34 {and a Giveaway}

Today I turn 34. ***cue the confetti & balloons***

It should be illegal to have to work on your birthday. In even worse news, the next time my birthday falls on a weekend is in 2018. When I turn 38. Eeeek!

Moving on before I have a meltdown….most people think of January as the start of a new year.  But since I have a July birthday AND I work for a school district, my years tend to run from from August right up until my birthday. I love the feeling of starting a new year and the possibilities it can bring.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions and events.  I have been lucky to have a great group of supporters with me the whole way.  This definitely includes you guys.  You show up a few times a week to see what recipe I am sharing, read my crazy ramblings or offer encouragement during the not-so-good times.

In honor of my birthday, I am hosting a giveaway.

Birthday Giveaway

Longtime readers will know that I have not done a giveaway in at least 2 years.  I am very picky about the companies & brands that I work with. This may not get me the numbers or money of other bloggers, but it’s important to me that you guys know where my integrity lies.

So this giveaway is sponsored by yours truly!  The giveaway will run from today until Friday {because I always say that my birthday is a week long celebration} and whoever wins will let me know if they want a $35 gift card to Amazon.com OR a $35 gift card to Starbucks.  I could have made it $34, but this will be an extra $1 to grow on!

Good luck and have a cup of coffee or glass of wine in my honor today!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Road to Wellness – Update {Month One}

Most of you know that I am finally taking charge of my health and met with a Naturopath doctor at the end of June.

I shared my wellness plan & talked about how the first few weeks were rough on me.

Hard to believe, but this weekend I have my 2nd appointment. Has it really been a month?

Today, I want to update you with how I am doing with all these changes.

It’s honestly too soon to say that I feel any different.  BUT the bad days are few and far between now.  I really think that getting off birth control after so many years sent me into a sort of detox mode.

As for my wellness plan, I have to be honest.  It’s been hard. I blame it on enjoying vacation too much.

I wasn’t getting up at the same time everyday, so spacing out my supplements was something I had to figure out every day.

Some days we wouldn’t get home until 8 or 9 at night, so anything I was supposed to take during the day didn’t get taken at all. And because I was in vacation mode, I didn’t even think about packing them up with me to bring along. I truly know how to frustrate myself better than anyone else!

Another thing I kept forgetting to take on time was my liquid fish oil.  I think that because it was kept in the fridge instead of with all my other supplements it was out of sight, out of mind.

As for food, let’s just say that looking at my wellness plan, this month was an epic fail.

One thing you should know about me is that during the 10 months I work, I eat pretty darn healthy. I know what will be for breakfast, lunch & dinner every single day.  I also pack my own work snacks and only deviate once in awhile.

The vacation time I get in the Winter & Summer are the 2 times a year I ease up.  I still strive to eat healthy, but I give myself a little room for indulgences.

Dessert twice in a week?  Sure.

A glass of wine while I’m out to lunch? Yes to day drinking.

My gluten free pizza has cheese? What the heck…I’ll enjoy!

I refuse to beat myself up for the food I have enjoyed this summer.  I never once felt overstuffed or that I had waaaay too much to eat. 3 bites of dessert a few times this month did not ruin my plan.

But I do realize that in order to be successful, I have to set some limits.  So this month will be much better than the last.

To end on a positive, here are some of the things in my plan that I am kicking ass with -

  • Apple Cider Vinegar drink- Every morning.  I tried before dinner as well, but no joke this stuff keeps you “regular.”  I am already a regular person and have no desire to go more than I already do. TMI – you’re welcome!
  • No eggs – I thought this would kill me. But I have had fun creating new, filling breakfast ideas. I still crave eggs, but I am fine without them!
  • Castor oil pack – Doing this every night ensures that I stay still for an hour. I used to jump up during my relaxing time with Gary to do another load of laundry or go do something I forgot about.  Now I have to stay still.
  • Coffee – I have limited myself to one cup a day and feel great! I tried no coffee for a few days and felt horrible, but one cup a day is working for now.

Once I meet with my doctor this weekend, I will share what my plan looks like for month 2.

Let’s Chat

Do you indulge a bit more when on vacation?
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Thursday Things

I’m not usually a Tuesday/Thursday blog writer, but I had some fun & funny stuff to share with you guys. I’m sure you don’t mind me throwing in an extra post in this week.

Monday was my real last day of vacation to lounge around in the morning, so I joined Sasha in her suggestion below:

By the way….it’s Thursday & she’s still relaxing.  She lives the life of luxury!

Monday night I had a meeting, but stopped by Cost Plus World Market first. I picked up some fun summer clearance items and saw some cool stuff:


I ended up getting the Black Lava Salt & can’t wait to use it.  Any suggestions?

Then I headed to TJ’s to pick up some groceries. Somehow this bottle of wine got in my cart. ps-the glasses were $1.50 each on clearance at Cost Plus!

On Tuesday, I went to get my hair done for work. I trimmed about 3 inches and added more teal.

My first application 7 weeks ago was fun, but this time the teal just pops out at you. I can’t imagine myself without it now.

Wednesday was back to work, so I cleaned out my 2 small summer purses.

Call Hoarders….I need an intervention!

When I got to work, my office did not look the way I had left it.

It took a few hours to get everything back in order.

When I got home, I needed to get all my energy out.

It was super hot, but worth every sweat drop!

Before I go, here’s something that cracked me up at Trader Joe’s the other night:

What is this magical thing that contains MAHI-MAHI?!?!

MAHI-MAHI burgers.

This, my friends, is why we cannot have nice things.


Share 1 thing with me today!
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Body Image

About 2 weeks ago, Erin wrote such an honest post about feeling “fat.”

If you are a woman in your 20′s or 30′s, you probably can relate.

Her post hit a nerve when I read it.

Because I had been there.

In my 20′s I went from about 150 to almost 200 pounds.

I felt fat, I felt disgusting, I felt like I didn’t deserve love or friendship.

Looking back now, I am sad that I spent so many years detesting myself.

My weight had nothing to do with my worth.

It was all inside my head.

It all changed for me when I stepped on the scale and saw 199.  It literally scared the crap out of me.

I knew that I had to take my life back from the voices in my head.

I made myself look in the mirror every morning and think of something positive…it didn’t have to be a physical attribute, but it had to be something affirmative.

Once I started loving myself, no matter what my weight was, I automatically started taking better care of myself.

I ate better.  I moved more.

Now, at almost 34 years old, I fluctuate between 165 & 175 pounds. “Large” or “Fat” by some others standards, but it’s where I am and I am okay with that.

Rather than concentrate on losing weight, I am focused on being the healthiest person I can be.

One day that could mean yoga and eating a copious amount of greens.

The next day that could mean cupcakes & wine.

Some days it includes all of the above.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Not full of regret, but full of joy.

Let’s Chat

Do you struggle with your own body image?
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My 1st Yelp Elite Event

Thanks to my awesome husband being Yelp Elite, Gary & I were treated to a fun night out at Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar last Friday.

Oh, and it was a themed event…can you tell we were ready for a rootin’ tootin’ good time?!

Free dinner AND I get to dress up?!?!  Count me in!

When we arrived, we were lucky to find parking very close to the front entrance, which I know was a problem for a few other people attending the same event. As we approached the front doors, we were greeted by several employees, then escorted to the back area of Stones Gambling Hall {where Sammy’s is located}, which was a very nice touch.

We were seated right away and had our pick of quite a few adult beverages.

I started with a Chardonnay, while Gary was adventurous and tried the Fig Old Fashion. I had one sip and quickly ordered one for myself {the proceeded to have 2  more over the course of the evening}.

Before I go on about the food, let me take a moment to talk about the wait staff at Sammy’s. TOP OF THE LINE when it came to customer service.  We have been to many fine restaurants, but have never received the level of service that we did here at Sammy’s. Chloe was our waitress and she was knowledgeable of the food, but more importantly, had a wonderful personality. Sammy’s was packed with Yelpers and the staff handled it with grace & poise.

So back to the food….Chloe suggested we try the Mini Duck Tacos.  Neither Gary or I have ever tried duck anything, so we decided to take her suggestion.  So glad we did! I hate to describe food as cute, but they really were.  I didn’t even know taco shells could be made that small.  For such small bites, the flavor was huge! The only hiccup of the night came when our tacos were delivered to another table. But Chloe let us know what happened, and we quickly received our tacos. I appreciate her addressing this and not letting us sit there an additional 10 minutes wondering why our tacos weren’t there yet.

When it came to entrees, we would have tried one of everything if we had the time {or had worn our stretchy pants}.  Gary decided on the Steak & Fries and I ordered the Organic Arugula & Pear Woodfired Pizza on a gluten free crust.

I have had many gluten free crusts in my day and none of them live up to this one.  It was the right amount of crispy and didn’t taste like it was gluten free.  Gary enjoyed a slice and even he sang its praises! Adding a gluten free crust will cost you $4 more, but to get a very generous sized personal pizza for $16 is a deal!

Gary’s steak was cooked as ordered {medium}, but it lacked a little flavor. The parmesan fries that accompanied the steak were spot on.

Even after all that food & drink, we made sure to save room for dessert.  We ordered the Warm Crispy Mini Donuts and the Flourless Chocolate Cake {which was gluten free} to share.

These donuts changed my life. I will never eat a donut again unless it tastes just like these!  They were like mini funnel cakes, but without the oily texture and taste. Gary described them as “heaven on a plate.” I’d have to agree!

Our gluten free cake was perfect. Super chocolaty, but NOT super rich. Topping it with the coconut gelato was a genius move and the flavor combo blew my mind!

If you live near Citrus Heights {Sacramento area}, I suggest you make a dinner reservation fast.

Thanks to Yelp & Sammy’s for a fun Friday night!

Let’s Chat

Out of all of this food, what sounds the best to you?
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