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Monday, July 30

Under the Weather

Last week was a complete blur of groggy days, stuffy noses, and shoulder pain. I shouldn't be surprised, really. The two weeks prior to my recent summer cold included pretty poor nutrition choices. I ate more sugar than I normally would, with a bowl of ice cream for dessert almost daily, and quite a few other not-so-great items. It's incredible how reintroducing sugar into your diet can alter the way you feel so dramatically. {read more on sugar tantrums here}

I finally went to see the chiropractor about a chronic shoulder issue that has recently flared up. It was a good visit, and she was able to 'unglue' some of the muscles in my shoulder, but the after effect was a 45-minute long muscle spasm and cramp the following day. Talk about intense. I've never experienced anything like that before, so needless to say, I was scared. I took the rest of the week off from working out, since even a light jog made the pain come back.

So here's to Monday. To making much better nutrition decisions {starting a whole 30 this week!}, to eating vegetables with each meal, to hitting the gym at least four times this week, and to pushing through this shoulder issue.

What are your goals for the week?

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Tuesday, July 24

A Madewell Fall

One of my favorite places to shop for unique, yet casual clothing is Madewell. The laid back vibe and free spirited style resonate with me, especially during the summer and fall. And since I've recently realized that I am truly Madewell girl at heart, here are some of my favorites from their fall lookbook.


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Monday, July 23

Paleo Lifestyle: Plan Ahead

One of the easiest ways to 'fall of the bandwagon' with clean eating so to speak is lack of planning. I find that Friday nights are usually the times we end up eating pizza or Japanese take out. Mostly because it's the end of the week, the fridge is getting bare, we are both tired after a long work week, and making dinner sounds like a new form of torture. In an effort to combat this, I try to plan a weekly menu and stock the fridge and pantry accordingly. In addition, I always keep a couple quick and easy options around for those torturous Friday evenings.


1: Plan your menu for the week, dinner and lunch, and write it out {we write ours on the fridge}.
2: Stick to your menu. This keeps you on track. saves money and prevents food waste. 
3. Make extra servings of dinners and use them as lunch leftovers. OR make a big batch of paleo chili on Sunday to take for lunch during the week.
3: Stock your pantry and fridge with a couple of easy meals. Our go-to meals include frozen salmon {thaws quickly in cold water or you can cook it frozen}, organic no sugar added butternut squash soup {Imagine brand}, sweet potatoes and frozen spinach, tons of fresh veggies and eggs {instant frittata or bibimbap}.
4: Make sauces, spices, etc ahead of time. I usually make a big batch of different spice mixes about once a month and make mayonnaise and salad dressing about once a week.

Also, for those of you who are even more pressed for time or who need more help, how about an emeals subscription? {modified for paleo, of course}

Happy {meal} planning.

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Wednesday, July 18


Things around these parts are a huge blur lately, so thanks for sticking in there. Lately I'm struggling to find the balance between finally starting my career, dedicating myself to achieving fitness goals, making intentional time for my girlfriends, a two hour total daily commute, and settling into a stable nutrition regimen. I'm exhausted just thinking about all of it. Don't fret, though. I've managed to have my share of fun along the way. I'm so thankful for an amazing job, an encouraging husband, understanding girlfriends, and a sweet pup to make my life so bright.

Nonetheless, I have some fun posts lined up for next week including an industrial sconce DIY and some of my new favorite paleo recipes. Hope you are having a great week. Half way to the weekend already!


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Wednesday, July 11

Summer Holiday(s)

Two of my favorite things - and mostly because it means time with husband, family, and friends.

A couple weeks ago we spent four blissful days in Gulf Shores, AL with husband's sister and her family. He spent the morning fishing out on the sea, and I passed the time devouring the 'Hunger Games' series leisurely reading on the porch or at the pool.

The week after we returned home, Kindredly and her husband JG came over for a mid-week July Fourth celebration. We had a pretty low-key evening, but managed a few all-American hamburgers, strawberry basil sangria, and a blueberry-blackberry crisp. The evening came to an early close with sparklers in the twilight.

Hope you had a very happy Independence Day.

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Tuesday, July 10

A Summer List


With the Fourth of July just behind us I have finally realized that summer is almost halfway over. {Here in the south we will have insanely hot and humid days well in to October, but by that time I'll be thinking of pumpkins and spiced chai.} Between finishing school, starting a new job and taking licensing exams, I completely missed the first half of the season. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I am determined to make the most of what's left of summer. In order to help me do that, here's a list of summer frivolities and projects that I hope to enjoy over the next couple months.

1. Make this peach and avocado salad - would also be good on top of grilled chicken
2. Spend at least one day on the lake
3. Really looking forward to a girls beach trip in August with these two ladies {we will miss you Les!}
4. Buy Georgia peaches from a local fruit stand and make an almond flour cobbler
5. Finish the mini-makeover of our master bathroom
6. Attend at least one outdoor concert - it's indoors, but this one is on the books in a few weeks!
7. Go for long road bike rides on Saturday mornings as often as possible
8. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches and eat them on the porch
9. Build a farm table
10. Have a dinner party

What are you planning for the summer?

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Friday, July 6

Friday Favorites

{ via}

Having a holiday in the middle of the week really threw me off for some reason, so this weekend will be one for relaxing and spending some much-needed time at home. Lunch with my bestie, a long road bike ride, a Sunday matinee, and plenty of down time on the couch. 

Currently watching episode after episode of this show
Planning a manicure with a punchy pink and orangey coral
Loving this colorful website, especially this ceiling

What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, July 4

Independence Day


Today I am so very thankful for the freedom that comes with being an American.


This past weekend we watched the movie 'Act of Valor.' Have you seen it? It was amazing, but heartbreaking. I can barely imagine the amount of courage and strength it must take to be one of those men. Or one of their wives.

 I am so grateful for the men and women who are courageous enough make the ultimate sacrifice to protect this country. For those who risk their lives daily to ensure our freedom. And for their families. I know it's not much, but thank you.

Happy Independence Day.

Monday, July 2

Paleo Lifestyle: Make Your Own

One of the easiest ways to eliminate added sugar {and other nasty preservatives} from your diet is to make your own sauces, dressings, spice mixes, and even nut butters. I find it easiest to make a big batch every so often, especially when it comes to seasonings. Added bonus is how lovely the filled mason jars look in my spice cabinet and fridge.


olive oil mayonnaise: something a bit more traditional
thai no-peanut sauce: one of my favorites for stir fry

taco and chili mix : I omit the cayenne pepper and go heavy on the oregano. Play around with the flavors, amount of heat, etc. until you find your perfect blend.
italian and poultry mix: Just make sure to avoid sugar in these recipes.

almond butter: so simple. You can also use sunflower seeds and make sunbutter.
pecan pie butter: so very tasty on sliced apples. I leave out the cranberries and chocolate to keep out the sugar!
walnut butter: While absolutely delicious, this recipe contains honey, and sugar is sugar, so I consider walnut butter a treat. 

It may seem overwhelming to think of making sauces from scratch, but it is well worth the effort. The flavors are fresh and there is no added sugar or food starch that are so commonly found in store-bought items.
Hope you enjoy these!

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