Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog!

My blog has officially been up and running for 1 year today.

Happy Birthday, blog!  And thank you to the folks who read it :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Backseat

Hey y'all!  My blog has taken the backseat to my busy schedule as of late.  I apologize and hope to catch up soon.  In the meantime, I've found a new website (thanks to my SIL, Julie) that I'm loving.  The recipes are easy, delicious and insanely healthy.  Did I mention they're delicious?  Like better than the bad stuff delicious.  Check it out:

So far, we've had the chili turkey burgers (recipe here).

and last night I made the steak with avocado salsa but without the broccoli salad - we had baked sweet potatoes instead (recipe here). 

Jared and I both were blown away with just how good it was.  It was better than regular filet mignon and packed with tons of nutrients.  I'll be making the mustard-lime chicken tonight (recipe here). 

These meals are packed full of flavor - so much that you don't even need condiments.  That's saying A LOT coming from someone who has the tendency to drown her food.  I know it's bad, it's a constant struggle.

Thanks, Jules, for telling me about this website!! <3

Friday, May 6, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Favorite Vacation Spots

It's SUYL Friday over at Kelly's Korner and I'm linking up!  Interesting enough, one of her favorite vacation spots is Orange Beach, right next door to us!  We truly are blessed to live in such a beautiful place.  With that being said, I have to represent Pensacola Beach and Perdido Beach as favorite "vacation" spots since they are in our backyards!  We really do have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (and the whitest sand).

I took these a couple of years ago on a random trip to the beach in January.  It was way too cold to get in the water, but I am so happy that this view is literally a 7 minute drive from my house.  Amazing, right?

But if I want to actually leave home and go vacation somewhere, I'm still a sucker for the beach.  Jared and I went to St. Lucia on our honeymoon and I think he'd agree with me in saying that it's one of the most gorgeous places in the world.  After all, he did pick out this destination and planned the whole thing.  I would give anything to be hanging out in St. Lucia right now!

 The beach we hung out on everyday...gorgeous!

 The view from our room 1st morning waking up in St. Lucia.

 Scenary while we ate lunch.

 Candlelight dinner on the beach.

 Horseback riding on the beach (and in the water).  Sorry for the picture quality on this one.

 Ziplining through the rainforest - SO MUCH FUN

 View from the top of a mountain we hiked.

And you get a pretty nice tan :)

Have any of you ever been to St. Lucia?  I hope you'll go one day!  What are some of your favorite vacation spots??  I think next time we take a vacay, we may stay pretty local and head over to Seaside or maybe Charlotte, NC or Savannah, GA...we'll see!  J's in charge of planning those things.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Being Healthy

I feel compelled to write this blog.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's from many friends asking me for healthy tips in their lives, how to eat good, how to cook healthy, for workout advice, to work out with them, or from my own personal experience with this lifestyle and just how life changing it really is.  I am in no way claiming to know it all, but I do know what has worked for me and maybe it can work for you too!

If you've read my blog before, you know that I love to bake (and unfortunately eat what I bake), so eating good all the time is necessary for someone like me who occasionally likes to cheat and eat Paula Deen inspired food!

Being healthy is not about the latest fad dieting/crash dieting/detoxing/etc or just temporarily working out - it's a lifestyle.  When I use the term "diet" in this post, I am referring to my everyday eating habits.  I don't diet like Atkins taught.  My diet consists of food to be used as energy.  The best thing I ever did was buy Tosca Reno's book about Eating Clean and then purchase her cookbook.  My best friend, Lindsey, recommended it to me because it changed her life.  I promise if you read this, you will change your eating habits.  I've been eating clean for 2 years now and I stay much more lean than ever before, have way more energy than I ever did and my skin has cleared up so much.  Amazing what food can do for us.  They say you're 80% what you eat and 20% what you do for physical activity.

I am no Tony Horton or Tosca Reno by any means and will not pretend to be.  And I definitely "cheat".  I had ice cream for dessert last night.  But I eat well enough all day long to be able to enjoy some deliciousness before bedtime every now and then. :)

Once you understand how to prepare and cook healthy foods, you'd be amazed at how good they are.  I can pretty much manipulate anything that's unhealthy to make it be "clean".  AND it doesn't take long.  My meals generally take 30 minutes or less.  On occasion, you will have something that takes a bit more time, but that's where time management comes in.  On weeknights, I never spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.  Everything we eat is always full of flavor and better than the bad stuff - taste and health wise, except maybe fried okra, lol.  Here are a few "healthy" tips that have always worked for me:

- try to avoid processed foods altogether
- bake, steam or grill your food
- use sea salt instead of regular table salt
- use honey, agave nectar or some other naturally occurring sweetener instead of sugar
- every time you eat, pair a protein with a complex carbohydrate
- eat often, 5 to 6 times a day, but make your portions smaller
- get your daily intake of fruits and vegetables
- if you eat meat, try and eat lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, and fish.  If you want red meat, pay the extra price and get the filet mignon and top grade ground meat.
- exercise at least 30 minutes daily
- change up your workout routine.  Consistency gets old and you see great results with muscle confusion.
- drink water...lots of water.  At least 64 oz daily.

Hope these tips help.  I'll start sharing more of my everyday meals and recipes with you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesdays

{one} when was the last time you used a pay phone (if ever)?
Freshman year cheerleading camp at Southern Miss, ha ha!

{two} did you ever fail a subject in school? 
No way!  I was way too hard on myself.

{three} where do you go to get your favorite hamburger/cheeseburger? 
Well, my dad and Jared both make great burgers, but if we're talking about eating out here, I'd say Blue Dot or Paradise...YUM!

{four} have you ever served jury duty? 
Yes, first time was right before our wedding.  I managed to get out during Voir Dire though. :)

{five} how old were you when you moved out of your parents’ house?
19 the first time.  Moved back when I was 20 and moved out again when I was 23.

{six} what is your favorite color to wear?
Teal!  Or any kind of blue.  It's my favorite.

{seven} do you have a pair of shoes that you wear all the time?
 Yep, sure do!  I wear my black Jessica Simpson pumps a lot to work, or some other pair of high heels.
And various types of flip flops at home.

{eight} do you enjoy talk radio?
Nope, I like listening to music.  Unfortunately, when I ride with Jared, we always listen to talk radio, lol.  More accurately, sports talk radio with some politics thrown in there every once in awhile!

{nine} if you could turn one unhealthy food into a healthy one, what food would it be? 
Ice cream, hands down.  Mmmmmmmmm

{ten} who is the best speaker you’ve ever heard in person?
Oh, that's a hard one!  I'm not sure!  I think our Pastor is a great speaker.  I really haven't seen or heard many people speak.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


So I did my bridals a little late....but with good reason!

1. I didn't want to do them pre-wedding because my dress was very delicate and the lace would tear I knew I wanted to do them at the beach and would not dream of getting sand all in my wedding dress before the big day.

2. After the wedding, I needed to get back to my pre-wedding body.  St. Lucia's endless food and drinks took a toll on me, ha ha ha!

3.  After my wedding it was cold.  And it stayed cold...all..winter..long.  This does not normally happen in Florida.

4.  Of course, the fabulous Patsy Brown and myself had to have some availability.

So there you have it.  That's right.  Seven months after the wedding, I shoot my bridals.  And it was SO much FUN!  I am happy I waited because the weather was perfect and I had no problem rolling around in the sand getting my dress dirty.  I have never done a photoshoot by myself and I had an absolute blast.  I have to give some major shout-outs to Patsy Brown of A Thousand Words Photography and John Dye, my bridal make-up artist.  So talented, hilarious, and makes you feel totally at ease.  I can't sing her praises enough. And John Dye is incredible!  He made me feel totally confident.  I wish I could put him in my pocket and take him with me everywhere I go.  I'd have perfect make-up 24/7, ha!  Check him out on facebook:  He's up and coming and will go SO far!  And if you're in the area, try your hardest to book Patsy for a photoshoot!