Clean-er Living

So it's that time again...time to reevaluate myself and make some adjustments.
Yes I did lose 30 pounds about 6 months ago, and yes I've kept it off.
BUT I haven't continued the loss.....and I have to say, I haven't really been trying.

Back in January we did the Daniel fast and I really was so impressed with how much better I felt in eating clean non-processed foods. And the time has come to really start incorporating that into everyday life.

Wednesday is the start of Lent - the 46 days leading up to Easter. Lots of people fast something during this time. Chris and I are fasting from red meat (which I really don't eat a lot of), pizza, and all fried foods. We're also making a commitment to work out every day for at least 30 minutes for these 46 days.

Our lives are so busy and it's just so convenient to eat out. But 99% of the time, we make terrible decisions when eating out. There's usually always at least something fried that we eat.

So in taking these items out of our diet, I'm going to be introducing lots more veggies and fruits and whole grains into our menu.

I'm really intrigued by this "clean" eating. I can't explain it, but it really draws me in. I've got a whole pinterest board dedicated to it!

Here are a couple sites I found interesting and thought you might too.

Check out some easy recipe substitutions to make your favorite foods clean by clicking HERE.

And this one is 100 days of real food challenge. Check it our HERE.


HGTV = Designing Desires!

Well how-doo my blogging peeps!
I hope you're weekend was filled with all things good.

I've got the bronchitis.
It set on Thursday evening and by Sunday I was at urgent care getting antibiotics and steroids.

Confession: I just showered for the first time since Friday.
Gross. I know. But I just haven't felt like it!
Today the meds seem to be kicking in a bit and I'm getting a little life back into me!

For the past 3 days I have done nothing but watch HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Whitney's funeral and Khloe & Lamar.
Bliss I tell you!

My day of non-stop HGTV did result in me leaving the house for about an hour to purchase a few things to redecorate with. I made Chris do the manual labor...I supervised. I was stir crazy and design desires were running wild!

First up -  a new lamp. We've actually had our eye on this one for a while now and finally got it. It was only $24 - I don't know why we were acting like it was a $100 purchase! You can't really tell the color, but it's teal....of course.

I bought this little gem at an antique store a couple of weeks ago and it finally has a wall home. As you know, I love all things Paris - it's becoming quite a problem.

To add to my problem I found this marvelous little throw pillow - a Paris postcard, for the couch. I love it!

When I was in Texas for Christmas I bought this teal antique candelabra. But it was this weekend that I actually found the perfect candles for it!

We rearranged some furniture and came up with this little vignette. I'm loving it.

And this picture I absolutely fell in love with. It's framed burlap with...you guessed it, French writing on it! Only $15!!!  It's hanging in the dining area!

And this is my favorite new addition to the living room. Chris created a collage of some of my favorite pro photos I've taken over the last four years. I LOVE this sooooo much!

So now I'm left to clean up all the messes made with rearranging and redecorating! Everything has to find a new home now, but I love it!


Some Days

Some days are just poopy days.
Today is one of them.

Maybe my emotions are high because I'm sick.
Maybe it's the weather.
Or maybe it's just time for a good cry.

Some days I miss my mom so incredibly badly and the pain of her leaving feels just as strong as the day it happened almost 6 years ago.

Today is one of those days too.

It's the little things like the idea of having a mother-daughter afternoon. Just going window shopping and browsing far too long in the purse section. Momma could spend hours looking at purses.

It's the fact that I want so badly just to call and hear her voice and can't. To hear her call me her "little lamb" one last time.

It's all the things that will happen for me some day that I won't be able to share with her.

It's the fact that I'm a photographer and have never been able to show her my work and get her approval.

It's the thought that my future children will never truly know her.

It's her hugs. Gosh her hugs were the best. Not fake, but real, tight hugs. I want one.

It's the thought that maybe some day I'll forget what her voice sounds like. That's the unthinkable.

It's that I'm selfish and want her here with me. I still need her so badly.

And so sometimes I have to embrace a poopy day to deal with it....and well....I'm dealing.

-- Posted From My iPhone


I'm So Proud

Alright, so who watched the Grammy's last night?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show.
Who was your favorite?
Who was your least favorite?

I thought it was a good show overall.....so excited that they opened in prayer. Pretty awesome!
I have to say I was pretty disappointed in Niki Minaj's performance.
And this really makes me sad because I REALLY like her.
But that was a bit over the top!

But I do have to say that I'm SO excited for Adele!
I love her, I seriously do.
I think she's awesome.
She's real.
She's not trying to be something she's not.
She has real talent.
And her music is great!

I kind of feel like a proud mama of sorts because for once I was onto something good before everyone else!
It was actually this time last year that I tried to convince you all to buy her album!

And then there was Bon Iver who won best new artist.
Ummm...so proud here too because I've been on the Bon Iver train for like a year!
It's great chill music.

And that is all for my Monday music rant.

But seriously, what were your thoughts?



So today I'm co-hosting a baby shower for one of my girls! I'm so excited....the theme is vintage tea party! Of course there will be photos of all the decor later, but for now, I just had to share about cupcakes.

I like to think I'm a pretty darn good cook. I can create all kinds of goodness. But baking, well baking is a completely different beast. It's my inner desire to be a marvelous baker, but it makes me nervous.

I was going to buy cupcakes for this little event. However, in our town, there's not any spectacular places and I didn't want to go with Publix. So I decided I'd handle this myself!

I wasn't ready to do everything from scratch, so I did box mix cupcakes and frosting from scratch.

The flavors I went with: Strawberry filled vanilla cupcakes with fresh strawberry frosting and moist fudge cake with mint frosting filling with a milk chocolate frosting

So I made a disaster in my kitchen, which for me, was to be expected! I filled the strawberry cupcakes with Smuckers Simply Fruit strawberry spread. It's delicious. I put the fillings in both after the cupcakes baked and cooled.

I'm not totally smitten with the chocolate buttercream frosting that I made. I'll probably try to find a different recipe next time I do this.
However......the strawberry frosting was by far the best thing I've ever put in my mouth!
I'm not even joking.
So good that I just have to share it with you, so take a look at these few pics and then write down the recipe that follows them. You don't want to miss this!

World's most delicious strawberry frosting ever:

1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, rinsed and chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place strawberries in a blender or food processor. Puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F and the sugar has dissolved (this may take a while, so don't give up). Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes (the bowl should be cool to the touch). 
Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the mixture looks clumpy, soupy or curdled, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again. Blend in strawberry puree. This will make the mixture curdle, so just beat on high for a few minutes and it will come together. Stop and scrape sides of bowl as needed. I promise...it will come together! Then frost your cooled cupcakes. I just put mine in a baggie and cut the corner off for a make-shift pastry bag. Simply delicious!