Thanksgiving is my absolute FAVORITE holiday. I love the food, the family time, togetherness, and of course the FOOD! This year Tonii, Andi, Ziggy and I are heading to Richmond to celebrate with family and friends (Harrison is with family in Alabama. We're taking advantage of the last Thanksgiving we aren't obligated to spend away from our families haha).

ANWAY this is a post I did last year of a collection of my clean spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes:

  1. Almond Crusted Creamy Green Bean Casserole
  2. Garlic Cauliflower Mash (Low Carb Mahsed Potato Substitute)
  3. Baked Okra 
  4. Green Beans
  5. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  6. Fall Kale Salad
  7. Deviled Eggs
  8. Cranberry Sauce 
This Clean Eating Leftover Turkey Salad is my favorite way to use up leftover turkey:

Also, being the type A that I am, I have all these all-age-dinner-appropriate Pandora stations and a playlist made by Harrison ready to go for dinner:


Family-Friendly Pandora Stations
Van Morrison Pandora
Motown Pandora
Ayo Pandora
John Legend Pandora
The Temptations (Holiday) Pandora

Tell me: what's your favorite Thanksgiving meal? Do you keep it healthy on the holiday?

Healthy, Clean Thanksgiving Recipes

Monday, November 24, 2014

Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of Love It Mascara to try for myself. I wouldn't review something I haven't tried.

I'm not a beauty blogger (as evidenced below) so this post is pretty awkward. But I feel like since I don't know anything about makeup outside of refusing to pay more than $8/tube of mascara maybe makes this somewhat legit?

I had the chance to try Love It Mascara, here's the story of the company founders:

Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft, a brother-and-sister team, founded Younique in September 2012 with a mission to uplift, empower, and validate women across the globe. Derek and Melanie firmly believe that all women should feel valued, smart, and empowered through opportunities for personal growth and financial reward! In October, Younique closed with $27.9 million in sales, which is pretty exciting for a two-year-old company. Younique has seen a 5,145% increase in year-over-year growth from 2013 to 2014. That’s just unheard of, even in this industry! We also maintain a 70% retention rate, which is much higher than average.

Love It Mascara  is All natural- Paraben Free, Carcinogen Free, Chemical Free, Organic, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free and Hypoallergenic. And also waterproof (high five sweaty/oily girls like myself!). All this is important to me for a minute because I saw this youtube video:

The cost is $29 and if used everyday it last 2-3 months. At first glance, $29 is way too steep for mascara...especially for this girl who buys the cheapest whatever that says "100x the volume!" on it. 

However! When I put it on it looked JUST like falsies. I spend about $9 for a set of falsies when I wear them (weddings, events, etc), plus have to buy backups for when I accidentally glue them to my eyebrow and have to rip them off in pieces and try with a new pair and hope I can get it right. Granted I am top 5 clumsiest in the world but I'm sure a lot of people struggle with falsies. So if I'm just using it when I want the falsie look I think it's COMPLETELY worth the cost.

Here's the process:

*do one eye at a time

1. Apply regular mascara
2. Apply a layer of gel
3. Apply the fibers
4. Apply another layer of gel
(this looks stressful but it takes less than 30 seconds)

Here's my process (excuse the lack of makeup, I feel like when I look at other mascara tutorials I'm really distracted by the other makeup and eye shadow so this is me trying to keep it simple and the focus on the lashes):

No mascara:
My regular mascara:

Love It 3D Fibers + gel layers:

Sorry I am terrible with pictures of beauty products but this was amazing and worth the money for me to be using once every few weeks. Love. Thank you, Michelle for the opportunity! Check out her site here.

So, best part! Michelle sent me an extra Love It Mascara 3D Fiber Lashes to give away! Comment below for your chance to win!

Love It 3D Mascara Review + Giveaway

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You can tell I've been MIA from the entire world when I had no idea there is a TOM'S FOR TARGET COLLECTION until I logged onto to look for some Christmas decor last night. Like what? When did this happen? And how genius is it to release this just in time for Christmas!

Here are some of my favs:

$30  TOMS for Target Acrylic fringe throw Cream 50"x60" 

Sorry for everyone on my gift list this year, surprise is spoiled. This is what you're getting haha. 

Tom's for Target

Another Wednesday another youtube workout...

I discovered these videos last week and my thighs/abs/arms/muscles I didn't know existed have not stopped burning since. These aren't the highest quality videos, and the instructor is incredibly mild compared to my other favs like Jessica, Melissa, Cassie, and Jillian, they are crazy-hard and mostly under 35 minutes which is perfect for those of us who are pressed for time/would rather be drinking wine or trying to get their sh*t together on their blog.

Ok and THIS (below) is INTERMEDIATE?? Count me out for the advanced videos for awhile haaa..

Check out her other Pilates and Barre videos on her youtube channel here.

PS is it just me or is it the angle of the camera or does she have incredibly long limbs?

Linking up at WOW

Wednesday Workout: Crazy Hard Barre

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A few weeks ago I talked about how Harrison and I are going paleo for awhile to shake things up a little before the wedding. We've made some great progress! In 2 weeks he has lost 6 lbs and I've lost 4, I've lost an inch around my waist and an inch around my hips, Harrison has lost 2 inches around his belly (whaa) and an inch around his neck. Isn't that nuts?

Doing this with Harrison has been hilarious/weird. As someone who spent years in Weight Watchers Anonymous, I've been aware and educated about my food for a solid 8 years. Knowing what I'm eating and understanding the nutrition in it and how the nutrition affects the body is the norm for me. Not so much for Harrison. For example: The day he ate a freezer bag of almonds and almost sh*t his pants and couldn't figure out what upset his stomach. We had a little talk about fiber, and the fact that I eat 10 almonds a day for a few reasons...

So now that you have that visual in your mind, how about some tasty breakfast casserole:

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins


For the crust/bottom:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, mashed ($2)
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal (found a great deal at Wal-Mart)
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the rest of it:
  • 10 eggs, beaten ($1.50)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt + black pepper
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced ($2)
  • 1/2 onion, diced ($.50)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey, cooked (I used leftover cooked turkey that didn't make it into my meatballs) ($2.50)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine all the crust ingredients and knead well with your hands (it's icky). Smash it into a non-stick 9x9 baking dish (smoosh it all around until the entire bottom of the dish is covered) and cook for 25 minutes, or until the crust is no longer dough-y in the middle.

While the crust is cooking, combine the seasonings, eggs, onion, and ground turkey and mix it all well.

Once the crust is cooked, pour the egg concoction on top of the crust. Top the egg concoction with the tomatoes and cook for 25-35 mins (until the egg is cooked all the way through). I kept mine covered in the fridge for a week, eating a piece each day.

Right before that puppy went in the oven

And breakfasts like this are what make me think I could live solely on paleo breakfast.

Bomb Breakfast Casserole + Paleo Updates

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oh hey it's me, I used to blog know like 5 days a week? No one likes hearing about how busy people are so I'm not even going to go there, but my goal this week is to get my sh*t together which inlcudes blog posts.

While I did feel crazy busy I did a lot of interesting reading, these are my favs of the week (noticeably missing: Kim K's greasy @$$):

First, THIS:

Next, Researchers followed couples for decades and found that healthy relationships rely on two traits. Interesting read. I feel like a lot of it is common sense, since I especially think that happiness is often a choice (not all the time but a lot of the time), and how we treat people and what we bring to relationships is always a choice.

On the other hand, Elite Daily's article Stop Dating Someone You Don't Have a Future With Because It's Convenient. Ee. Raise your hand if you ever stuck with something just because it was easier to stick with them than to lose em. Feel free to forward this one along to friends who need to hear the message too...

Washington Post reporter followed VA Senator Creigh Deeds around, this raw account is heart-breaking. You might remember him: his son killed himself after trying to kill him. It sheds light on the fact that mental illness can affect absolutely anyone, and the desperate need America has for a mental health system overhaul. He asks so many questions that most of us have asked ourselves - "what did I miss?" "how did I not see this coming".

On a lighter note: Buzzfeed shares 21 recipes for gigantic batches of boozy pleasures just in time for Thanksgiving. Helllooo Rose Sangria!

The Warwick Rowing team is at it again, but this time selling nudie calendars to raise money for LGBT charities. I was pretty irritated when a women's team tried something similar last year and received all kinds of double-standard hate and shaming, but I can def get behind this year.

I'll just be here crying over this video for Georgia's game against Auburn this weekend. I love college football. I don't really love the NCAA peeps running the show though, and this ditty highlights how Honesty is the WORST policy in the NCAA.

Business Insider discusses  12 Things Killer Employees Always Finish Before Noon. I'm 11 for to just quit hitting the snooze button...

A 46-year old redditor posted a 1,000 word essay (would we call it that?) on realizing he's wasted his life. "If you’re reading this, and you have a whole life ahead of you, please. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t leave your dreams for later. Relish in your energy, your passions. Don’t stay on the internet with all your spare time (unless your passion needs it)." Wowza.

Picture break: Powerful Photos Reveal the Diversity of the Humans Beneath the Uniform.

At first I was all against shopping anywhere that is opening on Thanksgiving, then one of my lovely nurse friends pointed out that nurses and doctors are always expected to work on holidays...I mean they DO get benefits and it is to serve people and not to serve greedy consumerism but still. Thoughts? If you're banning stores open on the holiday, here are 23 that you can shop at on Friday.

Friday Roundup

Friday, November 14, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always been curious about frozen fruit/veggies vs. fresh fruit/veggies—especially since the frozen is generally less expensive than fresh. Now that we’re on this paleo kick, fruits and veggies are a main staple and the cost is adding up. So when the opportunity to team up with AFFI (American Frozen Food Institute) came up I was super pumped to learn more.
First off, I learned about this study:
The University of California, Davis, in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation, conducted a study that revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables are most often (or generally) nutritionally equal to – and in some cases better than – their fresh counterparts. For the study each fruit and vegetable was analyzed under the following conditions: frozen (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after 10 and 90 days of storage in a freezer) and fresh-stored (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after three and 10 days of storage in a refrigerator). The study analyzed vitamins B2 (riboflavin), C and E, and B-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A); the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron; dietary fiber; and total phenolics (health-promoting plant compounds).*
Just as much nutrients? Less expensive? Count me in! It seems that freezing fruits and veggies is nature’s “pause button” and is a convenient way to get out of season produce as well as cut costs.  Not to mention that it also cuts out a lot of the meal prep work as they come pre-sliced (see recipe below).
Some facts that I learned:
  • Nearly 80% of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of fruit and 90% fail to meet dietary recommendations for vegetables (check out this calculator to see if you get enough!)
  • Fruits and veggies are major contributors of essential nutrients in our diets, so consuming fruits and veggies is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases (see Washington Post’s article on 41 powerhouse veggies associated with preventing chronic disease
  • Given the increase in the rates of chronic diseases among ALL age groups, packing tons of fruits and veggies into our diet is more important than ever!
  • Even though it’s fruits and veggies, it’s still important to check the ingredients! Anything that comes “in sauce” is a no-go for clean/paleo, and check for added sugar or syrup. There are still a zillion options.
I used some frozen veggies to make this bomb stir fry in under 20 minutes. Yeah.

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower ($2)
  • 1 bag frozen stir fry veggies (I used the one pictured below) ($2)
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed ($4)
  • 1 TBS Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 TBS olive oil
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until cooked all the way through.
Run warm water over the cauliflower until the cauliflower is just soft enough to chop up. Chop it into tiny pieces. Put the pieces in a frying pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the “rice” is browned.

Pour the bag of frozen veggies (still frozen! Not thawed!)  into the pan with the chicken. Add soy sauce. Stir together and cook until the vegetables are cooked all the way through.

Scoop some rice on the plate, top with chicken and veggie stir fry, enjoy!

I also make my cauliflower mashed “potatoes” frozen cauli, as well as the cauliflower pizza crust.
What do you make with frozen veggies?

* Background: Nutrient Definitions
-Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is a B vitamin that is essential for supporting your body’s metabolism, producing energy and is required for the proper development and function of the skin, blood cells and many other parts of the body.

-Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that may help support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C can help collagen production which is important for maintenance of healthy skin, bones, teeth and gums, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels.

-Vitamin E works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and may improve immune function, as well as plays a role in heart health and promoting healthy skin.

-Beta Carotene is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient. It has antioxidant activity, which helps to protect cells from damage. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids provide approximately 50% of the vitamin A needed in the American diet. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for proper vision and a healthy immune system, and helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes.

-Calcium is a mineral that aids in maintaining bone health, bone and tooth development, blood pressure regulation and nerve and muscle function.

-Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body generate energy from the foods we eat and is required for the action of many enzyme systems and also plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and a healthy heart.

-Zinc is necessary for healthy growth and development, and plays a role in immune function, wound healing, blood clotting and thyroid function.

-Copper is a mineral that is needed for healthy white blood cells and plays a role in immune function as well as bone health. -Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells, and its main purpose is to carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout your body so cells can produce energy. -Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects, including decreased risk of coronary heart disease and improved digestive health. -Phenols, also known as phytochemicals, are plant-based compounds that have varying effects on and benefits for the body, including support of the immune system and the health of skin, bones, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
Frozen Food Foundation
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Frozen Food Foundation Facebook
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Frozen Veggies - Yay or Nay? + 20 minute PALEO STIR FRY!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Yall, this weekend is my 10 Year High School Reunion! WTF?? Where did time go? It's weird because I know a lot has changed, but I feel like it's just going to be like "oh hey!". I don't even know how to explain it. So many feelings!

In honor of my 10 Year Reunion, I bring you a lil Flashback Friday. Let's take a journey back to 2004:

Thanks Charisse for this one!

Wait these songs are 10 years old??? A lot of them still make a regular rotation on my Spotify stations...

I could have sworn I GREW UP on Mean Girls. It only came out in 2004?? This means there was a full 18 years that I didn't quote that movie? Also, confession: I don't like movies. I've only seen Mean Girls and part of The Notebook. I haaaate The Notebook.

This happened...

REMEMBER THEFACEBOOK.COM?? When you had a number that told you in what order people joined?

And I've always been into the magazines. I think I read my first People in the dentist waiting room when I was about 5 years old. So let's take a journey through the 2004 mags:

Aw Brit and Kev. They tried. Kind of. And notice Brad and Jen in the corner? I lost faith in real love after their breakup. That was tough.

Speaking of Jen, how does she still look exactly the same?  And anyone else remember crying through the Friends finale?

THE women of 2004: Scarlett Johansson, Alison Lohman, Diane Lane, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Julianne Moore, Kirsten Dunst, Lucy Liu, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Salma Hayek. Aw Lucy Liu! Where is she now? OMG and Diane Lane! I had such a girl crush! where is she?

Have you been to a class reunion? What was your favorite thing of 2004?

10 Years Ago...

Friday, November 7, 2014

I don't want to talk about the election. Let's talk about happy

As I mentioned last week, Andi started a training class called Bully Manners 101 which focuses on bully-breed specific behaviors. It's actually awesome- I can't believe how much progress Andi has made in just ONE WEEK! It's insane! I wish I would have done this years ago!

I want to share some resources for things that have been working miracles for us. This whole class is positive reinforcement and we use clickers (I recognize the clickers from Cesar Milan!). The Human Society has a helpful article describing positive reinforcement here.

So first we had to "load the clicker" i.e. get the dogs to associate the sound of the click with treats. It is suuuuper simple. So simple I thought I was missing something when we did it as "homework". This guy explains how/why the clicker works and shows how to "load it". Literally all I did was click and hand Andi a treat 15 times in a row so she knows "click" means "treat".

Our other piece of homework was Touch Training. The idea behind this is that when we are walking or doing anything really, when I tell her to touch she touches her nose to my hand. This is awesome for when we are walking and we see a cat or dog or child (all things terrifying to Andi). I will be able to say "touch!" and she'll touch my hand instead of focusing on the stressor.

The above video also does a good job explaining another thing we're working on, which is stopping negative behaviors without yelling or negativity. Instead of yelling or flipping out, just don't give the dog what they want (no attention!!). So if they're jumping, turn away from them. This is a big one that I couldn't believe how fast Andi responded.

Which leads into the next thing we're working on- "sit to say please". Andi is dominating this!

The trainer also pointed out that Andi isn't necessarily psycho or autistic (we actually thought maybe it was possible for Andi to have some kind of dog aspbergers- is that a thing?), the way she acts is a reaction to her being insanely stressed out/anxious. Poor baby's anxiety landed us in the quarantine:

So, biggest takeaways from week 1 of training:

  • Positive reinforcement rocks for Andi
  • We have to find what motivated Andi - she doesn't care about treats at all which made me think training her was impossible. The trainer had us try cheese and meat which both worked. Other people in our class use hotdogs, meatballs, string cheese pieces, or just dog food. We all have to keep the "treats" in a fanny pack-esque pouch around our waists. So, yes, I wear a fanny pack full of meat and cheese
  • Consistency is key. Humans are naturally 1000000 times less consistent than dogs need them to be. This is an adjustment.
  • It's not the dog, it's me.

So tell me - do you take your dog to training? Have you tried Positive Reinforcement? Have you used a clicker? Any treat recommendations for dogs who don't like treats?

Dog Training Update

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Silk. All opinions are 100% mine.
**I was compensated for writing my honest opinion and sharing information about Silk® Original Cashewmilk. This is my 100% honest opinion, and I would never write about something I haven't tried.

Being lactose intolerant I'm always looking for good (affordable) dairy substitutes. And now that we're on this paleo kick, dairy is completely out of the question. Enter Silk Cashewmilk. I tried the Silk® Unsweetened Cashewmilk and I’m obsessed- I actually chugged 2 full glasses which is fine because there are only 25 calories per serving It's creamy like fatty milk and also mixes well with hot drinks (see below). But first- what's the deal with cashew milk / why cashew milk?
Silk® Original Cashewmilk is creamier than skim milk with 25% fewer calories* and no saturated fat! This makes it ideal for calorie counters with just 25 calories per serving and 2 grams of fat per cup.
Some of the benefits of New Silk® Original Cashewmilk versus regular milk include:
·       No saturated fat
·       50% more calcium than dairy milk*
·       Lactose-free (helloooo yes!)
·       Dairy-free
·       Cholesterol-free
·       No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
·       No high-fructose corn syrup
·       Plant-based
I’ve been a big fan of Silk® since I figured out dairy is what makes me so sick- to learn more about this great company and its products you can go to I’m super pumped about the texture this will add to my overnight oats.
Annnnd since it is suddenly winter here in DC, I tried out a little Cashew Milk Mocha Drink:

Paleo Friendly Hot Mocha:
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 1/4 cup Silk Cashew Milk
  • 2 Tablespoon Hershey's Cocoa (100% Cacao)
  • 2 Tablespoons Pure Agave Nectar (or Honey or Maple Syrup)
  • 2 drops vanilla extract

*Calorie comparison claim/calcium claim combo required footnote, linked by asterisk:
Silk Original Cashewmilk: 45% DV calcium and 60 cal/serv; skim dairy milk: 30% DV calcium and 80 cal/serv. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Data consistent with typical skim dairy milk.

Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk: 45% DV calcium and 25 cal/serv; skim dairy milk: 30% DV calcium and 80 cal/serv.USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Data consistent with typical skim dairy milk.

Annnd can we just talk about these dancing cashews:
 photo 5ed202a5-a7ef-45cf-99af-d038488bd7a1_zpsc7bd20b4.png
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Cashew Milk (say whaaa?) + Welcome Winter with some Paleo Friendly HOT MOCHAA!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great Halloween- our's was a blast, and after all the ado last week over our dogs' anxiety we had TWO trick-or-treaters. Kind of a relief but kind of sad!

You may have noticed (or not noticed) that there have been waaay less recipes on here. This is because I have been soooo bored with clean eating. Boredom = distraction = lots of cheating. Then a doctor's appointment during this bored period in which I was weighed and have gained 15 lbs since this time last year = time for a change. So in this house, we're going paleo! Harrison and I both want to be healthy and on track for the wedding and we both like a good challenge so here we go!

 First thing's first- what IS paleo? Thanks to Pinterest I found a handy infographic from e-meals to explain:

How is this different from clean eating? Emeals has yet another helpful infographic:

I also got this scale on Amazon (gasp! my first scale ever!) and we're both going to weigh in every week. I have really mixed feelings about weigh ins, but my doctor's appointment made me realize that things had gotten further out of hand than I realized and I need a littttlleee more accountability.

So here's the new routine, and what will be on the blog (at least on Mondays and Tuesdays)

1. Weekly Weigh ins
2. Weekly meal planning and grocery lists
3. Exercising 5 days/week

Here is what our Week 1 meal plan looks like (we are going to Richmond for my 10 year reunion sooo that might be a cheat day at least..):

Recipes coming this and next week! Some are from Pinterest which you can find on my Paleo Project board !

Have you done paleo? What are your favorite resources? Do you have a favorite paleo meal I should try?

Things are a changin

Monday, November 3, 2014