Four Friday Favorites

Say THAT five times fast!

Okay, here are some things I am LOVING lately:

1. My new workout (and more) program, Strong Chicks Rock!


Rachel is an amazing trainer, coach and now I also consider her a friend.  She takes the time to create a program for each individual member that custom-fits their lives.



This is Rachel, she is a rockstar.

If I, a single mama of two toddlers, can do this… ANYONE can.  It feels SO GOOD to feel my muscles again!

You don’t have to be local, and she might have some openings left! Check her out ASAP  HERE.

2. This book.

This book struck such a chord in me.  Sometimes you can hear the same thing over and over and over and over again, but then someone phrases it in a different way and BOOM, you just get it.

Jennie writes with such honesty and makes me want to sit down with her, have a cup of coffee and talk about all things life & Jesus. Check out the book HERE.


A friend recommended a place for acupuncture that is actually affordable (I’m talking $20 instead of $90+).  It’s totally different than any other place I’ve seen.  You get to sit in a giant comfy recliner, blankets if you want and dim lights.  I (like a lot of people) fell asleep and had the BEST. NAP. EVER. My acupuncturist took the time to talk to me first,  come up with a little game plan and then the poking and napping commenced. I’m headed back today and cannot wait! If you are local, check them out HERE.

4.  Friday afternoon CLEANING PARTIES!

Okay, so it’s not really a party, but for the last few weeks we (I) turn on some music and we (I) clean the windows, lysol the doorknobs, cupboard handles, light switches and vacuum/swiffer.  Seriously, going into the weekend with a clean-ish, disinfected casa is MUY BIEN!

But by Saturday morning it’s usually back to this:

Oh well, we (I) tried.

Summer (school) Lovin’

So the kids started a summer program at the school where Gemma is getting different types of therapy (click HERE to read more about the awesomesauce school).  Since I became a mama, Ashton & Gemma have never been in a daycare or preschool of any sort.  So when I dropped them off last Wednesday for the first time, this was me:

My bay-beeeeeeees!

I drove to target to pick up a few things and then headed home, all the while feeling like a part of me was missing or that I was forgetting something.  Without my kids, this is me:

But then I got home and I went from sad to:


It was quiet, I could clean without a toddler right behind me undoing the cleaning, I could sit down and eat a meal.  It was GLORIOUS!

Now, two mornings a week I wake up with a smile knowing I get a couple hours to do whatever I want or nothing at all.

School is the best.

I promise I still love you, kids.

Breaking Up With the “F Word”

Not the “F word” you were thinking, get your mind out of the gutter.

The F-word I am talking about is: FINE

It’s such a weenie of a word, and it’s used (I have used it) waaaaaay too often.  So I am officially breaking up with FINE.

I just finished listening to an audiobook called Never Unfriended, by Lisa Jo Baker, and it has been so convicting.  I have been recommending it left & right because there is something for EVERYONE in this book.  It’s helped me unpack some of my junk (hello, friendship PTSD) so my relationships (friends and family) can FLOURISH.  There are so many things to talk about from this book, I’ll save them for another time.

I’ve still got work to do (don’t we all?), but one simple thing I can do is get rid of fine and insert other adjectives.  Fine is a scapegoat that so easily rolls off the tongue even when we are a far-cry from fine.  I want people to feel safe to tell me how they really feel, and I want people around me who want to hear more than “fine” from me.

I want to hear and speak about JOY!

I want to hear and speak about SADNESS!

I don’t want to cover up emotions and feelings with the old “fine” blanket anymore, mmmmkay?

Having said all that, I am not perfect (hello, Perfection Pending).  I am going to make the effort to eliminate that word from my vocabulary, but there’s a good chance I will slip up here and there.

And that is just fine.


The Curve Ball

Last Wednesday, life threw me a (yet, another) curve ball.  While I knew it was probably coming, my daughter was diagnosed as highly autistic.  What I wasn’t expecting was the news that there is concern she is also having tiny seizures and needs to be tested for that.  Scary, to say the least.

I think I was numb to it all until two days ago.

As a single mom of two toddlers, life is VERY BUSY.  Not a lot of time to sit with my thoughts or really process news like I received. So, as I have found, emotions/grief can creep up and surprise me at unlikely times.  Writing helps me process and is very therapeutic for my mind and soul, so I really need to start doing more of that.  Maybe some here, and in journaling.

Anyway, two days ago we went to a fun little picnic that my aunt’s chiropractic center was putting on (I know, so random).  It was great, a beautiful day to boot.  But, there was enough time at the picnic and on the 1 hour round-trip commute for me to be able to think and for the sadness to bubble up and overflow.

So. Many. Tears.


It needed to happen (the crying release) and I felt a bit better after, but sheesh.  I am learning about autism, but there is soooooo much I don’t know.  I know even less about the seizures, but I now feel like someone is strangling my heart every time I see her stare off.  I didn’t realize how painful it can be waiting for answers or a cure when your child is not well.  I want answers YESTERDAY!

So where I sit today is learning.  Learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning about seizures and learning patience. None of which is easy.  But life isn’t always easy.  Thanks for letting me share a bit of my heart here today (if anyone is reading, haha😄).  Let’s learn together!


Well, Whole30-ish turned into Whole30-FAIL.  I face-planted into a pizza, and IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH IT!!! Whole30, it was fun, but we just weren’t meant to be together.  Pizza has always had my heart.

I will say, my eyes were puffy (puffier than normal, anyway) the next morning.  I’m sure it was the dairy or carbs or whatnot, but I just look at that as a challenge.  I will just have to eat more pizza so my body remembers it is a friend.

Then guess what else I had?  A caramel soy macchiato from Starbucks.  HOLY SUGAR RUSH, BATMAN!!!

Now yes I love those indulgences, but honestly the Whole30 food is good too.  I will definitely incorporate it into my diet more, but I realllllly don’t eat too far off from Whole30 in the big picture.  I didn’t notice a big difference in how I felt (maybe I would’ve had I stuck to it), and I felt it was costing more $$ than what it was worth.

I like having options and not feeling restricted.  I mean, I was afraid I was going to get goldfish cracker crumbs on my food by accident, for the love!  That is no way to live, people.

Here are a couple positives I am taking away from my Whole17:

  1. I am cooking and meal-prepping more now
  2. I get full faster
  3. ummmmm, that’s all I can think of at the moment… *crickets chirping*

I’m sure I’ll think of more…

Here was my last Whole30 pic:

A sad BLT that desperately misses bread.  How can I deny it a bread hug? I can’t.  And that is why Whole30 and I parted ways, I have compassion.  And pizza in my belly.

Whole30. Ish.

Soooooooooo I caved.

So I made it 12 days, and then the cold, crisp deliciousness that is rosé beckoned me.

Don’t judge, Jesus drank wine.  So now I am officially Whole30-ish. Or we can look at the glass as half-full and say I TOTALLY NAILED Whole12. I’m running with it.

Now, while I may have caved on the drinking part, I am still going strong on the eating side of things.  I had let too much dairy, sugar, junk into my diet and I have noticed some really positive changes by eliminating a lot of inflammatory-inducing foods via Whole30.

My seasonal allergies have been HORRENDOUS this year, and i’ve noticed they have been significantly lessened since following the Whole30 program.

I would still love to plant my face into a pizza. But honestly?  The Whole30 food is actually REALLY good.  When you eliminate the junk from your diet, the true flavors of whole foods really come alive (who am I, a food critic? I just annoyed myself #eyeroll)

Here are some of my latest Whole30 eats:


Everything But The Kitchen Sink Brekkie (sweet potato round on the side)
Not very attractive, but so very delicious salsa shredded chicken
Cauliflower Rice: Before
Baked Sweet Potato Round w/ Guac.


I LOVE Asparagus!


I am half-way there, can I stick with it for the whole 30 days?  We will see…

Whole30: What Did I Get Myself Into?

So after some big life-changes and turning *cough, cough* 39, I decided my body and I needed a reboot.  A big ‘ol fresh start, if you will.  I decided on Whole30 because “ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT, right?”  Kidding. Sort of.

Anyway, I knew there was absolutely no way I could start until after my divorce was final and after I properly celebrated my birthday:

I settled on June 1st as a start date, and ate ALL. THE. PIZZA. until 11:59pm on May 31st.  Oh pizza, I miss you so.

In a nutshell, Whole30 is a short term, 30-day reset… not a lifetime commitment.

Basic Guidelines:

  • Eat meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit and natural fats.
  • Don’t eat sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy.  No baked goods, no “treats.”
  • Don’t weigh or measure yourself.
  • Don’t count calories.

One thing I would tell people is to PREP!!!  Don’t think you can just pick up and start tomorrow, you would be setting yourself up for failure.  Prep some freezer meals, organize and rid your kitchen of non-Whole30 ingredients.  I stored all the off-limit stuff in some bins (we don’t want to waste) so I can eat it after this torture mechanism is finished.  I have 2 cabinets with the kids’ food, the rest is pretty much Whole30 compliant (I despise that word, blech).

DAY 1:  A breeze!  Shoot, what was with all the scary stories?  Those people must have MUCH less will-power than I do (bless my innocent, day 1 heart). I put a freezer meal in the slow-cooker 1st thing in the morning (one I had prepped during May), and cooked up a big, colorful egg breakfast along with my black coffee.  For lunch I had a large salad with tons of veggies, grilled chicken and Whole30 approved ranch (more on that in another post).  My slow cooked garlic chicken legs were done for dinner, and that was that.  “Pssshhhh, I’ve got this 30 days, easy peasy,” I thought to myself.

DAY 2:  WHY IN THE WORLD DO I FEEL HUNGOVER when I haven’t had any alcohol???  As Melissa Hartwig (one of the authors of this insane-asylum program) lays it out, days 2 & 3 you feel hungover because of all the trash (pizza & nacho goodness is another definition of trash) you put in your body on a regular basis before this.  Hangover? Check.  I’m on track, yay.

Day 3:  The kids and I met some friends for an outdoor kids’ concert.  It was great getting out and I packed some “compliant” (grrr) food in case I got hungry.  On the walk through town to get to the park, I had to walk right by JET’S PIZZA.  This has been one of my go-to pizza places lately and was my last supper on May 31st.  What kind of cruel joke was this?  The gravitational pull toward the pizza was unreal.  Don’t worry, the drinkable soup “snack” I brought totally filled the void. (I kid)

Days 4 & 5:  So in the book these two days are labeled “Kill all the things” days.  For the most part, I’d have to agree.  I realized how much mindless snacking I do on a typical day and how I can’t do that this month.  Confession: I am obsessed with Lifesaver Wint-O-Green mints.  It started when I was pregnant with Ashton, and never let up.  I found myself desperately wanting one (or five) mints so often these two days (and also cupcakes, delicious cupcakes), can you say sugar cravings?  And then that evening my son wanted Taco Bell.  Fine, fine, fine… we brought it back and I had to sit there and watch him scoop up warm nacho cheese on a crispy chip and satisfyingly devour every last bit.  Tourture, pure torture.

Days 6-8: Soooooooo sleepy. That’s what they say to expect around this time.  Part of it is because my daughter had a sinus infection and was sleeping horribly, but I’m guessing since I am goal-oriented, I would’ve been tired anyway just so I could check that box. (kidding)

So, that is the first 8 days of my Whole30 experience.  If I dig through the snarky sarcasm, there is actually quite a few good things so far (those will be addressed in another post).  One good thing (let’s leave on a positive note), I am eating some REALLY DELICIOUS FOOD!  Here are some pics (remember I am not a food photographer, these are my amateur iPhone pics).

If you want any of these recipes, comment, email or hit me up on social media (I’ll be adding social media links soon).  I’ll try to add links to the recipes in the future, but today I am just too Whole30 hungover.

More to come soon…