WIAW

This wednesday started like any other, (I’m ignoring the fact that there are only a few of these precious mornings with these girls left) at 929 with Rachel, Lesley, Lauren, and Magan.

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Zambia coffee for me with half & half and Splenda. (Did I mention my speech today was on artificial sweeteners? Oh, the irony.)

After our meeting, I had to finish up my speech. I spent every last available minute typing so breakfast was of the grab and go- drive and eat variety. A handful of dark chocolate almonds & a banana!

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I was so nervous for my speech I waited until it was over to have lunch! McAlisters & Local Culture~ decided a treat was in store!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

Dr. Pepper ten between lunch & dinner for… well, just because I enjoy them. It is unusual for me not to have a snack between lunch and dinner, but I think today my late lunch and dessert with lunch helped!

Dinner was Salmon Mitchell made 🙂 with edamame and Annie’s shells & cheese. Easy, yet satisfying and delicious!

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Everything was successfully done oven-less.

The oven has been off limits around hear lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke and need for cleaning!

The oven has been off limits around here lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke, caked on gunk, and need for cleaning!

Somehow avoided the after dinner snacking, too! That is rare.

I am usually the one running around asking if anyone has anything sweet 😉

How was your day?

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I know that full well

Lately, I feel easily overwhelmed with certain things. Sometimes, the blog feels that way.. so I just push it off for a rainy day. I was attempting to type my latest post when this whole blog thing started to feel incredibly incomplete.

You see, there’s more to the story than you know. With blogging, it is easy to only share the fun stuff. Unfortunately, this can make the author seem “perfect,” simply because I am more likely to post on good days than to share the not so pretty areas of my life on the world wide web. Today, I want to share something with you that will be hard to write down, to catch you all up. But I think it must be done in order for this to be genuine, to build a trust between us. I am a filthy sinner, with a past. I also think it might be less overwhelming for me if it’s on paper and not just swirling in my head. My memory is spotty, but I think it all started around 13.

I wouldn’t call it bullying, but a few comments in the lunchroom to the tune of “ever heard of the Subway diet?” have affected me more than I realized at the time. It was 6th grade, I was 5’2″ and remember wearing a size 6.. Now I know that is not big. AT ALL. But being bigger than most of the other girls was the worst part of all. The most important thing at that age was fitting in. I didn’t make the dance team my sixth grade year, which didn’t help.

By seventh grade, I had naturally grown up and slimmed out some. I got interested in working out, going to spin classes with one of my best friends and the “baby fat” that stayed way to long dropped off without to much effort.

I don’t know where it began, but I think around 9th grade, I became obsessed with my weight and exercise. Self comparison. Numbers. I honestly don’t even remember this time at all… I’ve just found notebooks covered in weights and calorie counts I didn’t even realize I had been keeping track of for so long. I knew, and still know, calorie amounts of almost everything. It’s like a terrible talent.

I remember eating until I was so overly full I couldn’t think of anything else, throwing up just to relieve some of the guilt. No one knew I struggled. I was never out of a normal weight range, so it was an internal battle… between what I knew deep down was right and I let other people, the media, and modern ideals tell me would make me happy. If I wasn’t 120, I wasn’t perfect.

Baby food diet, Drop10, Weight Watchers, Weigh down workshop, calorie counting, bite counting, all fruit, no carbs, all protein, all liquid, you name it, I’ve tried it. For a few hours at least. I am one of the lucky ones. I was able to avoid the worst. I was never determined enough to take any of these extreme ideas for more than a test drive I quickly got out of. I always drifted back to eating normally until the next great idea came along. My weight really never shifted more than a couple pounds.

This post is more for me than for you. It feels like a weight lifted off my chest to get this craziness out of my head. Maybe, sometime, I can help someone escape the harsh reality of how hard eating and body image can be for girls. It was never a topic that was spoken about in my middle and high school years… yet tons of girls around me were all suffering from the same thing.

I don’t have any explanation for you as to why I’m writing this, other than to give you my full history and to get it out of my head. I should be writing my speech on artificial sweeteners, but here I sit, words flowing from my fingers.
I know there is a reason I’m okay with pushing the publish button.

My God is healer. He has removed me so much from this time of my life that the memories, are just that. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

Psalm 139:14

“Normal”

A sweet friend of mine shared this with me over a year ago, and I want to also share it with you.

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Have a fabulous day- see you soon!

sweet gratitude, III

Trying to slow down more and remember to smell the roses. Sometimes it can be hard to really live in the present, without looking forward with “I can’t wait”s… for me, being thankful for what is going on right now helps.

Loving lately:

warmer weather, eno time,

warmer weather, eno time,

pinterest ideas,

pinterest ideas,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

of course sweet snuggles,

of course sweet snuggles,

and spring wishes!

and spring wishes!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

What are you grateful for this week? Something amazing? Just getting through?

Following Fads

Today I am joining the thousands of ladies in blog world who do something called “What I Ate Wednesday” every week! I will simply let you know what I ate in words and pictures, usually the iPhone variety! This type of post is hog heaven for the nosy girl like me, but if it’s not your thing (or your name is Mitchell- I can see his eyes rolling now!) move on. Check out my next post instead.

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Pop on over to peasandcrayons.com to check out all of her WIAW posts! She has 115…

I’m promising you my best effort at being consistent with this…. (yes, I know, I owe you a gratitude post!) Be patient with me as I finish up these last few weeks of school & exams then this summer the blog will be back in focus, the eats will be better, and this girl a little less stressed. 😉

image.j1pegWednesday mornings start out at coffee shops with 5 girls and the Word. I enjoyed a caramel latte & called it the appetizer to breakfast. I never want to eat breakfast at 7 because by 11 I feel like I could eat my desk.
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About 9 am I was ready for stove cooked oats. They weren’t quite like my moms bu still a stick to your ribs morning meal. I topped them with part of a banana, cinnamon, stevia, and honey straight from my pot!

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While the oats cooked, I cut up a pink lady to have with lunch and dusted her with cinnamon. Yes, her. She is a lady.6

It went perfectly with my string cheese & Chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich… a star of a choice if you need healthy and fast food. It’s just 290 calories for lots of protein and fullness! Honey roasted bbq sauce is not good for you, just to die for.

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As we were finishing, we were offered extras from a milkshake they sold so Mitchell and I obliged and I had just a few sips.

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While I worked on setting up some Mary Kay appointments I enjoyed a bowl of honey nut cheerios & milk… a never fail combo in my mind. Not specifically Honey Nut Cheerios, just any cereal.

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Then there came a “I’m so hungry I’ll eat anything.. I ate it so quick this was the only part left for a picture” snack while I worked. Not the greatest choice, but this post is the real deal! No deleting packs of cinnamon teddy grahams!
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Dinner was the highlight today! It turned out awesome… definitely will become a recurring meal! Taco Chicken Bowls!! Found the recipe here.

Unpictured: the cinnabon roll and cookie I wholeheartedly earned with a 7 mile run licked the plate beneath

What graced your plate today?

The Struggle

I have never understood that “The Struggle is Real” saying. But I am hear to tell you THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

Everyone is struggling with something.

Pride

Laziness

Anorexia

Organization

Self Discipline

School

Divorce

Depression

Anger

Resentment

I think this is such an important thing to realize. When I envy other people and crazily think, “if I were like them, everything would be perfect.” I have to remind myself, no life is without struggles.

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It took me a long time to realize that the struggle is part of the story. Without the valley, there can be no mountain.

I am a lover of fresh starts… new days, blank notebooks, August of every school year, January 1st, tanks of gas with zero miles. I constantly feel the urge to “start over” when I fall. However, in time, I have realized I cannot start over. I can never, on my own, wipe my slate clean. My story is my story.. ups & DOWNS included.

What are you struggling with?

Would you dare to just embrace it and know that

the Lord is working for our good (Romans 8:28)?

“Copy Cat” Las Delicias Guacamole

Fresh, Healthy, Delicious, Stick to your Ribs DIP!

Guacamole is in itself incredible. Las Delicias in Memphis takes it a step further. This family owned, authentic Mexican Restaurant is infamous around the 901. With little to no decoration and located on a street corner in a questionable part of town, the environment is definitely not what brings people in! It’s the food. They know how to do mexican food! And at a good price!

via totallymemphis.com

via totallymemphis.com

My family goes almost every weekend (you think I’m exaggerating!) and Mitchell and I are always sure to make it a priority when we are home!

We start out with guacamole and cheese dip. The guac is to die for. It’s very chunky and requires a spoon to pile a helping on each chip… You have got to have it. If you’re in Memphis, or within 50 miles, GO! And if not… do what we do. Fake it til you make it.

No recipe involved. All it takes is avocado, tomato, and onion chopped. Toss the chunks (Avocado-measuring about a square inch/Tomatos & onions diced small) in your most festive bowl… dust with cilantro if you’ve got it…spritz with some fresh lemon and lime too!

20130227-DSC_8727 20130227-DSC_8729Then proceed to the couch… bowl in hand with a huge bag of chips the table with a portion controlled amount on your plate!

(To that I say- GOOD LUCK!)

You’ll be saying holy guacamole by the 2nd bite!

via tenfeetoffbeale.com

via tenfeetoffbeale.com

 

 

 

A Tale of Kale

Corey Smith Thursday was even better than we could have expected! SO much fun! & We both got to meet him!!! AHH! (Really nice guy!!)

It was so much fun I didn’t even mind staying out til 1 am with a 9 am mid term 😉 “You’ll never remember the nights you got enough sleep” is the saying- right? This is the only best picture we got of us out of the night!

photoThe rest of the weekend has been enjoyably laid back with Mr. Collierville last night (I got to meet sweet baby Campbell finally!), manicures/pedicures with mom, puppy snugglin, and a 30 degree with snow lacrosse game!! Brrrrr.

compliments of JML photography

compliments of JML photography

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A new recipe to share:

A new trend has overtaken the food/nutrition industry… KALE!

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Last week, Mitchell and I just had to try the all popular “Kale Chips”! Ok, ok, I was a lot more excited than he was, but he did give them the thumbs up on taste 🙂

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this entire bag cost $2.99! Enough for an army!!!

They are incredibly simple to make too; Very similar to the roasted broccoli!!

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1) lay out in a single layer on a cookie sheet

2) drizzle with olive oil

3) salt. pepper. whatever flavor you’re feeling!

4) throw them in the oven at 425 for about 12-15 minutes!

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5) Enjoy with ketchup!

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We served them along side Buffalo Ranch Chicken stuffed potato skins & mashed potatoes! Deeelicious!

Never Been Excited About Broccoli

Never Been Excited About Broccoli

Just about every time I eat broccoli, I eat it steamed then get to hear my whole family (or roommates) fuss about how terrible the house smells. That strange smell is what made broccoli an occasional thing growing up. Raw, … Continue reading

Pizza is the Way to My Heart… and I Don’t Hate It

All this week when discussing what we wanted for dinner I kept saying, “What about pizza?” Then the next night, “Griffis? Homemade pizza? Frozen pizza?”

Mitchell’s replies were, “That doesn’t sound good.” “Who eats HOMEMADE pizza?” anddd the lovely, “You can have whatever you want, I’ll eat something else”

to which I replied, “don’t be a brat.”

On to today… my instructions from M were to be ready at 5:15 for a date… obviously, my hot shot of a valentine shows up at 4:35. I was clothed in a large tshirt, yoga pants, no makeup- you get the picture! Luckily he had a 2nd bouquet of flowers and lots of grocery bags in hand! (AM I LUCKY OR WHAT!)

I dig into the bags before he can even get in the door as soon as he says go: Starburst jellybeans, Diet Dr. Pepper, Trolli Octopus, Milk Duds, Twizzler bites, mozzarella cheese, flour, yeast, He says the plan of the evening is HOMEMADE PIZZA! That Stinker.

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After forcing him to give me 15 minutes to actually get fixed up and look cute, we started mixin’.

Flour, yeast, olive oil, salt, & sugar created our very own dough. We added an extra 1/2 tsp of sugar since we’re sweet like that 😉

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I call this "ghetto rigged" some people call it "college budget" but it worked perfectly

I call this “ghetto rigged” saran wrap… some people call it “college budget” but it worked perfectly

It took our fresh dough an hour to rise in the oven on warm so we took the extra time for a little reminiscin’ and candlelight. I made a slideshow of lots of our special/funny pics!

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Once our dough was ready we got to kneading/throwing/learning to the sound of Summer Hits of the 90s pandora station. If you haven’t found it yet- you’re most definitely missing out.

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We topped our pizzas with:  Yes, we made two.

1) red sauce we customized with basil and garlic, mozarella and feta cheese, pesto, and pepperoni

2)honey barbeque, a drizzle of ranch, grilled chicken, diced yellow bell pepper, sauteed onions, pineapple, and lots of mozzarella

topping assortment!

topping assortment!

These bowls are amazing! Cute, functional, and fit more than they appear to- a Big Lots find!

These bowls are amazing! Cute, functional, and fit more than they appear to- a Big Lots find!

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The two of these were absolutely fabulous! Pizza #1 was awesome. Italian. Garlic-y. Delish.

BUT Pizza #2… so knock your socks off we discussed opening our own cafe. The pizza will be called “BBR,” Barbecue Ranch. Just wait for it!

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Mitchell found the dough recipe here. For two first timers, it was quite easy to follow and succeed! It has been the greatest Valentines day. Laid back, fun, and romantic. We’re headed to crack up at Identity Theft!

That stinker has definitely kept me one happy girl today.. We still have a whole pizza left after filling two tummies quite full! Woah. Enough for lunch on the road as we head home tomorrow 🙂