what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Puppysitting
My favorite dalmatian came over to play all day!

2. Photoshoots
I had a blast shooting photos for a new project with my best friend!
3. NASM Certified
Yes, I passed my personal training exam after studying hard for six months. I can't even believe it!


foodie fridays

[image via Food Network]

With football season officially here, there have been lots of boys over at my house. I usually hole myself up in the room to study or work, but with all the beer they're guzzling they are bound to need some grub. This Charleston Cheese Dip from Food Network would be perfect for them!


1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Sushi dates
My best friend and I dined over sushi while we talked about life and upcoming ventures.
2. Surprise flowers
Matt brought home a beautiful arrangement for our dining room table.
3. Weddings
Matt and I flew to New York for a 36-hour trip! We attended his cousin's beautiful wedding and I met his entire East Coast family.


foodie fridays

[image source]
Nothing says farewell to summer like s'mores. While camping is sometimes an option, Food Network makes s'mores an anywhere option.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
One 12-ounce bag mini chocolate chips
3 cups mini marshmallows
Graham crackers, broken into squares, for dipping


Preheat the broiler on high.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet, add the nuts and toast until fragrant. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the nuts. Spread the marshmallows over the chocolate chips. Place the skillet under the broiler until browned on top.

Serve in the skillet and use graham cracker squares for dipping.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Magic Tickets 
The Disneyland tickets finally arrived, and I am so excited for a mini vacation next month with Matt.

2. Wedding Tasting
We headed to our wedding venue to try out all of our food selections and choose a cake. Everything was so delicious, and we chose some winners!

3. Under Dog Supplies
Charlie put on her brother's bow tie as a headband.


food for the soul

I've been venturing through Time Hop. You know, the magical (and scary) app that takes you back in time. While a lot of it holds good memories, it also holds a lot of slightly regretful ones.

"What are those eybrows?"
"What was that two-toned hair trying to pass for ombre?"

It's fun to laugh at these beauty blunders. but to also realize they're just physicalities.

Seeing past these, and looking at the girl behind them is what really has me reflecting. I say "girl" because that's what I was at twenty-four years old. I had so much learning to do, about myself and the world.

I didn't know who I was in the realm of self-love, confidence, fitness, and health. The four things I tried desperately to promote and preach. Perhaps I tried so hard in order convince myself. I was following along with what others deemed successful.

Labels like:
Clean Eating.
Intermittent Fasting.

Attempting recovery from an eating disorder is like tumbling down the rabbit hole. It's pitch-dark and you're so scared of landing because you don't know what's down there.

Is it weight gain? Is it relapse? Is it recovery? Is it self-acceptance? Is it failure?

You wonder if it's the right decision to venture away from something that gave you comfort for so long. Your arms are flailing as you are
Reaching out for anything that will give you those quick results again. That will fulfill you again.

And man, were their options.

I'm the type of person who is all in. If I set my mind on something, it's on. Especially with diets. I read up on it in magazines, books, websites, blogs, success stories. It's important to do research, but I took it to extremes. Then I would dump out perfectly good food and remodel my fridge and pantry with all the food that so-and-so said to get. I downloaded the diet apps or I put the meal plan on my fridge. I spent a good chunk of time just analyzing lists and information and numbers.

I wasted a good part of my life on my obsession with dieting.
I missed out on moments I won't ever get back.

I would try the diet out for a few months, see results, plateau, and then I would find a new one with a glossy cover page filled with promises.

It was new and exciting to try new diets, workout plans, and lifestyles. Each with their own promise. A promise of abs. A promise of shapely legs. A promise of a five-pound weight loss.

But none of these diets (or so-called "lifestyles) promised self-love, confidence, or peace with food. Sure, they promised physicalities, but there was no mention of improvements to the soul, spirit, mind, or heart. It's as if appearance has taken precedence over anything else. Eventually, you're left with the question of

Diets not only label you, but they label foods as:

Every label is based on the premise of guilt. You're good if you eat a carrot, but you're a failure if you eat a burger. You're patted on the head of organic, and you're slapped on the hand for anything but. Everything is either dangerous or it will make you fat.

As if we don't have enough to be judged on already. We are judged on our clothes, our skin, who we love, our jobs, where we are from, our bodies. Now food is added to the mix? This just feeds into the triggers of an eating disorder.

Take someone who wants to make a change in their eating habits. They go from ice cream to yogurt, from Doritos to pita chips, from Skittles to apples. They are trying. Or maybe, someone is just trying to eat food again. Then the food police come and and do this,

"That's the wrong brand of yogurt. Those pita chips are made with the wrong oil, that apple isn't organic." 

How discouraged do you think that person will feel when they are genuinely trying?

I totally agree that food plays a big role in how we feel, how e perform, and weight management. I'm not blind or naive to these facts. I am in no way advocating a diet solely consisting of pizza, french fries, and cake every day. However, I do believe in
I believe in cupcakes, black olive and pepperoni pizza, and Taco Bell chalupas. I believe in sugary margaritas. I believe in going to a restaurant and having their specialty fried chicken, and not opting for the salad. I believe in having a slice of birthday cake...or two.

My heart likes it. My taste buds like it. My ED soldier likes it. I like it. I like me for it. 

Hell, I love me for it.

Two years ago, I would have cried over a tablespoon of peanut butter for an hour or so. Add another twenty minutes if it was not organic.

That's the girl I used to be. The woman I am now doesn't live by labels. She doesn't label herself. She doesn't compare her lifestyle to anyone else's. She doesn't see if she measures up to anyone's standards. She is unapologetic for being herself. She is unapologetic for what she eats.

nasty gal wish list

I loooove Nasty Gal. I think you've probably all come to realize this over the past [almost] four years. Whenever I tell my mom, "I might get it off of Nasty Gal." She gives me the straaangest look. While it's not the most "parent-friendly" name, the site has some of the best pieces.

Here is my wish list as we make our way into fall.
Keep in mind, Fall is like spring weather in Arizona.

After Party Vintage Eline Romper
Warm and Fuzzy Skirt 
For the Love of Mod Boot
After Party Vintage Sianna Dress
Turn It Up Loose Floral 
Nope Tee


foodie fridays

[image source]

Summer may be coming to an end, but the heat still remains in Arizona. So lets say goodbye to summer with a refreshing drink and a few more pool sessions. Thanks to Cooking Light for this easy summer drink.

  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 8 thin lime slices
  • Fresh blackberries (optional) 
Place 1 cup water and 3 cups blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Press blackberry puree through a sieve into a large pitcher; discard seeds. Add remaining 5 cups water, sugar, and juice to pitcher; stir until sugar dissolves. Place 1 lime slice and a few blackberries, if desired, into each of 8 glasses; pour about 1 cup limeade over each serving.



to go through change with grace and lightness. growth and transformation do not have to be traumatic, but can be joyous. learn to move on and gain freedom from the past. embrace vulnerability, trust in the unknown, and believe. 

Butterflies have surrounded me my whole life. I see them as my spirit animal. They have flown around me during many points in my life where decisions were needed to be made. They've guided me in the right directions, and given me confidence in my choices.

I've gone through many of my own life cycles and have changed through metamorphosis This is my reminder of where I have been and that the changes never stop coming.


what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. He's home
This is a reoccuring WILW, but I get so excited when Matt comes home, especially when it's for THREE months.

2. Brother and sister
These two are so cute. When I was sick in bed, they snuggled and kept me company.
3. Tattoo
After thinking about it quite some time, I decided to go forth with my newest tattoo.
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