Well, where should I start? I’m Nicole Aguilar, but lots of my friends call me Nikki! I’m a former fatty turned fitty, California hippie with jersey girl roots, cupcake lover, former college cheerleader, rocker chick, hiker, beach bum, pole dancer, and avid writer. I earned a B.F.A in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design. If you’ve never been to Savannah, GA you’re missing out!
During the day, I produce movie trailers. It’s a pretty cool job! But I started this blog a few years ago because everyone was always asking me for advice. It was shocking to me because I felt like my life was messy and I was always going through something… but then it clicked. My life IS messy and I’m always finding a way to make it better and turn life lessons into growth. That’s why people wanted advice. They saw me navigating life’s ups and downs—sometimes like a pro and sometimes like a total flailing idiot, but I was always honest about myself. What you see is what you get!
So, Nikki Nurtures was born. (Big thank you for my friend Justina for helping me come up with the name and build my first layout! And another big thank you to Megan for doing my redesign after I outgrew the theme.)
nur·ture (verb): care for and encourage the growth or development of.
synonyms:bring up, care for, take care of, look after, tend, rear, raise, support, foster;
I spent so much of my life being hard on myself and to be honest, I still can be. But, when I started treating my thoughts and body with respect, I started seeing the world, and myself, differently. I was nurturing myself and I want to teach others how to do the same.
“But, Nikki… sometimes you’re really stern and snarky.” Yes, hello! I’m from New Jersey. The thing about life is, sometimes you need that take-no-shit friend who will snatch you up when you’re acting foolish. That’s me. There is a time and a place to tell people what they want to hear and there are moments that you need to tell people what they need to hear. The snark helps them swallow the truth bombs a little easier.
Don’t worry; It’s not all serious stuff over here. I love to talk about fashion, beauty, and travel just as much as the next girl, but at my core, I love writing about living a full, balanced life.
Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere. Part of my mission is to inspire you through being completely authentic and real with you. I’ve stood where you are standing. I’ve struggled, failed, succeeded, fell back and had to drag myself up again. Part of what inspires a lifestyle change is your ‘why’. Everyone has the power to change; you just need to know why you want to. Whatever it is that inspires you, will motivate positive change.
There are a million and one ways to workout, eat, and live. But what’s the best way? That entirely depends on what you want to get out of it. One of my goals is to educate you on the options you have! Whether you want to go Paleo, become a yogi, or a trapeze artist, I want to supply you with information that allows you to make your lifestyle change mindful, healthy and safe. It is also my duty to explain the dangers of fads and extremes. Your health is my main priority.
“Nikki Nurtures mission is to educate and inspire women to live happy, healthy lives through the alignment of mind, body, and soul”
Happiness comes from everything in your life becoming balanced and aligned, but it starts you’re your loving yourself not matter where you are on your wellness journey. Your happiness is completely up to you. You will not find it in material possessions or other people. To live happy, we must all reach inside hearts and minds to find the meaning in our thoughts and actions, let go of what doesn’t serve us, and be gentle in the way we treat ourselves during the process.
Health doesn’t mean sucking kale through a straw and suffering through 2-hour workouts each day. Your optimal health is achieved from small changes in nutrition, movement, and self-love. The worst things to do are deprive yourself, overwork yourself, and hate yourself. I’m going to teach you to enjoy real food and love your body by sharing my tricks for eating healthy, yet flavorful and getting awesome whole-body workouts in under an hour a day.
The mind is a powerful thing and we have to work to overcome it. It will tell you that you can’t do something over and over again, until you believe it and stop trying. It’s time for your heart to convince your mind that you CAN and you WILL. Do everything you do through love and positivity and I guarantee you change will come and your mind will eventually see that you mean business.
You only get one body, so you should treat it well, but also know that it can handle way more than you think it can. Our bodies are smarter than we are. They have the power to heal and change… all they need from us is good food, movement and love. They’re also unique, so don’t compare your body to others. Not everyone was meant to be a size zero or have a giant tushy. Love what you have and work to improve it.
Love and fear cannot live in the same house. A big part of what I want to teach you is showing daily gratitude for everything in your life… the good and the bad. Without the bad, we would not learn and grow. If we don’t show gratitude for the good, we start to become unappreciative of the good fortune the universe is giving us and when we do that, the universe will surely rip that ungrateful rug right out from under you. So be thankful that your barista remembered your name. Be thankful when you mess up because that means you get to bounce back stronger and smarter.
If you don’t believe in gods, nature, or fairies–believe in goodness. Believe in the goodness that lives inside you and others. That goodness will allow you to surround yourself with positivity, light, and happiness. Believing in something more than yourself creates a soulful barrier around you that will help keep out negative influence. Creating inner peace through whatever means you choose will aid in you achieving everything you want and more in this crazy thing we call life.
Try new things. Your mom was right, you’ll never know if you like something or not unless you try. I thought I’d hate doing mud runs, and I wound up with a Trifecta Medal for the Spartan Race series. Trying new things allows you to find new things to be passionate about. Life is nothing without passion. If you’re ready for a lifestyle change, you’re going to have to try new things. Always wanted to tap dance? Eat Thai food? There is no time like the present.
The best way to experience life is to travel. You learn so much about yourself and the world when you travel to the places of your dreams. Travel is a form of soulful healing… why do you think people take vacations to beaches? Make sense now? If the wanderlust bug hasn’t bit you yet, let it. Be open to seeing the beauty this world has to offer outside of your own backyard because that beauty will be reflected in you. My advice? Create a list of 3 places to visit each year and map out when in your life you think you’ll be able to go to your ULTIMATE destination.
“Never pass up a cupcake!”
If you can shift your thoughts from negative to positive and appreciate things like sunsets or warm breezes, your health will be positively impacted. Gratitude is an instant shift in perspective that leads us to appreciate and enjoy life more. Sometimes enjoyment comes in the form of a hot cup of coffee on a Saturday morning. Acknowledge those little awesome moments! Life is too short to not smile at the site of a rainbow. It’s also too short to pass up a cupcake, so eat up! It’s called BALANCE.
It’s not about spending hours in the gym killing yourself to look like an airbrushed bikini model, it’s just about introducing 30 minutes of movement into your day to impact your health… and yes… change your body. My approach to working out has changed many times over the years and I can honestly tell you that little changes yield big time results. Targeting your exercise to be muscle building AND a cardio workout simultaneously will make for a happy body.
I’ve eaten too much and I’ve eaten too little, but I’ve finally found that happy medium that leaves me satisfied and never deprived. Moderation is key with anything you do, especially when it comes to nutrition. You don’t have to give up the things you love; you just have to either figure out how to make your favorite dishes healthier OR have them sparingly. I love cupcakes, so I’m not about to cut them out of my life for the sake of abs. Putting focus on balanced meals full of whole foods will help you reel in your diet and start seeing results. Remember… having a diet and being on a diet are two different things. We don’t go on diets here at Nikki Nurtures.
“Not everyone wants to be or should be a size zero and that’s ok.”
Treat yourself well. We’re much harder on ourselves than we are on others. It’s time to let go of being so critical of ourselves and learn to love ourselves through every step. Keep a journal of all your hopes and dreams. Document your successes and failures. Don’t forget to show gratitude, either! Part of your new lifestyle should be building yourself up. There are no bad workouts—just ones that didn’t happen; you can always correct a bad-eating day and you can certainly improve at everything you do. Wellness is a journey, not a destination, so pack a bag and get ready for the long haul. You CAN do it!
“Don’t beat yourself up, build yourself up!”
It’s time to remove ‘can’t’ from your vocabulary. My biggest piece of advice for achieving a lifestyle change is to start slow. Never forget that small changes yield big time results! You’ll hear me say that a lot because I know what tweaking my diet and walking more did for my body a few years ago. I don’t want you to think that you need to or should go from 0 to 100 to achieve your goals. Be good to yourself. Love yourself. Keep your eye on your goal and remember your ‘why’. The rest will fall into place. You’re already beautiful. You already have a bikini body. You can love yourself and still want to change. The caterpillar loves itself and yet it decides to transform into a butterfly. That’s all you’re doing… transforming from awesome to more awesome!
So, please consider me your wellness cheerleader! Welcome to NikkiNurtures.com. I hope you enjoy your time here. Xoxo NIkki