by this amazing spot we chose! We went for lunch, but the beautiful view from the restaurant would make for the perfect dinner spot as well.

Amanda and I ordered the halloumi and talagani cheeses, the grilled vegetables in a spicy sauce, the fresh crab tartar, the Greek salad and the crab salad. Like I said before, we were “hangry”, lol. Halloumi cheese was one of our favorite food discoveries in Greece and it was delicious at Onar.


The crab tartar and the halloumi and talagani cheeses.

Price: $$-$$$

Fino:

Fino is a wonderful cocktail bar and restaurant in Oia. We originally came here because the starters menu appealed to us, but we ended up having a great overall meal. I will share that we had really poor service here; it definitely could have been an off night as we had heard amazing recommendations about Fino before coming. All in all, the food and cocktails were great and I would definitely recommend spending a night here in Santorini! There is not a view from Fino, so make your reservation before or after the sunset.

We ordered the lobster spring rolls, the tuna tataki and the octopus for starters and our favorite was the lobster spring rolls. For the main course, we shared the sea-bass which was also amazing! It was cooked in capers and lime juice and was really refreshing.


The lobster spring rolls and the tuna tataki appetizers.

Price: $$-$$$

Katharos Lounge, Vegan Meze Bar:

This restaurant is actually one of the highest rated restaurants in the city of Oia. Vegan or not, the food here is fresh, flavorful and not to be missed on your trip. There is a beautiful view from the restaurant. I would definitely recommend it as more of a lunch spot. It is about a 20-25 minute walk from the main city of Oia, but there are really nice views of the water along the way.

Everything on the menu looked amazing here, but we had to come and try the baked vegan feta. Don’t get me wrong, the feta in Greece is amazing, but our stomachs needed a little break. The vegan feta was to die for and came with a delicious whole-wheat pita to dip into it. I would definitely come back here and try all of the other delicious menu items!


The baked vegan feta and the beautiful view from Katharos Lounge.

Price: $$

Cavotagoo Santorini:

This was another hotel/restaurant that we discovered on one of our hikes from Oia to Fira. We had heard amazing things about this hotel prior to our trip, so we had to go in and see what the hype was all about. Cavotagoo was one of the most breathtaking, amazing hotels I have ever witnessed in my life. The view was like no other and it had this peaceful aura that made me never want to leave. Of course, we had to take a look at the restaurant menu and it had sushi which sold us immediately. We enjoyed a delicious lunch by the water there and will remember this experience for a long time!

In order to spend the day at the pool here, you have to rent chairs which can get pricey. If laying out is your thing, I would definitely recommend spending time here if your budget allows. To enjoy the restaurant, you do not need to have a chair rented and you still get to enjoy the indescribable views. The tuna sashimi salad was delicious and all of the sushi was really fresh.

Price: $$$$

Lolita’s:

The most delicious gelato in Oia! Make sure to get the Greek Viagra flavor; it has Greek yogurt, hazelnuts and honey. I got the Pistachio, Greek Viagra and Hazelnut flavors in a cup and they were all perfect! It is the best snack to help get you through the Santorini heat.


Greek Viagra, Hazelnut, and Pistachio gelato flavors!

Price: $

What to Do in Santorini

Hike from Oia to Fira (or vice versa):

This was hands down my favorite activity that we did in Greece. It was the most beautiful hike and we craved the views every single morning we woke up. The hike takes around 2 1/2 – 3 hours total. I recommend waking up early to do it, and if you hike it in the heat bring lots of water! Every morning we went on the trail we brought huge water bottles filled with Liquid IV packets (hydration multiplier – you can use code ‘matchaandmargs‘ for 20% off plus free shipping), and it definitely helped a ton.

You can also do a shorter hike to Imerovigli, or just simply hike until you start to feel tired and turn around. Some days, we decided to do shortened versions of the hike and it still was amazing! There is a public bus system that can take you back to Oia/Fira respectively for about 1.80 euros.

Tip: There is a stand about halfway that sells Powerade, water, etc. so bring money just in case! Remember, hydration is key on this hike, especially with the summer heat. We saw people hike in bathing suits, etc. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, I guess!

Santorini Sailing:

Taking a catamaran around Santorini is a must! You get to see places on this tour that aren’t easily accessible otherwise. Throughout the tour, you get to see the black and red sand beaches, the volcano, and so much more! The food on board is amazing, and the beer and wine is reflected in the price of your rental. We chose the Horizon boat which fit up to 18 people and was semi-private. Our total was around 150 euros. You can select a cheaper boat for around 100 euros, but there are a lot more people on board. It’s totally up to you and your preference; we really enjoyed the Horizon and all it had to offer!

The staff is friendly, informative and will answer any questions along the way that you may have. We chose this catamaran company because it was featured on the Food Network; all the food definitely lived up to the hype. We could not believe it was all cooked on board! The company also provides a free hotel pick-up service that will transport you to the port the day of sail. We did the half day tour from 10:00AM – 3:00PM. They also offer sunset tours from 4:00PM until sunset.

Part of our beautiful lunch spread on board: mussels, roasted potatoes, bread, tzatziki, olive tapenade, shrimps cooked in tomato sauce and feta, pasta, Greek salad

Ammoudi Bay:

As previously mentioned, Ammoudi Bay is an awesome shore-side area in Oia that is not to be missed. You can access it by renting an ATV and taking it down to Ammoudi, or you can hike down the 200+ stairs like we did! There are donkeys at the bottom that you are able to take back up to the top, but we couldn’t get past how they were whipping the donkeys to move. Oh, and the plethora of donkey waste everywhere. You have been warned 🙂

Ammoudi is a fabulous spot to watch the sunset, enjoy fresh seafood, and cliff dive! Don’t forget your bathing suit. There are other restaurants besides Ammoudi Fish Tavern, but it was definitely our favorite. I’ve heard great things about Dimitris, too.

Tip: If you enjoy a nice dinner here with lots of wine, be sure to call a taxi to take you back to the main part of the city. Don’t be ambitious and try to hike up the 200+ stairs like we did, lol.

Recommended restaurants and activities we did not make it to:

  • Lauda – one of the best known fine dining restaurants in Oia
  • Armeni – great restaurant in Oia with a view
  • Ambrosia – another well known fine dining restaurant in Oia with a great view
  • Go out in Fira
    • 2 Brothers: casual bar with cheaper drinks and good deals (we did end up here and it was fun for a casual drink!)
    • Koo Club: popular club in Fira
    • Murphy’s: one of the most popular bars, good for meeting other travelers
  • Santos Winery tour
  • Domaine Sigalas Winery tour – our absolute favorite red wine from the trip was from this winery**
  • Get a fish pedicure
  • Ginger – sushi restaurant in Fira
  • Nao’s Restaurant for cocktails
  • Lotza’s for the best baklava in Oia

I hope you enjoy this travel guide and are as inspired to go (back to) visit Santorini as I am now! If you make the trip out to Greece, let me know and I am more than happy to share personalized recommendations or elaborate on any of the above. Happy traveling!

Xo,

Cori (+ Amanda, my best friend and travel partner!)

Leaving Corporate America, The Road Less Traveled

One year ago today, April 19th, I walked out of the doors of my job within Corporate America as an Oracle based technology consultant. I left those doors without a plan, without a new full time job, without a consistent compensation. One thing I did leave those doors with was excitement, confidence and dedication towards my unknown career path going forward. I knew in my heart I had a passion for health and wellness that I would put forth every ounce of energy I had to pursue.

I am not writing this to convince you to quit your corporate job. I’m not here to tell you that everything will be sunshine and rainbows on the other side. That is not the case, and likely will take a lot of hard work to get to that point. I am also not here to say anything in a negative light regarding Corporate America. My time as a consultant was incredible and truly shaped me to have the confidence that I found within myself to go out on my own. My mission here is to share my story hoping that it helps anyone in the same boat in their career.

Why leave?

When I started school at the University of Georgia in 2012, I had my mind set on obtaining a business degree. That’s what everyone seemed to be doing. You get into the school of business, you go off to work full time at a Big Four company, and life is grand… right? That mindset stuck with me throughout my first year at a Big Four firm. I was doing all the “right” things, I felt successful, and I had a comfortable salary.

When you follow along with the status quo, it can catch up to you quickly. I started to become stressed and unhappy, which took the energy out on my relationships. I began to feel like I was a small fish in a large sea, and that was difficult for me to make an impact in my environment. Although all the signs were there, I thought I was on the right path and that I had to stick through it. Because what would others think if I left? Who would I be if I wasn’t the Management Information Systems major working 60 plus hour weeks at a Big Four Firm? Frankly, how would I survive without this salary and pay my bills?

It took a LOT of soul searching, but I realized that my mindset was extremely skewed. What mattered most to me at the end of the day was my happiness and my mental health. The reality is that sometimes happiness is not the easiest path to choose. Often it means letting go of something that may have once served you. It may mean walking away from a path in life that most people are on, and that is OKAY. Your job, your major, your salary — none of these can ever define you.

My plan post quitting

The hardest part was not being able to tell my coworkers exactly where I was going. I had a bunch of part time jobs lined up, but they didn’t need that entire elevator pitch. And honestly, I was hesitant since it surely was not the traditional route that most of my peers take.

The main part time job that was going to be keeping me afloat was working at a Technology Specialist for a local company, and that company happened to be owned by my dad. I kept this a secret for a long time. I am extremely proud of the business my dad and his partner have grown and was excited to be a part of it, but I know the stigma that comes when working for a parent. So, I kept quiet to most, when really, I was gaining valuable experience.

At his company, I continued practicing what I had learned in my major. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t my dream job, but I knew that it would give me the flexibility to explore the health and wellness industry. I would no longer be traveling and working 60 plus hour weeks and would now have the time to follow my passions.

As far the health and wellness side of things goes, I decided to create my blog. I dedicated a lot of my time growing my account and page with this newfound freedom. When I had the chance, I went out and met friends I had connected with through Instagram, attended Natural Products conferences and networked with my favorite health companies. I also got a job at SoulCycle and made an incredible group of friends who I consider family within the fitness industry.

When I started my blog, I started to reach out to local companies to see if they needed any extra assistance. I am so thankful that Georgia Grinders responded, and I was able to meet with the awe-inspiring founder of the local nut butter company. Jaime was one of those people who came into my life for a reason at exactly the right time. We had very similar stories, and she was a complete breath of fresh air. From that day, I knew I had gained an incredible role model and friend who would end up being a big part of my life. I started off working for Georgia Grinders at local farmers markets and events on the weekends. This opportunity led me to meet so many amazing health-minded people within the Atlanta community.

Where I am today

You are now probably thinking… so when did you sleep?! I always prioritize sleep, but I did not have much free time beyond my part time commitments. Although the funny thing was, I was not very stressed. I knew I was chasing my passions, and that one day all this hard work would lead to something bigger.

Today, one year after leaving Corporate America, I am extremely proud to be the full time Digital Media Manager for Georgia Grinders. I wake up each day feeling grateful for all of my hard work that got me to this point. My focus is now on helping grow Georgia Grinders, while growing my personal brand at the same time. I’ve taken a complete 180 turn from my college major and career, and I have not looked back.

What excites me most is knowing that this is just the start of my journey, and there will be so much more to come. I did not decide one night that I wanted to leave Corporate America, it was something that came to fruition over time with a lot of dedication. But if you find yourself in the same boat, there is absolutely no harm in putting yourself out there and beginning to explore other options. I cannot say it enough — your job, your career, your salary, none of these will ever define you. Tune into your needs and blur out any thoughts or judgement from others. It is your life, your happiness, and people will be a lot more understanding than you would expect.

How to tap into industries outside your major

So, what happens when you know you want to make the change? What happens when you want to explore other industries outside of your degree? Where do you go from here? Each situation is different, but this is the general advice that I share with others going through the same thing:

Put yourself out there any chance you get. Do this by stepping into uncomfortable situations, even when it scares you. These situations are the ones that are going to help you grow the most. Ask a lot of questions and learn to be okay with hearing the word no. If something doesn’t work out, it was likely not meant to be. Take that disappointment and channel it into the manifestation of the next best thing.

Talk to experienced people in the industry, make incredible impressions and follow up with your contacts promptly. Reach out to as many people as you can and listen to their stories and expertise. Read articles and do endless amounts of research. Be sure to attend any industry related events. When you are passionate about something, the easiest part is sharing this with others. People can see it in your eyes, hear it in your voice, and feel it shine from your heart.

Take the road less traveled

Making any change does not happen overnight. If you want it badly enough, you surely have what it takes to make it happen. About a couple months into becoming discontent with my career, I traveled to Ojai, California. It was in a gift shop here that I found a key chain that read “Take the road less traveled”. This quote stuck with me (and my keys) and truly changed my life. It was in that moment that I realized I had what it took to be anything but ordinary. I was ready to take the step forward to follow the passions in my heart. So much has changed for me this past year for the better, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

If you are in a similar situation and are thinking of making a career change, please reach out! I am always happy to talk more about my experience and share my knowledge. Thank you SO much for taking the time to read this; it truly means the world to me to have you here.

Xo,

Cori

All Things Expo West 2019

Twice a year, the New Hope Network puts on the largest natural foods conference; one is on the east coast (Expo East) and one on the west coast (Expo West). Thousands of companies come together in one convention center and debut what is new and exciting with their brands. It helps connect them to different retailers, vendors, distributors, bloggers and influencers. These Expos really have the power to help bring different brands and companies to the next level. They also serve as a really fun way for bloggers and influencers to network and meet other people in the same industry.

I have been fortunate enough to attend the last three conventions and get a first glimpse of what is coming down the pipeline from some of my favorite natural products companies. It is a blast to meet the faces behind the brands and get to try out their new offerings. There are samples everywhere, thousands of booths, and a whole lot of foodies. This past month, I attended Expo West 2019 in Anaheim, California. I cannot wait to share all of the scoop with you guys!

From a trends perspective, CBD, collagen and turmeric are definitely being used in a wide variety of products in the industry. They all have incredible benefits for you, but it seemed like there was product overload in these areas. There are so many amazing products and companies out there, but I definitely recommend doing your research before purchasing any. Sometimes, it really is easiest to stick with what you know and not over complicate. Simply because I choose to use or purchase something, absolutely does not mean that you need to. With that being said, here are some of my top favorite finds at Expo this year!

Kite Hill

Kite Hill Foods is one of my favorite brands that carries dairy-free cheese alternatives. My long time favorite has been the chive flavored almond milk cream cheese. They launched a few new exciting products this year: everything bagel almond milk cream cheese, strawberry flavored almond milk cream cheese, and dairy-free, ricotta filled tortellini! The tortellini was incredible and they had it prepared in an olive oil and garlic based sauce with peas. I definitely plan on remaking this soon, as I have already spotted the tortellini in my local Whole Foods! If you are gluten-free, unfortunately, the tortellini is not gluten free.

Siete Family Foods

Siete Foods has one of the most friendly and fun brands out there. I always love running into the team at different shows and events. This year, they debuted their new grain free taco shells and sprouted bean dip! If you are not familiar with the brand, they offer great grain-free alternatives for Mexican-inspired cooking. From their grain free tortillas, to their incredible vegetable based hot sauce line, they really have it all. They keep continue to come out with exciting new products and I cannot wait for more!

Chosen Foods

Chosen Foods is one of my long time favorite companies that sells healthy cooking oils. I always use their avocado oil and avocado oil sprays to cook because they are high quality and have a higher smoke point than most other oils. They recently launched their line of 9 flavored avocado oil sprays! My favorite flavor is definitely the garlic, and they have other fun ones like dill and citrus pepper. Chosen Foods is also coming out with a guacamole and an avocado spread which I am super excited about.

Wildbrine

Wildbrine has been known in the natural products industry for their kraut and fermented products. They stole the show this year with their new plant based bries and butter. The brie was extremely authentic to traditional brie in regards to the rind. It tasted great and will come in three flavors: classic, shiitake and beet. Their plant based butter was also amazing; I’m super excited that there is now another clean, vegan butter out there. All of their new products that they debuted are also cultured. This may have been one of my favorite samplings at the show!

Simple Mills

Simple Mills has incredible grain free baking mixes, cookies, crackers, etc. and this year they added an incredible brownie mix to their line! It tastes super fudgy and very similar to a regular brownie. I’m looking forward to enjoying a batch soon with some dairy free ice cream!

New Barn Organics

New Barn is an awesome brand that sells a variety of almond milks and almond milk based ice creams. This year at the show, they sampled their new almond based dips with great ingredients and even better flavors! My favorite was definitely the habanero. They would be a great option for those who do not eat chickpeas as a hummus replacement. I eat chickpeas, and plan to be buying lots of these dips!

Georgia Grinders

Near, dear, and extremely close to my heart, Georgia Grinders came out with Hazelnut butter that is just plain perfect. The only ingredients are slow roasted hazelnuts and sea salt; clean and simple – just how I like it. I actually attended Expo West with Georgia Grinders as the new Full Time Digital Media Manager! This hasn’t quite been discussed on my page yet, so if you’re reading this, you’re the first to know! I’m beyond excited for this new leap of faith in my career and am thrilled to work alongside a brand that values a commitment to quality and simplicity as much as I do.

Sir Kensington’s

Sir Kensington’s has a fabulous line of condiments and dressings that they recently expanded to include flavored balsamic vinegars! I was able to try them out at the show on top of some vegetables and they were great. Vegetables are definitely a rare find at the show so I totally appreciated these samples. My favorite one was the Dijon Balsamic, but they all have really unique and delicious flavors.

Miyoko’s

Miyoko’s is another one of my favorite dairy free cheese and butter companies. I use their mozzarella frequently as it definitely melts a lot easier than other vegan cheeses I have tried. The product pictured above was my new favorite. It is the Biergarten Garlic Chive cheese and it is absolutely to die for, especially on pretzels. They also debuted their new line of cheeses which are completely nut free and made with a base of sweet potatoes. Miyoko’s did not have any official packaging out yet, but I am excited to see them on shelves soon! The nut-free cheeses tasted incredible and I assume they will melt just as easily as their other offerings.

Chameleon Cold Brew

Oat milk in my lattes has to be one of my favorite morning treats ever. Chameleon Cold Brew is making that a lot easier by combining their organic cold brew with organic oat milk in the bottles pictured above. They will come in a couple flavors and they all taste great!

Birch Benders

My love for Birch Benders pancake mix runs deep, and I was so excited that they expanded their line to include syrups! Their syrups are sweetened with monk fruit and have added MCTs in them. Birch Benders also launched a plant based and a Keto pancake mix. Both were delicious and will have a frozen boxed waffle to accompany them. My favorite mix is still the Paleo pancake mix and the Paleo frozen waffles, but I think it is super awesome that they are expanding to meet the needs of so many consumers. Yay!

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen is coming out with Paleo chocolate chips! They are called Gems and are absolutely perfect for all of your Paleo baking needs. I’m really pumped about this as I will no longer have to chop their bars up for baking. As far as the bars go, they launched a delicious Earl Grey Cashew Butter Chocolate bar. They were sampling their Orange Dream Vanilla Cashew Butter and Cashew Butter and Raspberry Jelly bars which launched last fall at Expo East. Hu Kitchen is definitely one of my favorite Paleo chocolate companies out there. Make sure check out their storefront in New York City if you ever have the chance. Rumor has it there may be a new location soon… stay tuned!

PS. They are also launching grain free crackers! Be on the lookout on their Instagram page and website.

Taste Republic

Taste Republic has an amazing line of fresh, gluten-free pastas. You can find their pastas in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I get mine at my local Whole Foods and Sprouts. Some of their pastas are paleo/grain-free, and they just added cauliflower linguine to the line. It is just as delicious as their other pastas and I’m thrilled about this awesome grain-free pasta option! All of their pastas only take a few minutes to cook which is when you really know that they are fresh. The pastas are also available on their website, but the cauliflower linguine is currently sold out.

Banza

Banza was sampling their delicious new chickpea rice. I’ve posted about it a lot on my feed and in my stories, but it is always great to see the friendly faces behind this brand. They were sampling a fried rice recipe with their rice that I will definitely be recreating soon!

Mother Raw

Another one of my favorite brands that I found at Expo was Mother Raw. They offer a line of extremely clean dressings and dips. All of their products are made with a base of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Mother Raw sells an awesome plant based, nut-free queso, too! I loved all of the dressings, but the Caesar and the Maple Fig were two of my top choices. Check out this brand for simple, good for you products that can really help elevate your meals.

Eating Evolved


The delicious Paleo chocolate brand, Eating Evolved, is also coming out with Paleo baking chips! One of my favorite products of their’s is their cashew milk chocolate bar, so I am excited that they are launching cashew milk chocolate chips as well. Eating Evolved is expanding their line of Paleo coconut butter cups to include nut butter cups. The inside of these new cups are filled with either almond or cashew butter and are absolutely delicious. All of the ingredients for their new cups are just as clean as the one’s found in their other products!

Hilary’s Eat Well

My favorite veggie burger company, Hilary’s, came out with a new grain-free super cauliflower burger. It is definitely my new favorite item of their’s. The new burgers really remind me of a potato pancake and are super comforting. I can’t wait for these to hit the shelves soon.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

My absolute favorite ice cream company, Jeni’s Ice Cream, launched three new amazing dairy free flavors! The came out with Roasted Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jelly (my favorite), Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, and Texas Sheet Cake. They are all so amazing and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out! If you live near a Jeni’s Ice Cream Shop, the new dairy free flavors are available there now.

Bonafide Provisions

Bonafide Provisions came out with incredible Keto broths, and the one with lemon, turmeric, coconut and MCT oils was to die for. I think I went by their booth everyday to snag a cup. I’ve been a longtime fan of their clean, nourishing broths and this new Keto focused launch surely did not disappoint. Bonafide also did a beautiful packaging re-brand which will be in stores soon!

Soozy’s Grain Free

Soozy’s has incredible, grain-free muffins that can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. I get mine at my local Kroger, and they can be found at any of the Kroger brand stores. They came out with grain-free DONUTS this year which tasted just as amazing as their muffins.

Naturally Clean Eats

When I make a bar recommendation, you know it it means that I really love them because I am not the biggest bar girl. I absolutely loved the bars from Naturally Clean Eats; they are clean, vegan, gluten-free, and most importantly they do not require refrigeration. The owner, Jessica, could not be sweeter which is always a plus! She sells delicious flavors like Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie dough and just recently came out with a new Oatmeal Raisin bar which launches in May. Her packaging is stunning and I can’t wait to bring these with me on the go.

Vital Farms

The Vital Farms brand is truly an awesome one to me as they are super transparent with their practices, their mission, etc. I am pumped that they are launching a Ghee butter as it is something that I highly enjoy cooking with. The new ghees are definitely going to be as stellar as the rest of their line!

Culina Yogurt

Another one of my favorite Expo finds was the dairy free yogurt from Culina Yogurt. Their delicious plant based yogurt is sold in mini plant pots which is super environmentally friendly and could not be cuter. It is hard to come across a creamy, delicious plant based yogurt and Culina completely nailed it. Culina’s flavors are: Plain and Simple, Bourbon Vanilla, Strawberry Rose, and Blueberry Lavender. They are super unique and I’m so excited that I will be able to purchase these in Sprouts soon!

Fourth and Heart

The current ghee brand that I use and love, Fourth and Heart, launched a new turmeric ghee and it is delicious. They also launched ghee-based protein bars which were great. I had never tried their chocolate ghees before, but I will now definitely be purchasing them going forward. Yum!

Beanfield’s

Beanfields carries a line of delicious bean-based chips with awesome flavors. I love the texture of their chips and they are definitely quite addicting. On top of their already amazing line, they debuted their new flavors at the show that are made with a base of white beans. The chips are a little lighter and come in Salt and Vinegar, Spicy Queso, Himalayan Pink Salt, Jalapeno Lime and Cheddar.

I hope you enjoyed! If you have any specific questions about any of the products or companies listed, please do not hesitate to reach out!

xo,

Cori