I am the future Mrs. Traynor. I can't believe that I am engaged to my best friend and the love of my life. It still feels so surreal to both of us, but we are incredibly excited for the next chapter of our lives. We are beyond blessed to have immense support from our families and friends. Thank you for all of your congratulations! It means the world to us.

Christmas day was when he popped the question. We were cruising the Atlantic Ocean that morning and I had no idea it was coming. After a morning of watching documentaries on wives murdering their husbands (great timing, right?) we decided to exchange our Christmas cards. We had agreed that we would only exchange Christmas cards since the vacation was our present to each other. I, like the looney I am, forgot to buy a card for him. I bought a post card on the cruise ship instead. After I sheepishly gave him the post card, he played a video he made that was full of pictures throughout our relationship, a video of him and the pups, and all to our song, "Northern Wind" by City and Colour. The end said, "Here's to many more Christmas celebrations to come...always and forever." I was already in tears when the video began, and then he was on his knee with the most beautiful ring in a box, asking to marry me, and we were both in tears. 

It was the perfect moment. What I love most about it is that it was unplanned. He had no idea when he was going to pop the question, which is why he had the ring in his pocket for half of our trip. Yes, even when we swam with dolphins and played on the beach, and explored the water park at Atlantis. Not the safest idea, but hey! It's on my finger now, right?

We are still soaking it all in, but I foresee a lot of wedding planning, cake tasting, and dress shopping in the near future...


foodie fridays

[image source]
Orange. Pecan. Tea. So many flavors are packed into this delicous bread. I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. It sounds like it would be perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped pecans, toasted 
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 5 ingredients (flour through allspice) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Combine granulated sugar and the next 7 ingredients (sugar through eggs), stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Spoon batter into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans.




My beautiful friends shared this video with me, and I was in tears. I love the movement and passion behind slam poetry. To see people's honesty and emotion really blows my mind and tugs my heart strings.


looks aren't everything

Loved this and the fact that it came from a model. Gotta love Ted Talks. 


vacation time

[photo courtesy of Boyfriend]
Well, readers. I am saying bon voyage to you...for about a week. I am leaving with Boyfriend this evening to Florida. We are cruising to the Bahamas tomorrow and after coming back to Florida to visit Disneyworld. This vacation is very much needed and one we have been saving for/looking forward to for months now. This is our first big vacation together and I have to pinch myself just thinking about it. There is no better way I could imagine spending the holidays. Feeling beyond blessed.


flow with your food

foodie fridays

The Ultimate Ginger Cookie. Doesn't that sound perfect for the holidays? These would be perfect to share next to a warm fire with some milk. There is something about cookies and Christmas that just go hand-in-hand. The Food Network provides us with a recipe to make that happen.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


crescent cuff

[faux fur vest: H&M, black thermal: Victoria's Secret, leggings: Nordstrom, cuff: Hearts]
I fell in love with this cuff from Hearts. It gives off this gypsy, vintage, witchcraft vibe and I just love it. It definitely brings a unique element to any outfit. I thought it was perfect with this black outfit and a pop of faux fur.

It's handmade and is a great representation of upcycled fashion. I love supporting artisans all around the world and appreciating their craft. It's like each piece has a story.


balance is key

Balance is the key to everything, especially when it comes to the relationships we have with food and our bodies. With so many diets out there, IIFYM and clean eating and counting calories and paleo and on and on, it all becomes really consuming. We tend to forget that life is supposed to be enjoyed, and that sometimes involves eating a massive cheeseburger with friends or eating a piece of cake that was made from a box (god forbid). Maybe you don't friggin' like the taste of kale. You won't die. Okay?

So stop counting every calorie and studying every single ingredient. It's mentally exhausting and can be mentally damaging. Don't get me wrong, it's good to be healthy and eat nutrient dense foods, but it's also okay to eat something you're craving just because you damn well please. Sorry, food police, but stay far away from me. I would much rather be mentally sane, and also in the best shape of my life even after a piece of pizza.


heydaze headbands

[dress: Free People, cuff: Urban Outfitters, headband: Heydaze Headbands]
If you love headbands, but can't ever find one that fits you then Heydaze Headbands are what you need. They come in adorable colors and trendy patterns, and they are adjustable with a clever snapback closure. I love that idea!

Rachel Arnett, the creator of the headbands was kind enough to send this one my way. I quickly fell in love with it and her! Here is what she had to say about her company,

 "I always wear headbands and I don't think I have a huge head but I would always have marks on my forehead and get headaches or light headed if they were too tight. I would complain to my boyfriend and he was like why not make them a snapback? So, I cut a snap out of a hat I had and made a trial one and it was actually really awesome and then things took off from there. We're just a fun brand for everyone who's carefree and youn,  just living the dream. We're based in San Diego making the first ever snapback headbands. We have several different styles and tons of fabrics. They match anyone life style for working out, laying out, going out, etc. They're super comfy and adjustable so they will fit everyone without leaving forehead indentations."

Go check out her amazing website and browse all of the fabulous styles!


foodie fridays

[image source]
How good does this sound? Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy. Cooking Light has delicious and healthy recipes for when you need some comfort food.

  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
2. While noodles cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan; cover.
3. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Add pepper, salt, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard thyme sprigs. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.
Note: Briefly cooking the gravy with thyme sprigs saves the time of stripping the tiny leaves from the stem, but still gives you the herb's woodsy flavor.


web seminar

I am so beyond excited to be a part of this teleseminar on building better relationships with food and our bodies, especially during the upcoming holiday season. I will be joining in towards the end for the Q&A section, after these wonderful women speak. Heather and Jensy are so uplifting and inspiring, and I can't believe I get to be in such good company.

I will be posting a link to the live teleseminar that will be on Friday, December 20th from 8:00 - 9:30 PM eastern time. Be sure to check back here on that day so you can watch what will be an uplifting, spiritual, and beneficial hour-and-a-half.

If you have any questions you'd like to see answered, please post them in the comment box.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Friendship
I have some pretty amazing women in my life.
2. Mama
So proud of this woman for working hard and fulfilling her goals.
3. Christmas Cards
Sent these babies out to our family and friends. I love how our pictures turned out, thanks to the talented Kristina Garcia.


shrinking women

This poem speaks volumes about the relationship between women and their bodies. I just adore this poem and its writer's honesty. This is very much needed in this day and age with all of the body issues, eating disorders, and wavering confidences.


beyond your roots

I'm so proud of my mama and her best friend, Debbie. They just opened up a beautiful hair salon in Cave Creek. They worked hard to create a cozy and stylish place for people to get their hair and nails done. They also sell really cute items that they picked out themselves, from fringe purses to hilarious greeting cards to the best-smelling candles.

I went to the grand opening this past Saturday and it was wonderful. The salon received so much support from family and friends, and it's just the beginning. I admire my mom so much for pursuing a dream and fulfilling it. She's proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, in no matter what stage of life. Love you, mom!

Go visit Beyond Your Roots and get pampered!


put love first

It's easy to get wrapped up, or more so tangled, in all of life's wire. We have jobs, bills, families, appointments, workouts, etc. Most of the time we finish one task, and we are on to the next one that's in our planners. Unfortunately all this stuff gets in the way of seeing who is in our life, and more importantly appreciating them.

We often forget to appreciate the special people we share our lives with. We get used to this comfortable idea of this other person who we depend on, vent to, and do most everything with. It's good to be comfortable. That's key to any relationship, but don't forget to love them. Really love them. It doesn't have to be a honeymoon all the time, but the honeymoon stage doesn't have to end. I don't believe it ever does if you're with the right person.

Hold your gaze a little longer. Surprise them with dinner. Give them a genuine compliment you've never given before. Really listen to them. Say, "I love you" and truly mean it and feel it. Pick him up a six-pack of beer and turn on football. Give her flowers just because. Relationships need that TLC. They deserve to be a priority in your life because what is all that other "stuff" if you have no one to share it with?


foodie fridays

This is a super easy recipe that's really delicious and packed with flavor. I used chicken tenders, but you can use chicken breasts as well. Pound the chicken flat. Layer spinach, feta, and sun dried tomatoes. Roll the chicken up and fasten with a toothpick. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear. Serve with sauteed zucchini or pasta.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Tata
It was nice spending quality time with my grandpa and family.
2. Penguins
I love my new coffee mug that gets me into the winter spirit.
3. Planner
Nothing better than approaching the new year with a new planner.

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