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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

don't forget...take care of YOU!

I think the weeks and days leading up to a deployment are the worst.

My mind and heart are ready to say goodbye and get this thing rolling!

Before Justin leaves for long trips or deployments I always find myself subconsciously distancing from him. It's like my heart's way of protecting itself from the pain of saying goodbye. I can feel it happening, but I'm powerless to stop it, so communication is so important during this time.

Also, my body is being affected by all this stress. It's showing itself on my skin, and by weakening my immune system-- I just had a stomach virus...twice in less than a week.

I need some time soon to decompress. Relax. Take care of ME for once.

Which brings me to the topic of self care. So often as moms we feel guilty for doing things for ourselves. We feel like our time could be better spent serving our family or a friend rather than sitting still doing something we enjoy, like having a pedicure or a cup of coffee in silence. But we have to remember that if we're not caring for ourselves, then we can't effectively care for others. God created us to need rest and breaks. You are NOT a weak person or mom if you crave time alone or time to just get away!

You're human ;)

Allow yourself time to rest. Allow small daily moments where you can escape-- if not physically then at least mentally for a few minutes! It's good for you...and your family, too.

Monday, February 16, 2015

jipped, cheated, and mad?

I hope all of you had an awesome Valentine's Day! It was sunny & warm here in southern California, so we spent the day at the beach!

Now that we have less than two weeks until our big move {which thankfully is only temporary}, I have been feeling the stress! Oh my gosh! There is so much to do!

Also something I've been feeling: really, really angry that things didn't work out how I wanted them to. We were supposed to have time together, as a family. We were supposed to go on a road trip to see new places. We were supposed to go on dates and take our time saying all the things we wanted to say.

But instead we're moving. I have put on a brave face about it, but yesterday I had a melt down. I wanted to throw a tantrum, punch a hole in the wall, anything really... but instead I sat in bed for a while and cried. I feel really disappointed. And annoyed. And tired. And just jipped. Cheated. Mad.

I know that there is a purpose here somewhere, but I'm not seeing it. Sometimes-- usually-- in the midst of a struggle or hard time, you can't see the reason for the struggle. You just have to get through it. Once you're on the other side, the lesson usually becomes clear. It may take a few days, it may take several years-- but you'll know.

I keep telling myself that, anyways. I have to believe that the things that happen have purpose, or else what's the point?

And so here we are! Packing, planning, selling, cleaning. I'm teetering between wishing this time away and struggling to hold onto it. I want the move to be DONE, but I do not want my husband to leave.

Such is life! I'm really trying  hard to enjoy each and every day-- it takes a lot of prayer and effort on my part!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

healthy recipes: 5 ingredient white chili & healthy chicken & dumpling soup!

I have a couple of DELICIOUS recipes for you today! Not only that, they're both also super simple to make... always a plus for my busy schedule!!

AND they were husband tested & picky-eating kid approved ;) 


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 (15-oz) cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips

 Add chicken broth, 2 (uncooked) *boneless skinless chicken breasts, beans, salsa and cumin to a slow cooker, and stir to combine.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.  Shred the chicken.
Serve warm with desired toppings. {I recommend a little cheese, cilantro, and avocado!)

And last but not least, healthy chicken & dumpling soup!

I was craving this comfort food last week but wanted to put a healthier spin on one of my favorites. The secret ingredient? Cottage cheese! I know, it sounds gross, but my husband was even fooled with this one! Definitely worth a try!

  •  1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken until no longer pink. Add the broth, water, vegetables and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, for dumplings, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cottage cheese until blended. Add water and salt. Stir in the flour and mix well.
  • Bring soup to a boil. Drop dumplings by tablespoonfuls onto the boiling soup. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in dumplings comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering). Yield: 4 servings.

  • Enjoy!! 

    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Beachbody coaching: we're just real people!

    This post was encouraged by two things:

    1) We are in the beginning of a new year. It is my absolute hope & desire that each & every one of you set out to do MORE, achieve MORE, dream of MORE than you did last year! I hope all of you work harder so that you can play harder. I hope all of you are filled with HOPE for the future that lies before you! 

    2) The GROWTH that my team is seeing this year {and it's only February!!}. I want YOU on this train with us! This journey to the top is hard work, yes, but oh my-- the pay off is SO worth it!!

    So with that in mind, I really want to share this income potential with you! This is something that truly anyone can do. I am telling you, the top 2% in this company are REAL people who have been through some serious struggles! Things like bankruptcy, homelessness, eating disorders, addictions, death, struggles with their own health.

    We're just real people here.

    So when you read this, I hope you remember who is behind these words. Think of me in my jean shorts and tee shirt, hair up in a bun, no make up on... overcomer of depression, someone who used to hate her body but has come to love and appreciate it, the mom who now has a sense of purpose. And know that YOU TOO can do this. You too can reach for those dreams that you thought had died.

    But you have to set those goals.
    You have to decide what you want, and reach for it.
    Daily. Not giving up. Not quitting when it gets hard.
    Believe in YOU!

    And lastly... while the income potential here is HUGE, that's not what really matters here... it's what we're doing with it that is changing this world, one life at a time!

    If you want to join my next Sneak Peek group, email me by TOMORROW!


    heart emoticon

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    5 valentine's day gift ideas for your guy

    Is it just me, or are men REALLY hard to buy for?!? I never know what to get my guy... to be honest we've just about done away with gifting in our relationship, and instead take each other out on a fun date. Something we both can enjoy!

    But I wanted to put together a small list of gift ideas for your guy in case you're like me and just have no idea.

    1. Schedule him a  massage.

    My guy would probably put this at the top of his wish list. And massages are relaxing, so why not enjoy your calm, peaceful dude after he's had all his kinks rubbed out?

    2. An activity book for couples.

    Like this one. Looks so fun, and is something you both could enjoy!

    3. A love booklet.

    I made one of these for Justin once, and he really liked it! You can find directions here.
    4. Photo album.

    Make a nice photo album with pictures only of the two of you! Cheap, sweet, and something he can look at over & over.

    5. Wine glasses.

    I know, wine glasses?! But these are really cool! If your guy is into the vino, this gift is practical! We like practical, right? That means it won't get stuffed into the back of a closet and forgotten about...he'll actually use it, and that's a good thing!

    And that's all I got! I'd love to hear your ideas! Happy Valentine's Day! xoxo!

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    berry banana quinoa & oats breakfast bake!

    Delicious oatmeal alternative that is high in protein & takes care of breakfast for a week. 

     I love grab-and-go breakfasts! I saw this recipe on pinterest and couldn't wait to give it my own spin!

    You can use any fruit or berries you have, it really doesn’t matter. Literally any fruit would work, even frozen or dried. The base is there and mine includes quinoa and steel cut oats. I  try to use whole ingredients whenever I can.
    This breakfast bake is highly customizable. You can use quick or rolled oats, no problem. Also eggs, egg whites or even flax egg replacer for a vegan version. Any milk of choice {I use almond}. Could also add a scoop of protein powder!

    The sweetness of the bake depends on the fruit you use, also the kind of protein powder, is using any at all. I used very ripe bananas and a  tablespoon of maple syrup. Just enough to help bring out the natural sweetness of berries. Honey works well, too.
    1. Rinse quinoa and oats with cold running water until water runs clear, about 3 times. Drain well and set aside. Get your fruits ready: slice bananas and wash + drain berries. Set aside. 
    2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk milk, eggs or egg whites, if using protein powder or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
    3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray 8 x 8 square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay half of bananas, blueberries and raspberries in an even layer on a bottom. Using a spoon or spatula, spread rinsed quinoa and steel cut oats on top, followed by 1/4 cup chia seeds & 3 tablespoons of flaxseed (ground) for a superfood punch! Top with remaining banana and berries. Slowly pour liquid mixture in the corner of the baking dish without disturbing the set up. If you pour the liquid abruptly in the middle of the dish, all fruit might float on top. We are looking for evenly distributed fruits and sweetness in every slice. 

     4. Remove from the oven and let cool for 45 - 60 minutes. Cut into 9 slices and serve hot, warm or cold with a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt if desired. {I topped mine with a dollop of plain greek yogurt mixed with vanilla Shakeology... so delicious). You can also dig in with a spoon right away. The bake won't be completely set but still delicious.
      Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 - 6 days.

    This breakfast was delicious!!! Not to mention how easy it was to make and have it ready for me every morning. 
    Now grab a spoon and enjoy!

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    5 ways to soothe a little soul when Mom or Dad deploys

    1. Notes in unexpected places.

    Even if your child can't read yet, they will treasure a picture that Mom or Dad drew just for them. Before the deploying parent leaves, have him/her sit down and write some sweet notes or draw pictures for your kids. Try leaving the notes in unexpected places for an added element of fun! Examples: coat pocket, under their pillow, on their bathroom mirror, in their shoes, in their lunch box, on their breakfast plate.

    2. A kiss box.

    When I saw this idea, I fell in love with it! You can take a simple box and maybe have them help the deploying parent decorate it with stickers or paints. Have the parent put a bunch of "kisses" into the box before they deploy. Tell the child that when they miss you, they can open up the special box and take out a kiss.

    3. Special song.

    Make up a tune for your special little person and sing it to them when you get to call or Skype. For example: "You are my Avery, my little Avery. When you're not happy, my skies are gray." Simple and sweet.

    4. Mail.

    If your spouse is in a location where they can send out mail, have them send your little people letters, pictures they draw, or photos they've taken while they were away. Mail can be fun, especially when it comes from someone who is missed.

    5. Keep a journal.

    This one is for the parent not deploying. Keep a daily journal with your child where you write down things that you want to tell Mom or Dad about when they come home. Writing down your thoughts can really be therapeutic! Have your child write a few sentences or draw a picture if they're old enough. If not, let them tell you what to write. It will be fun to read together later and such a special keepsake!