Sunday, March 1, 2015

A New Obsession

How was your weekend? We got hit with some snow this weekend here in Wichita so didn't do a whole lot, but it sure was a nice quiet weekend, sometimes those are the best. I worked pretty late Friday so we grabbed some Chipolte and took it easy. Saturday I did some cleaning then ran to the Natural Grocers open house (snagged lots of free samples, score!), went to my parent's house to watch the WSU game (where I got some cuddles in with Wyatt, definitely the highlight:) and then had another lazy night. I was in the mood to bake and had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge that I needed to use up. I got some donut pans for Christmas that I had used, so I thought what a great idea! I began my search on pinterest for some healthy pumpkin donuts. I found this recipe for paleo pumpkin donuts and had all of the ingredients on hand.


Voila'! Pat asked what they were? Do they not look like donuts??? lol. Okay I will admit they weren't the best, definitely not the real thing and not sure if I'll be making them again, but fun to attempt I suppose.

The snow was starting to melt quite a bit today so we ventured out a bit more, went to church, had a yummy lunch date at Whole Foods I opted for a sandwich and Pat picked pizza (o.m.g they seriously have the best food ever), also picked up dinner for tonight while there- sushi made with rice paper instead of brown rice, looks super yummy. We did some running around and now enjoying the rest of the afternoon. I am looking forward to some nicer temps this week, and hello March!

But back to my point of this post, you guys- have you tried cauliflower crust pizza?? I will admit I attempted it quite a while ago and was very disappointed. However, I have been seeing it more and more so I thought why not give it one more go? This time around I learned the trick in making this crust successful- which is to make sure you ring out the access water in the cauliflower before baking. It truly makes a world of difference.



I used THIS recipe from Heidi Powell (love her), and reduced the recipe in 1/2 and then used shredded parmesan instead of mozzarella because that is what I had on hand. It was perfect! Like I mentioned, if you try this recipe it is extremely important not to skip step two and ring out the extra moisture. If you don't the crust is very soggy and mushy.



We divided this pizza into 4 servings- 1 serving has 103 calories- 3 g. of fat, 14 g. of carbs, and 7 g. of protein, not bad. This is excluding the toppings. When I find a new recipe I love, I tend to become obsessed with it and cook it every single week, as to why I have made this pizza the last three Sundays. Anywho we have switched up the toppings. This particular pizza had muir glen pizza sauce, spinach leaves, red pepper, jalapeno, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, and some low fat mozzarella sprinkled on top. I will also add that Pat loves this, which when he likes something "healthy" it is rare and something to not forget:)

Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Review..

Hope you all have had a great weekend..we woke up to snow here in Wichita this morning. I will say I'm over winter. Honestly, I actually don't think it has been as cold and snowy of a winter that it typically is. I am however looking forward to daylight past 6pm, evening walks with Pat and Buddy, sunshine, dinner on the deck, working in the yard, etc. Ahhhh....only a few more months!

As I mentioned HERE I was invited to a Sneak Peek Open House this morning for the new Natural Grocers opening this week in west Wichita. I was so excited for this event! I also could not be more excited that we finally have some organic/natural food options in west Wichita. Even more exciting is that it is literally seconds away from my house. I know this will be my new go-to for essentials. 

We started off with a store tour which I loved. After this we got to sit in on a presentation about the background and beliefs/values of Natural Grocers as well as sample a Paleo lunch (which was very tasty I might add). One of the things I love about Natural Grocers is that they do not carry anything that has artificial sweeteners or flavorings, which is awesome. This saves you the step to even have to search the nutrition label for these things. I also just so happened to sit right next to the owner of Lotus Leaf (one of my top five places to eat in Wichita). I loved getting to chat with her for a bit. If you haven't been to Lotus Leaf, I highly recommend it. Not only is the food super tasty, but they also serve natural/organic homemade meals with the best high quality ingredients. 

All that were in attendance received a packet of great information including: a list of ingredients that Natural Grocers does not carry in any of their products (and reasons why), background on the company, coupons, event list, calendar, and a giftcard. After learning a bit more about the company I am even more inclined to shop there and will encourage others to also. I am looking forward to taking part of many of their upcoming events, particularly the event this Saturday, The Organic Fair from 12pm-4pm, check it out!

It was great meeting others in the community as well. I did meet another blogger who was extremely inspiring. She not only runs, but competes in ultra marathons, yes you ready that correctly, ultra marathons. She has even done a 100 mile race. I was in total disbelief. I have a teeny tiny inkling to want to attempt a full marathon (ran my one and only 1/2 in 2012). After talking with her it gives me encouragement and reminds me that you can do anything you set your mind to. Check out Jennifer's blog over at http://youknowyoulovemexoxojennifer.tumblr.com/










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Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday All! I don't know about you but I am looking forward to the weekend! I wanted to share a site I recently came across and have become slightly addicted too, Food Babe. Beware, this site is a bit information overload, but oh so interesting. I don't necessarily agree with 100% of all of her opinions, but it sure makes you think about the foods you are putting into your body a bit more. I understand eating healthy can sometimes be a bit more expensive, but when you see all of the MANY benefits, the fact that you are lowering so many health risks, and overall just plain and simple taking the best care of the one body God gave you, why not invest in it a little more?
I love this video she shares on her site as well. You can find several other videos, as well as great recipe ideas, and many other tips and tricks. The list of the many company's ingredients that she has worked so hard to change is truly amazing!

I also read recently a great blog post about how one Mom spends $100 a week on groceries at Whole Foods for her family. Pretty impressive if you ask me. You can read her post here. It does take a bit more planning and efforts, but is also worth the savings. Just goes to show it can be done.

I personally have found it hard sometimes to buy organic in Wichita, we have several organic grocery stores but on the opposite side of town, so it just hasn't been that convenient. So when I can't, I always ensure I am reading nutrition labels to look and see what ingredients are in the food I'm buying. Recently however, construction started on a Natural Grocers literally right around the corner from us. I am pumped! I actually got invited to their Sneak Peek open house this Sunday and am more than thrilled to check it out! I have been to the east side Natural Grocers several times, but am excited to learn a bit more about the company and get a tour of the store. I will post a review on it next week and let you all know how it goes!






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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite Gifts

I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite Christmas gifts as well as my favorite birthday gift!

I received an Erin Condren life planner for Christmas and it was one of my favorite gifts!
I am a planner, one that loves organization and routine, and can never have to many sticky notes! I was on the hunt for a 2015 planner but wanted one that was a bit different and unique and would get the job done (aka lots of space for writing things down). While on instagram one day I came across the Life Planner by Erin Condren and knew I had to have it.

A few things I love about these planners: you can personalize them (personalizing makes anything better), laminated cover, inspirational quotes throughout planner, stickers for special reminders, meals/exercise list area, to-do lists, pockets (great for receipts), and so much more. It also fits in my purse so I can take anywhere. Erin Condren definitely knows what she is doing and has so many other great products to offer. I think these would be great gift ideas for any woman- whether she is a busy Mom, college student or working woman it would be helpful for anyone.





For sometime, I have wanted some sort of an activity tracker. I bought a Polar last year which tracks heart rate and calories burned however you have to wear a band below your chest as well which isn't my most favorite. Gets a bit annoying at times in my opinion. I only wear it to workout because it is a bit inconvenient. So I have been looking at fitbits and jawbones for some time because I thought it would be great to track movement throughout the day as well as sleeping patterns. We actually sell Jawbones at my new job so I thought why not get one of these. Pat ended up getting me one for my birthday and I LOVE IT. I actually like it way better than my Polar, even though they track different things, I just love the convenience of it and how it is lightweight and you can wear with anything. I have mine set to vibrate after I have been sitting 20 minutes, this is a great reminder to get up and move more. It also vibrates every 2,000 steps I walk. I have mine set for 10,000 a day, which is surprisingly a lot harder to reach when you sit at a desk for quite a bit of the day. It has been so helpful though to encourage me to walk a bit more as I do strive to hit that 10,000 mark (which is about 5 miles). I love that I can wear it to workout and you can set a timer to track your activity as well as put it in sleep mode. I always thought I was getting a decent amount of sleep until I realized how much I toss and turn during the night, so this has been very informative! Totally a great purchase!






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Sunday, February 15, 2015

29 Years Young

This past week I celebrated turning 29. The common response has been...ooohhh you are getting close to the big 3-0, getting old, etc. etc. In all honesty though, I am SO excited for my 30's and not the least bit dreading it! I am looking forward to all the exciting things that will happen in my 30's- Pat and I will hopefully become parents, we hope to build a new home, my career is at a much better place, and the list goes on. I feel that each year I have learned more about myself and the true importance's of life. I am all about my 30's, I say bring it on and I will embrace it!

Since I have just started a new job, the last few weeks have been pretty hectic so my birthday kind of snuck up on me this year. One of my good friends Tessa's birthday is the day before mine, so we celebrated last weekend with a coffee date and manicures. We then went to one of my favorite restaurants, Firebirds with some of our great friends that night. This weekend we had family celebration at my Grandma's (tradition for all birthdays), and lastly got to celebrate with Pat's Mom and James yesterday. They took us to see the new movie Black or White, which I loved! Please go see this movie if you have the chance, it was so good and heart-warming. Beforehand I wanted to take them to a new coffee shop in Maize which is called Moxi Junction. If you haven't been, please go check it out. I love the concept of it!

All in all it was another successful birthday and I am so blessed to have such amazing family and friends in my life!

Love both of these girls SO much!





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A turning point..

As some may know 2012-2014 were rough for me....in multiple ways. I got myself into a terrible job situation that took a toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally. One thing lead to another and it began to affect all areas of my life and I became depressed. There were also some other personal struggles along the way and I just didn't understand why? I pushed the people away that cared the most, yet they still continued to love me, that of which I am forever grateful. I didn't know which way my life was going or which direction I should go and pursue. I felt such pressure to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and slightly felt like a failure because I didn't "have it all figured out quite yet."

I looked for jobs for two long years and had over 11 interviews along the way, but none of them "felt" right. I contemplated going back to school. I began to sell myself too short. I had always been extremely career driven but began to feel that maybe this career stuff just wasn't cut out for me. My husband and I discussed several times the idea of me quitting my job and then focusing on finding something I was more passionate about. But every time we had this discussion, we came to the conclusion, we didn't want the financial stress and it didn't feel right in our hearts. Job searching is exhausting, absolutely exhausting and overwhelming to add to it. Working full time in an extremely stressful work environment, then coming home dang near every night and spending time searching for jobs was tiring, especially since I had no idea what I was looking for other than a way out.

During this time I did however turn to God, in a way that I never have before. Pat and I both did. I have always been a Christian, a Church goer, and a God follower, but I'll be honest, a lot of times he got placed at the end of the line. I hit a breaking point though and I knew there was absolutely no one else who could get me through than him. I knew what I had a passion for- the health and wellness industry. This is where I wanted to be. Hands down, no questions asked. But I didn't think it was possible. I didn't have a degree, or any credentials for that matter, so how on earth would I get my foot in the door? Almost anyone that knows me, knows my love and passion for this industry. I began to work with a few people on the side, health coaching, and I knew then, this is what I want to do with my life. I wanted to help people learn how to take better care of themselves, eat the right foods to nourish their bodies, and live an active lifestyle. Pat and I prayed together every night, my family prayed, we prayed and prayed and prayed. I was patient (patience is definitely not my forte), but I was and knew that it would all be in God's timing. I'll be honest though, there were definitely times of tears, lots of tears due to doubt, anger, hopelessness, sorrow, envy, you name it I felt it. But I also prayed that God would take away my stresses and worries, that of which he did.
Phillippians 4:6- Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.   

The time finally came and I knew in my heart I needed to quit my job. Pat and I talked and decided together it was time. I still didn't have anything lined up but I was at peace. It was so strange, I just knew it was right. I would take a bit of time off and figure out what to do with my life. My last day at my job would be December 26th. I had such a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I was more than grateful to be able to enjoy the Christmas season with my family. It truly was so strange, I wasn't the least bit concerned about finding a job or even slightly stressed.

I'll never forget this day, it was Christmas Eve morning, I was getting in a quick workout that morning before the days festivities began. I got a call from a phone number from South Dakota, how strange I remember thinking. So I let it go to voicemail and finished my workout. After finishing I listened to the voicemail and my mouth seriously dropped. It was from a company that I had applied with back in September! I honestly had forgotten about the job. It was for a Manager position with a weight loss management company coming to Wichita. I had applied, but never thought too much of it, because I honestly thought I had NO chance of even getting looked at. I returned the phone call and got an interview set up for December 29th. I remember hanging up the phone and being in total disbelief and shock. Seriously?! How on earth did this happen? I remember hanging up the phone and looking down, and there sitting was my daily devotional that I had just gotten, it read on top "God is Faithful" and I instantly had a huge smile come across my face.

I had the job within two weeks, and much to my surprise I would not only be the Manager of the new location, but also health coaching part time, and responsible for business development for the Wichita location. I flew to Sioux Falls with my new team and became certified to coach. Two weeks later we opened in Wichita. I still feel the need to pinch myself to see if this is really happening. This job is truly a dream come true for me, I couldn't have wished or hoped for anything better and the opportunities are endless with this company.

Looking back at the last two years, I see the many blessings now that are so apparent but were hard to see at the time. Pat and I have a stronger relationship and have learned to lean on each other more than ever before. We also have a much closer relationship with God which is the most important part. Not only as individuals but in our marriage as well. It truly brings tears to my eyes to see how God has worked in our lives and our marriage the last two years. I truly believe God brings us through difficult and challenging times so that we learn to give it all to him and put it all in his control. I am a person who likes to have control, so this experience has been extremely eye opening and humbling to let it all go and give it to him. I know that we will have many more trying times in our lives, but I know whole-heartedly we will get through absolutely anything life throws our way. He does answers prayers and truly does want the absolute best for us, something I will never forget.

I am looking forward to this new chapter of life and am forever grateful for this opportunity. I will take this path and follow my heart until I am guided in a different direction.





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Friday, January 16, 2015

I've Got Friends in Low Places...

Last weekend we headed south to Tulsa to go see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. We went with some of our friends Chris & RaeAnn, Nick & Casey, and Sean. Pat has seen Garth before but it has always been a dream of mine to go too one of his concerts. It made it even better than he was with Trisha this go around, because I LOVE HER! It was a bit of a debacle to get the tickets....everything kept selling out so we ended up with a 10:30 pm show time. How on earth do people get floor seats?? It just amazes me...well we got tickets so that is all that matters!
When I found out the concert was at 10:30 I was a bit worried, that is definitely past my bedtime so it would be interesting!!

We got into town and headed to dinner then found this super fun 80's bar to hang out at until it was time to head to the concert. 80's music makes anything fun:) We were only about 5 blocks away so even though it was freezing I didn't think it would be too bad of a walk. We started heading to the BOK Center about 10pm but ran into a HUGE line..apparently his first show ran over. They wouldn't let anyone into the arena until everyone had cleared out from the first show. This means 15,000 people stood in line for 2 HOURS! Yes 2 HOURS! It was sooooo cold and I was definitely getting extremely grumpy. My feet hurt but then went numb from the cold, blah! We were in the BACK of the line too, it never felt so good to finally get inside to some warmth. After finding our seats the concert got started probably a little after midnight. He played until almost 3am, crazy! Never thought I'd be at a concert this late! I think we finally got to bed about 4:30am, wow- can't say I've done that ...ohhh let's see probably in the last 10 years!

BUT it was so worth it! The concert was absolutely amazing and I am so glad we went. He truly is an amazing entertainer. I wouldn't mind even going again when he comes to Wichita. However, if he does back to back shows I will make sure we have tickets to the earlier one:)






video
My most favorite song:)

Happy Friday!



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Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Year in Review..

Happy 2015! So hard to believe that 2014 has come to an end, it seems that each year goes by quicker and quicker, while we get older and older. 2014 was a year of ups, downs, highs, lows, twists and turns. Happiness, sadness, tears, frustrations, laughter, blessings, and so much more. I truly believe God sends us through hard times, so we learn to even more appreciate and be thankful for the good times. Pat and I have learned to work more as a team, grow our relationship with God together, and for that I am so very grateful.

How is it that I only updated my blog 7 times in 2014?? That's not even once a month... pitiful. If I recall correctly my 2014 goal was to update more often and I obviously went in the wrong direction. SO for 2015, I again hope to be better about updates. I truly do enjoy blogging and it is so nice to be able to look back and reminisce.

February was a busy month. Pat was in his good friend Tyler's wedding, we headed to Oklahoma to take some of Pat's clients to an Oklahoma City Thunder game and then I headed to Kansas City to have our annual Chi Omega Reunion. I also celebrated my 28th Birthday. I received the best news on my birthday this year, I was going to be an Aunt!! YAY!!!!

OKC Thunder Game

Chi Omega Reunion - Kansas City 

During our reunion weekend we decided we were going to make plans for a girl's trip in May down to Scottsdale. I couldn't turn down this offer! My friend Holli's parents have a timeshare in Scottsdale so we headed down for a long weekend get away in May. It was so much fun and definitely needs to happen more often!

I also learned that I LOVE Scottsdale and want to retire there:)

Scottsdale Girl's Trip
Side note- I desperately need a nice camera I have realized while looking back on these pictures. Sheesh!

Also in May we sold my car and we upgraded to a 4-door finally, "officially a Mom car" I like to say. No in all honesty it's not really much of a Mom car at all and I really like it:)

One of my good friend's Caitlin and I ran the Color me Rad Run 5K in May and then the River Run 10K the first week of June. They were both HOT and HUMID runs. Darn Kansas weather is crazy!

Color Me Rad 5K
June is the month of birthdays in our family and my baby sister Paige, turned 21. I can hardly believe she is 21, she is growing up so fast and I couldn't be more proud of the great woman she is and continues to become. We surprised her with a party bus. I think she was completely caught off guard and surprised!

Officially the oldest two on the bus..

Birthday Girl!


Cort was 6 months preggo on the bus, she is much more of a trooper than I could ever be!

We headed to Bull Shoals for the 4th of July with some friends. Our good friend Sean has a lake house down there and we try to make a trip at least once a year. It was such a relaxing weekend and perfect weather!

Relaxation station as we like to call it! 


I attempted wake boarding for the first time. 

Cheers to you!
As July was coming to an end Pat and I headed out on our much anticipated vaca to Costa Rica. It was the most amazing 7 days. One of those vacations that you just don't want to end. I definitely had enough "adventure" to last me a lifetime as well:) Thanks to my hubby for pushing me to step outside of my comfort zone! I will forever remember this trip with him!













After we returned home we packed up our bags again and headed to Kansas City for my friend Tuyen's wedding, visit my best friend Ashley, and celebrate our friend Sean's 30th birthday!




August was such a busy month. Filled with birthdays, weddings, parties, and ended with my sister Cortney's baby shower for baby Wyatt. It was so fun planning the baby shower with my sister Paige and my Mom. We had such a great turn out and she left with just about everything she needed!





Ships Ahoy It's A Boy!

September rolled around which meant BABY month. Pat and I also celebrated our 3rd Wedding Anniversary, gosh really?! We all thought Wyatt would come early, but little did we know he would make his appearance on his ACTUAL due date, September 26th! It has been so fun watching her and David as parents, it melts my heart. And that little boy, gosh he is so, so loved! He has stolen all of our hearts and Pat and I love being an Uncle and Aunt!




If you recall we Pat finished our basement just after the first of the year. It has been so nice to have the extra space and take a break from house projects. Pat then got the great idea he wanted to build a new deck before winter rolled around. I of course was a little hesitant that he'd get it finished so quickly. I was pleasantly surprised though! He tore down the old one and built a new one which is about double the size, it is so spacious- I absolutely love it. Once again this guy amazes me!


November came around extra quickly this year which meant Patty boy would be celebrating his big 3-0! One of his good friends Chris' birthday is the day before so his wife, RaeAnn and I decided to throw a joint surprise party! We put a lot of work into the party and it was sooooo hard keeping things a secret. I am a terrible liar and was convinced he knew I had something up my sleeve. He swears he didn't though, so I guess you could say things were a success!


Photo collage with ages 1-30 of each of the guys!

Happy 30th Pat!

Love him!
We wrapped up the year with a great Thanksgiving and 7 different Christmases. We are so blessed to have most of our family so close to home.

Grandma, Mom, Paige, and Me on Christmas Eve


The hubs and I on Christmas morning. 

What a year it has been. I am more than ever looking forward to the New Year and hoping and praying for the best. Cheers!


We'll be starting the year off with a bang as we head to Tulsa next weekend to see Garth Brooks!!! AAAHHHH, SO EXCITED!!!



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