Category Archives: Personal

One Month Off

It’s officially been one month since I last posted. And wow, a lot has happened in that month! I have tons to fill you in on, so this post is going to be random, but you’ll get a great recipe at the end 🙂

First of all, going back a month to my birthday (or really, a few days after my birthday since my honey had to work that night). I found an incredible yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting recipe made with coconut flour. I halved the recipe, which was just enough for us to eat for a few days. It was actually super close in taste to a traditional yellow cake, so I was very happy with it!

I made my honey take a few pictures and sing me Happy Birthday 🙂

Then Titan wanted in on the cake!

Speaking of Titan, he has finally healed from his wound.

It has been an incredibly long month with him because he just hated being hurt and being limited movement wise. He destroyed 5 different types of cones/collars meant to keep him from licking his stitches. After he ruined the first one, he proceeded to pull out some of his stitches and open the wound back up. That meant we had to take another trip back to the vet to get new stitches and more medicine for him…and a new cone!

Here he is right after the initial stitches. He was so drugged up!

This is the first round of stitches. Sorry if it grosses you out! The noodle-looking thing is called a drain. It helps fluid drain out of the area.

And here is the “cone” that lasted the longest! Isn’t it cute? 🙂

Because he couldn’t run, he wasn’t able to wear himself out during the day. Therefore, he wanted to get up in the middle of the night. This of course threw off his entire schedule and ours. I can’t tell you how many times I was up in the middle of the night out in the freezing cold (and rain and snow sometimes!) with him just walking around because he wasn’t tired!

He’s finally back to his old self and is now free to run around. We ended up getting an invisible fence and that has been super helpful, especially considering he took off after another dog a few weeks ago and I had to chase him through the wooded hill behind our house. I’d say I probably ran a mile and a half trying to figure out where he went! It was less than amusing.

Moving on from the pup, I’ve made lots of changes to my life in the past month.

1. I’ve decided to go shampoo-free! It’s been awesome, but a little gross at times. I started out by just washing my hair every other day, trying to train my hair to not need washing every single day. I had a few really bad hair days, but now it is calming down a bit.

I decided to stop using shampoo for a few reasons. I am going to save a TON of money by not buying shampoo anymore (yes, I was buying semi-expensive Aveeno!), and I’m not going to be exposing myself to harmful chemicals anymore! I simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 8 oz of water (shake before each use). I used two old 10 oz jelly jars to store my new shampoo and conditioner in and just put them in the shower where my old stuff used to be. I pour a small amount on my hand and rub it into my hair and I also will pour a little right onto my hair. It definitely doesn’t suds up, and that took some getting used to, but I can definitely feel it in my hair, so I just use my fingers to “wash” my hair the same as I did with shampoo. I rinse it out and will sometimes follow up with a water/apple cider vinegar mixture as well.

To be honest, my hair  is much more manageable and much fuller. My hair has always just sort of laid there and not ever held a style (hence the reason for me keeping it so long!). But now, I can see and feel that it has body to it.

It’s really not hard to do and it is beneficial for many reasons, so I highly recommend trying it. I’ll try to keep you posted about my progress!

2. I’ve changed my eating habits…my honey’s aunt (the holistic nutritionist who has helped me become so much healthier! And gives me free eggs :)) has me on an anti-candida diet.

Now, there are many different versions of this type of diet, and lots of different opinions on what you can and can’t eat. The main focus for me is to eliminate all grains and all sugars (including most fruits and my beloved honey and maple syrup!!!). Mainly I am eating meat and veggies with some nuts and eggs thrown in. A few other things I had to cut out were potatoes and corn (starches), and milk (oh the horror!!!!!).

But don’t worry, I’ve gotten very creative and have come up with lots of great recipes I can have. One I’ll share today and another I’ll share later this week.

I’m on day 11 of the “diet” and I’m feeling great/stellar/stupendous/energetic/fantastic/amazing!! (seriously!) I still have another 18 days to go and I sorely miss my glass of raw milk every day, as well as eating all the fresh fruit I can get my hands on. However, I know that I’m healing my insides (and the rest of my body) by doing this diet/cleanse.

It is actually very similar to the Paleo diet, so in looking up recipes, I found two incredible websites that I want to pass along. The first is called Mark’s Daily Apple. He is the creator of the Primal Blueprint and has incredible information on his blog about healthy eating, the Paleo way. I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter and getting his free ebooks!

The second website I found is PaleOMG, which is a blog by a hilarious girl named Juli. She eats 99% Paleo and is a CrossFit coach. Her recipes are so out of this world that you won’t even notice there aren’t any grains!

If you’re interested in finding out more about candida and the diet, check out Whole Approach. They have a questionnaire you can take, as well as tons of information and recipes (in the forum).

3. I’ve gone back to yoga. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a weight to be honest! For some reason, my body is just tired of doing that, so I’m listening. I still feel incredibly strong, and in some ways stronger than before. Let me tell you, don’t underestimate the power of holding chaturanga to build up your triceps, chest and core!

I found some incredible YouTube channels with some excellent workouts and have been focusing on them. The Power Yoga with Bryan Jones videos are my favorite. Then, for short workouts, I turn to Flexible Warrior Yoga, especially the core one. I also love Tara Stiles, so I typically just search her name and do one of her workouts.

Things are going to be changing very soon though! I start with a new student personal trainer on Monday 🙂 I’m hoping to try out some new stuff with her, especially some CrossFit type workouts, but we’ll see what she has in store for me. I can guarantee it won’t be yoga though!

And finally…

4. I’ve enjoyed more time with the people in my life. Blogging is very time-consuming (especially when you work full-time!). Not only does it take time to put together a post, especially a well-written one with pictures, but reading others’ blogs and commenting on them also takes up a huge amount of time. The best way to get more readers to your blog is to read and comment on others’, so that’s what we bloggers do. I was spending a lot of my “free” time reading about other people’s lives instead of being present in my life.

Part of me absolutely LOVED it! I got to participate in discussions about topics that interest me and I gained a lot of knowledge from other bloggers (not to mention the copious amounts of recipes!! :)). The other part of me though felt like I wasn’t putting enough effort into my own life. Instead of making plans to meet someone for lunch at work, I would be reading other blogs or writing a post of my own. Instead of putting a lot of effort into making my direct-selling business successful, I was taking pictures of recipes I was creating, then editing them, then posting them. And most importantly, instead of spending time on the couch with my honey and my pup, I was commenting on as many blogs as I could just so they’d read my blog and do the same.

I just decided that I’d had enough. As much as I enjoyed sharing recipes and sharing my life, the time I was putting into it wasn’t worth neglecting the rest of my life.

The past four weeks of not blogging and not reading others’ blogs have been great! I found that I’ve been less stressed (except with Titan’s injury!) and I felt more present in my every day life. I’ve been able to reconnect with friends on campus since I have had a lunch date every week for the past month and have a few others scheduled in the next few weeks.

I have also enjoyed a lot more QT with my honey and pup (when they’re awake, that is! :))

I’ve decided to just blog about big events or when I have awesome recipes to share, and to not worry about staying up to date with other blogs right now.

This week will be a little different however. I do plan to post a few times, mostly recipes, but also a piece of exciting news!

The reason for posting today and this week? My honey is with some friends skiing in Colorado!!!!

I was just sent this picture:

Say a little prayer that he doesn’t get hurt (they’re skiing lots of black diamonds!) AND that he doesn’t get a tattoo…all the guys were teasing us women that they were going to, so we’ll see!

Now for the awesome recipe! Paleo and candida friendly 🙂

Green Crustless Quiche

A yummy change to my standard scrambled egg breakfast! Leftovers are great to heat up the next day, which makes for a super quick healthy breakfast to start your day. 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw cream (yes, I can have cream, but not milk. The milk contains sugar, but the cream off the top does not!)
  • 1 small head broccoli, lightly steamed and chopped
  • handful of spinach, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of zucchini diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the cream. Whisk together until they are completely mixed.
2. Add in the veggies (substitute whatever ones you have one hand) and stir to incorporate.
3. Season to desired taste and add the Parmesan cheese, then stir once more.
4. Pour into a greased baking dish (round, square, rectangle…it doesn’t matter!). I have found that coconut oil works best for greasing my baking stones.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until it has puffed up and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.


At 6:45 this morning, I officially turned 28 years old. That means it’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated high school…where has the time gone?

But that’s not the point of this post.

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted in a week and a half…life happens, right?

There are a few reasons I haven’t posted recently actually. The main one being that it’s been a busy start to the new year and there have been other things that need my attention more than the blog.

Work was busy last week, and then on Saturday, my poor puppy got cut on a piece of farm equipment and needed about 20 stitches….He’s going to be fine, and luckily the cut wasn’t very deep at all, so he will be healed next week sometime.

However, he needs A LOT of attention right now! He is not allowed to run around, so we have to take him out on the leash anytime he goes outside, which is often difficult and time-consuming. We also have to keep his wound clean, so we have to limit what he gets into in the house. Needless to say, I’ve been spending lots of time with him instead of worrying about my blog.

The other reason I haven’t posted is because I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on blogging lately.

I have enjoyed blogging for the past 7 or 8 months and have learned so much from so many other bloggers out there. I have been inspired to try new recipes, new foods and new products. I have learned about new workouts, and tried many of them! I have loved sharing my recipes and getting feedback on them. I have also loved being able to share my everyday life with my family and friends who live far away.


Lately I feel like I have been focusing on reading about other people’s lives, and thinking about and planning what I’m going to post about instead of actually focusing on my own life.

And I don’t like it.

I want to be more present in my life and lay on the couch a little more with my honey. I want to spend more time keeping my kitchen clean so I can make healthy meals and enjoy my time in there. I want to relax a little more and continue focusing on keeping me and my honey healthy in all aspects of our lives.

I have also let my part-time business fall by the wayside. But with me needing a new car very soon, I need to get back on track with it since it has been a great source of extra income for me in the past two and a half years.

In order for me to refocus, I am going to be stepping back from blogging every day and probably even every week. I hope to be able to share big events and a few recipes here and there, but I don’t plan on having a regular posting schedule (not that I ever really did before…:)). I will also be cutting back on reading and commenting on other blogs because that was also consuming a lot of my time.

I’m definitely sad about this, but I’ve really been thinking about it a lot lately and I finally decided this is what is best for me right now.

I hope to be able to check in again soon and will pop in on other blogs when I can!

Have you ever felt like you needed to take a hiatus from blogging? Or from anything really?

Prepping for NYC!

I’m just about to start packing for our trip to NYC! We are staying the night with my parents tonight because they live a little closer to the train station in DC and they are so graciously taking us in there so we don’t have to pay for parking. We have to get up at about 5am in order to get there by 7:30am.

We are headed to the chiropractor this afternoon before we leave though. I want both of us to be adjusted before we set out on our travels. I know it will help with all of the sitting we’ll be doing, plus being properly aligned will help our immune systems as well. Also, I’m treating my honey to a massage at the chiropractor because he definitely needs one!

I stayed up a little late last night making a batch of Honey Vanilla Peanut Butter (and I added a 1/4 cup of cashews too :)) to put in my Granola Bars. These are going to be the best snack for us to take on the train and then to have when we are out in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. They are packed with protein already, but I actually added a heaping tablespoon of coconut flour along with half a scoop of chocolate protein powder just to give them an extra boost!

I’m also planning on taking some oatmeal baggies with 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, and a little cinnamon. Just add some hot water for a quick and healthy snack/breakfast!

I looked online and found out that we will have wi-fi on the train, so I plan to do a post from there tomorrow! Plus, I’ll be able to catch up on my blog reading since that hasn’t happened in awhile.

I also plan to bring a few other things to read and do on the train (since we have over 4 hours on it!):

  • I am rereading Real Food by Nina Planck. I just feel like I’ve gotten a little off track with my eating and I want to be reminded why I need to get back to eating more real and traditional foods.
  • I have the newest Oxygen Magazine to finish reading.
  • I have some posts saved from other blogs that I intend to finally read.
  • I want to clean out some photos on my computer and also create a photo book of our house.
  • My honey and I are going to plan a few sights to see while we’re up there since he has never been!
  • I have Angry Birds on my phone…enough said!

Because my brother lives in a studio apartment, we are lugging our air mattress up there. Luckily, each passenger on the train gets two carry on bags, so we can definitely squeeze it on. I’m hoping to pack a light bag with only a few items of clothing. I’m not going up there trying to impress anyone, so I don’t care about what clothes I take with me, just as long as they will keep me warm!

The main things that will take up space are our electronics! I’m taking my big camera, my MacBook, and my phone, plus chargers for all three. My honey will be bringing the video camera and his phone, plus chargers. We intend to capture our trip in many different formats 🙂

Well, now that I’ve figured out what all I need to pack, I better get to it!

It’s Tuesday!

That means it’s Tuesday Trainer day!!! Later today, Lindsay will post another kick ass workout, so go check it out!

Meanwhile, I will be at work giving one of the biggest presentations of my life!!!!!!!!!! I talk a little bit about the project I’ve been working on for the past year here. Even though it has been such a great experience, and my team has been out of this world, I’m really excited for it to be over. It really has taken a lot of extra energy in addition to my regular job, and the next week is going to be crazy, so I’m glad I won’t have to worry about this presentation anymore after today.

Wish me luck! My team is hoping to “win” this morning so we will present again this afternoon to some of the upper-management personnel at the university. I’ll hopefully do a recap of it tonight or tomorrow.

Enjoy your Tuesday 🙂


This Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for.

  • My honey and our pup

There are no words to describe this type of pitiful...

  • Our beautiful, warm, perfectly unfinished house

  • My job

  • My able body which allows me to work hard and stay healthy
  • This beautiful place I get to call home

  • My wonderful family (even though we live in four different states and don’t get to see each other often enough!)
  • Having enough food to eat this holiday season, and being blessed enough to be able to give so others can eat. I was inspired by Mama Pea the other day and bought a box of food at the grocery store to donate to the local food bank. Best $5 I could have spent! You should do the same if you’re able!
  • The blogging community- I have had such a great time these past 5 months learning from other bloggers, finding recipe inspiration, getting to know other bloggers, and being able to share my life and recipes with you all. Thanks for always stopping by to read and comment!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day is filled with lots of family, food, and laughter 🙂

Check back tomorrow for recipes from my first gluten-free Thanksgiving!

I heart mountains

The hike yesterday reconfirmed why I absolutely love living where I do.

My honey and I have been on numerous hikes all over our beautiful town, as well as other areas in Virginia. Each time we hike, I am amazed by how beautiful the mountains are. Especially at this time of year when the leaves are so gorgeous!

I took a few pictures out of the sunroof of the car as we were driving towards the trail. These three turned out amazing!!

We weren’t sure how Titan would do on the trail, so we stopped quite a few time. Mainly to take pictures of him!

We started on the trail with an older couple. They stayed ahead of us until we got up to Kennedy Peak.

My honey did what you always do in situations like this and asked if they were from around here. Turns out they live on the river where we did some waterskiing over the summer. They own a barn that has been transformed into a weekend lodge. We had heard about this barn and were really interested in seeing it. Luckily they invited us over to see it! So we followed them home to it and took a tour, which was awesome! I didn’t take my camera in, so no pics, but maybe if we stop by again to see them. They were so sweet for inviting us over to see it!

Anyways, up at Kennedy Peak is this little structure. There is an area to get in out of the elements and you could even set up your tent inside.

And lots of people have been here over the years, leaving their mark on it.

We also went up top to see the 360 view. It is incredible! Here are a few pics from up there and from right in front of the bottom part.

The river you see here is the Shenandoah.

The lighting on the hike down the mountain was absolutely stunning. I kept stopping to take pictures and ended up with a few good ones.

We were also very thankful for the couple we met on the trail because they took a new family picture for us! Titan looks great, but the sun was killing me and my honey, so we have sort of funny looks on our faces!

Not only was the hike great for us to spend so much time together (and get some exercise for Titan and ourselves), but it also took my mind off of my family….they are all in Cabo San Lucas right now! My honey couldn’t take time off from work and financially it just wouldn’t work for us right now, otherwise we would totally be there!!! The fam is staying at the resort where we went for our honeymoon. In talking to my honey about it, I mentioned that I could just picture myself laying in our little cabana area where we spent so much time… 😦

I’m so sad I can’t be there because one: Cabo is absolutely gorgeous! And two: I wish I could be with my fam enjoying such an awesome vacation! Oh well, there will always be a next time!

Quick Sunday Recap

We had quite the eventful day today, but I’m super tuckered out from it, so I’m going to make this quick!

Thanks everyone for the well wishes for my honey! I greatly appreciate it 🙂 He went to sleep at 9pm last night…then I remembered that I had to set the clocks back, so really he went to sleep at 8pm. He woke up at 8am this morning…he must have really been tired! Although he wasn’t feeling 100%, he said he was feeling better. I gave him more tea and more supplements to start the day.

I woke up at 5:30am to let Titan out and feed him. I decided to just stay up and get some stuff done around the house. Plus, I wanted to do a killer upper body workout, so I took advantage of the time alone. I did the following workout, which is a combo of a few Oxygen mag workouts.

  • Bench Press 2×15
  • Seated row 2×20
  • Bent-over row 2×20
  • Lat pulldown 2×12
  • Good morning 2×15
  • Arnold press 2×15
  • Seated press 2×15
  • Reverse curl 2×10
  • Hammer curl 2×12
  • Biceps curl 2×12
  • Triceps kickback 2×12
  • One-arm triceps extension 2×10
  • Triceps pushdown 2×12
  • Dumbbell pull and press 2×10
  • Rear delt row 2×15
  • Lateral raise to front pull 2×12
  • Overhead dumbbell arc 2×12

It was awesome and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow! I did an upper body workout on Friday, and although I hadn’t planned on doing another one today, I figured I might as well since it had been 48 hours since I did the last one. Plus, I wasn’t sure when I would have time to do such an intense workout again.

As I mentioned the other day, I set out a 5 day plan for my workouts. Today, I was supposed to go for an 8 mile hike with my honey. However, I sort of forgot that we had nursery duty at church at 11am. Because the hike is about an hour and a half away and would take approximately 5 hours to complete, there was no feasible way we could make it out there and back before it got too dark. So instead, we took our pup for a 4 mile hike closer to our house. This was the second time we’ve done that hike, but it was Titan’s first time!

I’d say someone was excited!!!

Actually, he wasn’t…he seemed so tired, but he surprised us all by making it the whole time and still had energy to spare at the end!

Before we headed home for the hike, we went out for pizza at a local restaurant that now serves gluten-free meals. I haven’t had pizza in quite some time, so I was excited to try it out. Check out what I got with the pizza.

My very own pizza slicer! The server even let me take it home with me! The pizza looks really appetizing doesn’t it? It was actually pretty good, but you could definitely tell that it was pre-made and frozen…oh well. At least I got some pizza!

Anyways, back to the hike. I took almost 300 pictures on our hike, so I am going to have to recap the whole thing tomorrow. But for now, I will leave you with my favorite picture from today.

How was your Sunday?