Friday, May 31, 2013

Fresh Friday {Link-Up}

It's Fresh Friday! Here are mine for the wk. =)

#1 - Whole Foods (the closest one is an hr from my house so it's always a treat when I make it!)
#2 - art (don't judge, don't judge . . . :p i'm just learning!)
#3 - eggplant pizza on a pita w/ hummus at a lunch date this week. :-)

Thought I'd throw in this music vid from Jason Castro on climbing those mountains in life. Great song! Speak truth into your life. :)

Hope you have a GREAT weekend!!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ranch Dressing Gone Healthy = Didn't Turn Out

Looking for a salad dressing without all the gunk? Don't try this. I'll spare you the details. :p Heading to my inventor's laboratory (i.e.: kitchen) after a hard day probably wasn't the best choice. My brain just wasn't quite there, or something . . . hehe!

Aahh, at least I tried . . . next time! :)

Does anyone has a good homemade ranch dressing recipe (or ANY healthy salad dressing) that you love ? ? ?

I promise- more interesting photos to come than my failed recipe attempts. :p

Stay posted for reports on --- Old fashioned ice cream stand raids, what I ate at Whole Foods last night for dinner (so yum!), plus how I almost started the house on fire . . . certainly nothing out of the ordinary with me around. lol!!!!

Ooh, and Fresh Friday is tomorrow so be sure and link-up to join the fun!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Clarity, Confidence, Concentration"

Clarity, confidence and concentration. I've been doing a lot thinking on these 3 of late. =) 

How do you get things done in life? Where are you going? What totally fires you up? Do you ever have those days in life were you literally don't want to go to bed and can't wait to get up in the morning? Is it from stress or passion?!

Possibility excites me . . .  

Here are three simple steps that I both use and love: 

#1 - You need to get super clear!
  • ask yourself, "what do I want and why?" 

#2 - Believe that you have it in you to excel
  • it all comes down to what you think. :) Prov 23:7
#3 - Do it NOW
  • now that you know what to do JUST DO IT!
  • if you don't act nothing will happen BUT if you do - you have the possibility to win! and, if you win on the inside . . . well that's what really counts!
I didn't tell you anything you didn't know. :) Obviously I 'stole' this straight from Brian Tracy :p but hey- let's learn from the best! 

When you face a goal (big or small) what thought processes / checking list / systems do you use from conception to execution? 

Is it easy or hard for you or do you own your life purpose with total passion that it just comes naturally? :) 

Tell me!

Monday, May 27, 2013

All American

I'm an all American girl and proud of it. :) 

I am grateful for the sacrifices of our veterans and those that gave everything to keep our country free. 

If you are a man or woman in service- thank you from the bottom of my heart and know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers this Memorial Day. 

Celebrating our brave men and women of the Armed Forces starting last night with the Fayetteville Symphony. One of my friends is a violinist in this orchestra so it was especially exciting to see him perform. Amazing job, Cole!

A bit of the experience for your enjoyment. :) 

Concert with friends Sydney and Morgan. :)

Food with family! What's better?!

With 2 of my 5 bros- the best ever!

Ending the day with silky butter pecan ice cream with a freshly picked strawberry on top. 

Allie (my baby sister) and I took time out of our day off for a little fun with a photo shoot. I kid you not, guys- there weather of late has been practically ordered to perfect. It's so lovely!

I look so lazy. :p

Aaah, the life . . . 

How was your 3-day wk/end? 

What special food and family activities did you enjoy? 

Are any of my readers military? :) 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lying to Be Perfect {The Movie}

Have you seen the movie "Lying to Be Perfect"? Friday night was a girl hang out / movie / pile on the coach "let's talk" kind of night and we watched this movie. :)

It's about a normal girl who knows all the right things to do in life but has a hard time applying this to her own life. Deep down she longs to be all she can be but- she's scared . . . of something.

This intense struggle along with feelings of inferiority from the climate at work lead her to create an online figure (the person she dreams of being!) who becomes extremely popular due to plain/practical advice that works; and she helps a lot of women straighten their lives out all under a pen name with no one ever suspecting it was her!

In the end . . . well I can't tell you that part! But, I can say after some heart ache - it is a sweet ending. It's a modern Cinderella story that has to do with love, facing lies, embracing truth and becoming all you can be. :) Who doesn't love that?!

And, just fyi there are a couple scenes in there that I did skip. I do have standards when it comes to what I watch so I just thought I'd point that out so you don't think I endorse everything presented in this film. :p For the most part, though- it's awesome and I'd recommend it for your next get together with the girlies! Guys - you might like it too but probably not as much as us girls. lol!

So, tell me!

Do you feel like you have to "be perfect" to be accepted?

How do deal with this? What's your outlet? 

Do you ever feel like a fraud or are you just happy being you? :) 

As a reminder - you are valuable and it's not based on what other people think or say about you. Don't miss out on being you (!) because you are so wrapped up into fitting your life into a someone else's box.

Let's live our lives and love it! =) 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fresh Friday :)

The wk/end is almost here, folks! And, it's Fresh Friday! What top 3 made your wk FRESH and FANTASTIC?

Here are mine. :)

# 1 - excitement from training in a new job (yes! i do believe concrete dispatching is going do be both challenging and fun! fyi- it's a lot more than "just concrete" :p)

# 2 - mock Turkish meal at the best lunch place in town (best food ever! the chef is AMAZING!). I went for the veggie wrap- no regrets!

#3 - bubble jewelry (aren't these new "in" necklaces so versatile? they go with practically anything and i love 'em!)

What are your plans for Memorial Day? Anything special other than sleeping in? :p  

For me - I'm super looking for to this upcoming 3 day siesta. :-)

Getting together with friends and fam for a pool party is pretty much all I have going on! We cookout, layout, grill out, and just have a plain ole good time. :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When You Just Don't Feel Like a Run

This has been me the last 2 wks. *arghh!* What happened to the girl that was running nearly every day this time last year? Plus, having an absolute blast at it?! Well, she's still here but maybe a little preoccupied with other things. :)

You'll be proud to hear that despite wet and rainy conditions, and an almost overpowering "I don't feel like it" kind of emotion -  I laced up and headed out the door this evening for what I knew in my head would make me feel better. :p

That was about 30 minutes ago . . .  and guess what? I did feel awesome afterwards and that "I don't want to" feeling transformed into a "I'm so glad I did"! :p I admit that it was a slower, more painful run since I've been out of my groove but none the less it was a run!!!

Now, I want to hear your advice. :)

Do you still head out for your run -- rain or shine?

What about when it's really one of those "I just don't feel like it" kind of days? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Make a "Healthified" Wendy's Chocolate Frosty

Another "Pin-spiration" moment. :) How was everyone's wk/end? 

Mine was totally awesome. Nice and relaxing, plus preparing for this coming week! Oh, and then that supposedly "1 hr girlfriend coffee date" (that I mentioned here) turned into almost 3 hrs on Friday. I believe I have found a new kindred spirit. :) We were also at Starbucks/Barnes and Noble. What can I say ? ? ? It's coffee and books . . . 

But, for now - I want to share with you something totally delicious and absolutely refreshing!

What better way to end / start (depending on how you look at it!) than with silky, super creamy milkshake that mimics a Wendy's chocolate frosty. :) Another Pinterest find . . . The above picture is what my turned out like. :p 

I'm so sorry - I can't remember who pinned this as I always like to like back to original sources but alas my memory fails me. :/ Please forgive and know that I do care about giving credit to who credit is due. Especially when they come up with genius ideas like this one! 

Here ya go . . . 

I'd recommend more banana than the recipe calls for ( + honey or maple syrup so it's good 'n sweet!) as my didn't turn out as creamy as I was expecting and think this is why. But, "heavenly" still describes my experience. I even added a hint of peppermint extract which is a refreshing addition if you want to give that a try, too!

Happy Monday! Don't work too hard. :) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Need a Laugh?

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was awesome! What do you think? :p 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Droll Worthy Chocolate Cheesecake

Are you ready to droll? . . . Here is the long overdue raw chocolate cheesecake recipe I promised you!!!

Like, ah- AMAZING!!!!

1.5 cups pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao)
2 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
salt, to taste (1/8-1/4 tsp)

Cheesecake filling:
3 large firm but ripe avocados
1/2 cup agave
1.25 cups almond milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Chocolate gaunche:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8-1/4 cup agave sweetener
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
sea salt, pinch


  1. Blend all crust ingredients together in food processor. Pat into 8" spring form pan. Set aside. :)
  2. Scrap out avocado meat and blend together into food processor with reach of cheesecake filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. About 2 minutes. Pour cheesecake filling over pie crust.
  3. Wipe out blender and wipe the gaunche ingredients together!!! Drizzle over filling
  4.  Freeze. 
  5. Lick the bowl before you clean up. :p
{Recipe inspiration:}

There you have it! The lickin's from the bowl are pretty good but once you stick it in the freeze overnight and then slice through that silky, creamy goodness and dig your fork in there will be no going back! :p

Ok, so have you ever made a "raw" cheesecake?

What's your favorite "real" cheesecake flavor? 

Anyone else a pan of the Cheesecake Factory restaurant? :) 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fresh Friday

Happy, happy Friday! I feel like I'm on top of the world today. :) There is so much to be grateful for! I think it's so interesting how the way we "feel" about life has less to do with the external world and more to do with our internal world / thought life. What are your thoughts on this?

Here are my top 3 from the week that made it FRESH and FANTASTIC! What are your's? You can link-up or share in the comment section below just don't miss out!!!

#1 - crispy/cold bell pepper slices
#2 - sisters, sisters. enough said. (yes . . . we do get in trouble together)
#3 - the Real Food Runner FB page is FIXED! (crazy story to come . . . :p)

I always feel like it's so hard to just keep it at 3  :p so today I'll add a 4th!!!

#4 - upcoming coffee date this afternoon with a girlfriend (aah- can't wait!)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Top 3 Favorite Stretching Videos :)

Hi, peeps! Did you know a regular stretching routine can help you sleep better, prevent future aches and pains and improve your training performance. Yep! so you'd better get on it. :)

Don't have much time, but still want the benefits? I love this one! It's quick, it's simple and hits the majors lower body muscles for most people who work out on a regular basis. =) 

This one is perfect for runners! But, if you're not one - it's good for everyone so have at it!!!!

Skip the first complete minutes of this one (through the talking) to get to the meat! Aaah- this one's a fave because it include pigeon and really opens up the hips and inner thighs. 

As always, when you're stretching remember to meet yourself were you are! People who can do the crows pose (amazing!) didn't get there overnight and neither will you. Take it one stretching session at a time. :)

Are you a "stretch-er"? :p If not, what's holding you back? :) 

What's your favorite / most relaxin / tension releasing stretch? 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Having a good daily routine is key! Hey- we all know that, but how do you start?

That's right. :)

You start small! Consistency is the key to change in every area, but specifically when it comes to changing your eating.

For me, fixing my breakfast and lunch the night before so I can just grab it and walk out the door in the morning is the magic bullet to keeping me on the healthy eating track. :) This pretty much let's me cruise on autopilot until dinner, food wise, and free to focus on other things!

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to eat healthy and but then feeling like you're "thinking about food" all the time. *ugh* That's not the point! Healthy eating should create more time for you or at least giving you an   even exchange (i.e.: feeling better, more energy, etc). *insert happy dance*

I'm a big believer in keeping things simple and keeping them real. Life isn't perfect and that's ok. :-)

What are your routines for getting "the healthy" in?

Any tips for streamlining? :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Light Cucumber Sandwiches

Summer is on it's way!!! The weather here has been atypical for North Carolina. Super cool, breezy and fantastic! I'm relishing the back porch and good books. :)

So, looking for something light and healthy? Try these!
  • 1 large cucumber
  • garlic hummus
  • almond or rice cheese slices
  • tomato slices, thin
  • tooth picks
Wash and dry cucumber. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Spread a think layer of garlic hummus and top with tomato and cheese slices. Sandwich with another cucumber slice and stick toothpick through. 

Serve chilled. :)

How is everyone's Monday coming off so far?! 

How was Mother's Day? (Pics to come . . . !) 

Any health action steps for the week? Running is on the list for me!!! =) 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Is Here!

Friday is here! Doesn't this make you happy?!!! :) I went for a run late this afternoon and my Egyptian Arabian was looking so sleek and handsome since he's shed his winter coat I had to get some pictures!

Other than a friend's grad party tomorrow there's not much on the agenda for me until Monday. :) A nice break!

What are your plans? 

Has anyone been able to go strawberry picking yet this year? =) 

It's Friday- and Fresh Friday Link-Up at that!

#1 - eternal relationships :) (so much to be grateful for!!!! thank you, Jesus!)
#2 - amazingly delish homemade strawberry salsa from friends!
#3 - making statements without saying a word . . . :p

Join the fun. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Eat Alkaline :)

Have you heard of "acidic foods" and "alkaline foods"? It's really just fancy terms that refer to your blood pH. And, fyi - you need healthy sources of both but in today's "highly process food" culture if you're not focusing on eating alkaline you're mostly like getting acidic foods the majority of the time! 

The whole idea behind adding more alkaline foods into your diet is for disease prevention. We like that, right?! Things like arthritis, cancer and other diseases all thrive in an acidic environment. Not good! 

If you can longterm support your body with alkaline foods you are more likely to stay healthy. :) Let's face it - 1 in 3 people are getting cancer these days. Food is important and what you eat does matter! But, you already knew that. :) 

Another plus to eating alkaline foods is that you will have you more energy as your body won't have to work so hard to keep your blood alkaline! You're being nice and helping it out. 

So, I put together these little charts for ya to help you understand a bit better! I know, I know . . . I go for the dessert too at times (and you should!) but you want to have some broccoli in there as well. =)

You can always go online and Google to see whether or not a particular food is acidic vs. alkaline and it's rating (see 1st chart). 

Ok- this is something I would love for you to do, but it's not mandatory. :p Go to your local health food store and pick up some pH tester strips. 

Don't not test yourself (like I did at first) because you're scared of what it might say. :p It is what it is and you can only start acting on that once you know the reading!

This is such an easy, pain-free and low cost action step for disease prevention- I wish everyone would do it! If a person's pH level showed up below a 6 they could be a risk for a whole host of diseases and may need treatment from a medical doctor . . . not to freak ya out! But, wouldn't you want to know?!

If the reading is around a 7 - that's perfect!

About an 8-- pretty much ok, but 7.5 is still really ideal. :)

Testing your pH to see whether your body is alkaline (healthy) or acid (unhealthy) is so simple! It can tell you a lot about what's going on inside and just think of how much faster doctors could treat real, life threatening diseases if people would do take this simple action step! Right- a lot of diseases would be caught a lot faster.

Alright- now go take this action step towards future health!!!!


Had you heard of "acidic" / "alkaline foods" before? 

Do you eat greens and leafy veggies? {awesome alkaline foods!} 

Have you tested your pH before? Will you? =) 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wk/End Happenings + A Broccoli Salad Recipe

Happy Monday morning, happy peoples! I have to say the new week is off to a great start for me despite a dramatic incident of a slip and trip at an ungodly hour this morning. :p Needless to say- I survived, thus escaping with a decent rug burn for which I can boast. haha!

Sunday afternoon was a bit of culture with the girlfriends! I could literally swoon over a good British accent. Just saying . . . 

Packin' a healthy lunch last night made with spinach leaves, tomato hunks, and trying out a new sauerkraut to be ready to grab this morning. =)

And, on a sad note- my t2i is currently out of commission. :( It's not reading my card so until it's fixed iPhone pictures it is! Guess that isn't all bad but my photography is a passion of mine and I'm so used to "my" camera that it's weird not using it. :p

Ok- onto some yum-ness for ya! 

Another recent kitchen creation, folks! Fresh broccoli is such a good health choice.

In a nutshell, broccoli is a good source of:

  1.  Calcium
  2.  Chlorophyll
  3.  Folate (you need this to make new cells! righto . . . kind of important if you want to stay alive!!!) 
Learn more, here.

2 cup chopped broccoli (or 4-5 crowns)
1/2 cup chopped pearl onions
1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup raisins
1/4 raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Marinated salad for at least 1 hour before serving. This recipe is great because you Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Enjoy! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fresh Friday {Link-up}

Happy Friday! Link-up and share. :) or use the comment to tell me what your top 3 from the wk are!

#1 - fun w/ photography, especially when it happens to be celery juice :p
#2 - last wk's green smoothie challenge - you guys are totally awesome!
#3 - beautiful weather (it's been surprisingly cool for NC of late!)

Be sure and link back if you link-up!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Minute Meals" for When You're in a Hurry and But Still Want to Eat Healthy

Are you in a hurry but still want to eat healthy? Try these two quick and easy breakfasts you can literally make within minutes!

This is a perfect on the go breakfast because you make it the night before! Just toss everything into a small Tubberware, stir it together and let it sit overnight. The morning of? Stir, grab-n-go!

Maple Sweetened Overnight Oats

1/2 cup steel cut oats
1.5 cup nut milk (or water) 
1 tablespoon maple flavored agave (or maple syrup) 
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt 
toppings: dried fruit, walnuts, coconut 

Pour nut milk (or water) over oats in a bowl. Sweetened with maple flavored agave, add spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) and salt. 

Cover and soak overnight (or at least 2 hrs) on counter or refrigerator if you prefer cold porridge.

Stir and add your favorite toppings. 

Bell pepper slices are a yummy snack to pack! What are your favorite on-the-go snacks? 

Workout wise -- I feel like I've been slacking of late. Came home last night and went for a short run with the sister. Decompressing, de-stressing or whatever . . . :p It felt amazing! I think I always run a little bit fast when I run with someone versus on my own. Ya know!

#2 - Minute meal! This was today's breakfast. :) Aaah- eating on the run. :p Chiboni greek yogurt topped with frozen raspberries and granola. Yum!

Ok- so tell me!

Do you have any "minute meals" that are great for mixing hurry and healthy? 

Have you made overnight oats before? 

When and what was your last workout? 

It's spring- are you getting outside and enjoying this AMAZING weather?!