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DIY Valentines (Free Printables)

February 10, 2015

Here is a sneak preview of what you can expect from the new blog we’ve been telling you about! Stay tuned for our launch date so you can stay in the know and see more posts like this!

Valentine’s Day is near! What’s not to love about a holiday that’s centered around love!?

Here are a few reasons why Valentine’s Day is the best:

1. It’s the only time of year you can buy almost anything covered in cute red and pink hearts. Want a heart dish towel? You got it! Heart-shaped bowls? Yep! A giant, heart-shaped box filled with an assortment of chocolate?! Uh-huh! Target is the best this time of year.

2. Conversation hearts. Because communicating with candy is more fun than a text message!

3. Handmade Valentines!! Because how often do you have a good excuse to break out the glitter and sequins to make your main squeeze a card? Sure, they may not appreciate the glitter as much as we do but they definitely appreciate not spending $4.50 on a Hallmark card. 

Speaking of handmade Valentines, we got together and made some cute little cards for our men. Sure we saved ourselves a trip to the greeting card aisle but the real fun was making them! But honestly, anytime we get together it’s a party.

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Aren’t the crafty type? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these free printables! Just add glitter for the perfect Valentine.

Download “Let’s Make Out” here. 

Download “I love you more than coffee” here. 

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My 5 Day Healing Cleanse: You Gotta Move!!

November 4, 2014

 

So let’s talk about working out!! Here ya go..for your viewing pleasure…

One of the ways I bounce back from over indulging is with an all out major sweat fest. High intensity interval training (HIIT)  is one of the fastest most effective ways to burn fat and see fast results without the negative benefits of cardiovascular exercise. HIIT training, Cardio Intervals and Tabata style workouts are great ways to get your heart rate going, bring in new oxygen to your body and cells and sweat out toxins. This combined with a no sugar diet while focusing on whole organic foods is a perfect way to get a good detox.

I am always talking about my awesome short and effective workouts. On average my daily workouts are between 15-30 min depending on my mood. I burn anywhere from 150-600 calories depending on the intensity of the program. The wonderful thing about Burst style workouts is that your metabolism stays elevated and will continue to burn fat for the next 24-48 hours!!! Not only is burst training full of health benefits but when I workout I naturally make better choices throughout the day. The endorphins I release elevate my mood and give me tons of productivity. Our bodies were made to move and it’s just as important to maintain a healthy active life as it is to make healthy diet choices!

So what does a HIIT workout look like? Here’s one my favorites when I’m low on time but need a good sweat. Try this today and many more for free through Fitness Blender . Make working out a part of your routine especially when you are needing a good detox.

Diet and exercise go hand in hand. While what we consume daily is priority, moving and raising our heart rate plays a major role in our health in aiding to restoring and rejuvenating our system!  You don’t have to comitt to hours of working out to see fast effective results. How about 10 min? Even 7! Start somewhere and begin training yourself to be committed to moving everyday!

 

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Man Week

July 14, 2014

I hear by declare this week “Man Week”! A whole week dedicated to my incredibly hunk of a husband, Charlie. He has made such dramatic changes to his health which in turn has helped him achieve weight loss, gain muscle tone, eats clean, is determined and committed to exercise and has more energy and focus as a dad and in his work life. He has also become very holistic in how he approaches his personal health. This week I will highlight how he began working out, which was done totally free and without a gym, natural and toxic free grooming tips, how he copes with stress from being a dude and ways to relieve muscle fatigue. As I have been sharing my personal health journey over the past year on my blog, Charlie has been joining me in making these lifestyle changes. While he didn’t have as much weight to lose as I did, losing 15 lbs gave him the motivation he needed to become committed and discipline to live healthy.

As I have shared before, we lived a pretty toxic lifestyle before moving to Nashville. Being parents and living life on go meant fast food dinners and constantly eating late at night. We took a good hard look at our health and knew we needed to make changes before it was too late.

As I have shown many before and after pictures of myself I wanted to start this week off with showing Charlie’s progress! He has always been pretty lean but consistently eating processed junk and a lot a sugar really packed on some extra unwanted pounds. 

Not only was he feeling the results of eating poorly through his weight but also in his daily productivity. Since we had the life of convenience mentality we never understood the importance of making time for exercise! But once we cleaned up our diet and began making physical activity a daily part of our life his health improved significantly!

With new commitment and a desire to be healthy his transformation happened really fast!

Once he was empowered to take responsibility for his health it lead the way for more discipline and the ability to commit to daily working out.

Now that we have rid the excess from our lives we are seeing the fruits of our hard work paying off. At 32 years old we have leaps and bounds more energy then we did at 29, we are empowered to make decisions and commitments to our health that we never thought possible. We are teaching our kids the importance of health and they have already begun to try and emulate what we are doing!

I am so proud of my hubs and his hard work is paying off! I don’t think I would have been able to be as successful without his support and desire to join me! We want to enjoy our life together in our older years and believe we are setting the course for that now!

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Cooking With Kate: Poached Eggs

June 25, 2014

 

Fresh eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat, and other nutrients! We love eggs in our family and are super thankful for Kate and Harris who share with us their fresh eggs right from their coop! I continuously find myself learning something new about health. I mean even as simple as how to cook an egg for goodness sake! Did you know that poaching is one of the most healthiest ways you can prepare eggs? I sure didn’t and as matter of fact, poaching helps prevent the fats in an egg yolk from being oxidized before and during cooking. Cooking eggs in boiling water limits their exposure to the air, significantly reducing the chances that the cholesterol they contain has oxidized. Poaching is an indirect, moist-heat cooking method that calls for boiling an egg without its shell which is why it ranks as one of the healthiest ways to cook an egg!

Well there ya have it! So now that you know that poaching is the healthiest way to prepare eggs, Kate, who is amazing, will show you just how easy it to prepare this easy meal!

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Poached Eggs

Eggs (**always use farmers market fresh, or antibiotic/cage free eggs for the healthiest options) Read more about the dangers of conventional eggs HERE

Take a high-lipped skillet and fill to about 1.5 inches. (I measure to just above the first bend in my finger)

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add 2 TBSP off white wine vinegar to the water. Put on med-high heat.

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If you want to use a thermometer, you want the water to reach around 190-200 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you want the water to be in a low rolling boil.

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Crack 1egg into a cup (this ensures freshness) and pour carefully into rolling boil water, one egg at a time.

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Let cook for about 3-4 min depending on how runny you want your eggs. Letting them go longer than this will over cook them quickly.

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Using a slotted spoon, scoop from water, drain, and put on toast, or whatever else you like, sprinkling with a little salt and pepper.

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Poached eggs are a great way to get runny eggs (which are the best!!)

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There you have it! Took less than 10 minutes to make and I got to be the quality control tester and boy was I glad to have that role!

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Cooking With Kate: Fermented Cauliflower

April 23, 2014

Probiotics are the key to a healthy gut. One of my goals this year has been to add more probiotic foods to my diet. Fermented foods are full of probiotics and enzymes for improved nutrition, that taste amazing in addition to their healthy properties.

When Kate told me of her idea of the fermented cauliflower I knew it would be an easy solution for anyone wanting to improve their health. Cauliflower alone can easily be described as a super food because of it’s beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health. It’s benefits include; Cancer fighter, boost heart health, it’s anti-inflammatory, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, boost your brain health, has digestive benefits, detox’s the body and has tons of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

By fermenting the cauliflower you boost the vitamin content of the veggies, including B vitamins and vitamin K2, due to the action of the bacteria. If you are wanting to heal your digestive track, maintain healthy weight, clear up your skin and receive healing in your overall health it’s incredibly important to get more fermented foods in your diet.

I love this fermented cauliflower recipe. It’s so easy to make and taste delicious. You can add it to salads of any kind, use it as a side dish for dinner or eat it straight out of the jar.

Fermented Cauliflower:

Head of Cauliflower (Any color) 

2 cups Organic, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s is great) 

2 cups of water

Salt and Pepper

2 Lemon sliced

3 cloves of garlic

Start by adding 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water to a pot

Add 1 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil

Cut up your cauliflower into smaller pieces

Slice 1 lemon and add to the bottom of your jar (The other lemon will layer the top)

Cut up your garlic and use half to layer the bottom (Garlic brings power!)

Once your ACV and water come to a boil add the cauliflower and let simmer for 4-6 minutes

Scoop the cauliflower into a mason jar and then add the liquid

Use the remaining lemon and garlic to layer the top of the jar

Let sit for 12 hours then enjoy! You can store your jar on your counter top or in room temperature for 12 days. Your gut will thank you!

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Cooking With Kate: Chia Seed Pudding

April 11, 2014

If you haven’t caught on by now, Kate is amazing. I love going over to her house because I always get to try something she’s concocting. She has been making a simple yet incredibly healthy pudding using chia seeds. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3’s, loaded with Calcium and antioxidants! They give you energy and even aid in weight loss by suppressing the appetite since they can absorb many times their size and weight in liquid which helps lessen the amount of food consumed!

Chia Seeds also can combat diabetes, gives you stronger teeth and bones, packed with manganese, phosphorus, loaded in protein and improves your heart and health. Historically, The Aztec, Mayans, and Incan’s used chia seeds as a staple in their diet as energy food and would use them to sustain and give them endurance during long runs or battle.

Put away those horrid energy drinks that are loaded with dangerous chemicals and start consuming chia seeds daily for a real energy burst!

Chia Seed Pudding

2 cups coconut milk  OR (almond milk, raw or organic pasteurized milk)

1/3 cup chia seeds

2 TBSP honey or Agave (local is best to fight allergies)

1 TSP cinnamon

1/2 TSP vanilla
1. Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar. Cover the jar with a  lid and give a vigorous shake. 
2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake again. (this helps with clumping)
3. For best results, chill at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better.
4. Serve cold with sliced fruit, toasted nuts, or mint. 
*Our favs are bananas, mangoes, and raspberries
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Chocolate Chia 
1 1/4 cups coconut milk 
1/4 cup chia seeds
3 TBSP raw cacao powder (baking cocoa will work)
1 TBSP honey
Pinch of sea salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar. Cover the jar with a  lid and give a vigorous shake. 
2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake again. (this helps with clumping)
3. For best results, chill at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better.
4. Garnish with chocolate shavings or other favorite topping

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Another fun twist!!

Chocolate Espresso Chia
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup brewed espresso or double-strength coffee
2 TBSP cocoa powder
3 TBSP honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup shredded dried coconut (optional)
1. Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar. Cover the jar with a  lid and give a vigorous shake. 
2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake again. (this helps with clumping)
3. For best results, chill at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better.
4. Garnish with coconut shavings.
You can customize your pudding how ever you want! Let your kids decide and chose all the flavors to make it fun for them and remind them that the Indians used them to give them energy! What child doesn’t want to be strong and fast like Indians?
Store Your chia seed pudding in cute miniature mason jars for easy grab and go in the mornings for the whole family!
Kate’s outfit by Heylee B. 
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Cooking With Kate: Kombucha!!

April 3, 2014

One of the things Kate has been teaching me is that home-making just about anything is much easier than it seems. When I found out Kate was planning to brew Kombucha I text her immediately and told her I wanted in.

Kombucha is a raw, fermented, probiotic, and naturally carbonated tea. Bucha’ is rich in amino-acids, probiotics, antioxidants, glucuronic acid, trace minerals, B vitamins and more. It is a living, enzyme-rich drink. Just about every established medical research university claims that all these things are excellent for your digestion, immune system, and in the case of amino–acids, glucuronic acid and antioxidants, potentially cancer preventatives (Kombucha Tea for your health and Healing: Alick Bartholomew)

With the help from an amazing company called Kombucha Brookyln, we will show step by step on how to brew the bouch’ at home. KBBK offers great kits at different price ranges that gives you all the tools you need to make brewing at home super simple. Kate purchased the 1 gallon crock kit and the measurements below pertain to the 1 gallon. This is so stinkin’ easy your going to love it!

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Step 1: Boil 1/4 gallon of water

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Step 2: Add KBBK tea bags or any (regular black irish tea, no flavors) (120 grams of tea) and remove pot from heat. It’s ok to brew your tea very strong, then dilute with water. 

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Step 3: Remove and squeeze tea bag in pot (you want to extract as much of the tea nutrients as possible).

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Step 4: Add 1 cup of sugar, stir until dissolved

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Step 5: Add cool purified water (If your water is not purified or if it’s too hot it will kill the SCOBY), Kate’s needed 3 quarts of cool purified water to lower the tea’s temperature. This is a crucial step you don’t want to mess up on. 

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Step 6: Pour mixture into the KBBK crock

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Step 7: The KBBK crock comes with a temperature gauge to ensure your tea is not too hot or too cold. In between 68-78 is right where you want your tea before adding the SCOBY

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Step 8: After you ensure the temp is safe add your live SCOBY and the entire contents of your stored scoby like Kate’s or the contents in the starter SCOBY (SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It is a living organism) Kate has brewed several times before so she is using a scoby she has had in the fridge. KBBK will send you a starter SCOBY when you order a kit.

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Step 9: Top off with cool water and allow 1 inch between tea level and rim of crock

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Step 10: Cover your crock with a tight-woven cloth and rubberband

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Step 11: Store in a place that you will keep your temperature in between 68-78. Kate’s fridge top regulates the best in her home. 

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Taste periodically after 5 days. The brew is done when it taste good. 7-10 days is the suggested KBBK time but I found for my personal batch that I enjoy my tea at about 14 days.

I have brewed twice using Kate’s kit and found that I needed a bigger pot. Charlie and I love it and drink it way too fast. So if you have more than one person that will be enjoying this health filled elixir you might want to invest in the 2 or 3 gallon size. Here’s my kit the 3 gallon and all the contents that come with it.

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This is an incredibly simple way to increase natural probiotics into your diet. You can store your Kombucha in your fridge for up to a year! Your SCOBY will stay alive after brewing when stored in a large mason jar and put in the fridge with some leftover bucha’. It will be dormant stored in the fridge (won’t continue to grow) but will thrive when brewed another time.

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Cheers to health!!

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Meet Heylee

March 14, 2014

I’m really excited to introduce my readers to a new friend of mine. One of the many things I have always loved is fashion. I even attempted a few years back to start a fashion blog but with kids and being pregnant I wasn’t able to follow through the way I intended. I had hoped from the beginning that I would be able to incorporate style through this blog and upon being presented with the idea of collaborating with Heylee I have been excited to make this a reality. As we have been on the final steps of bringing her to my blog we ran downtown Franklin and snapped a few shots of her. She is incredibly sweet and talented and not to mention beautiful. Meet my new friend Heylee

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Heylee is an incredible make-up artist and stylist. She has grown up on stage as a magician assistant to her brother Harris III, who has owned a multi media company. As she continued to grow both personally and professionally, her dream quickly turned to a passion and ultimately, into a reality. Travel to many cities in the U.S. and abroad made Heylee become even more intrigued with the world of fashion and entertainment. After being hired to do make-up for a music video in New York City, she realized that working in fashion and beauty was her dream.

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To enhance her skills, in 2004 Heylee attended ‘Make-Up Designory’ in Burbank, California. There she was trained in glamour and character makeup, hairstyling, and wardrobe design. While working in California, Heylee built her resume by working jobs like The Tyra Banks Show, America’s Next Top Model, numerous national modeling shoots, and was even named one of the ‘hottest stylists’ by fashion pros across the country, including renowned entertainment publicist, Michael Levine. But that success wasn’t enough to keep her in California. Feeling homesick and ready to be closer to her family, in 2007 Heylee returned to her home state of Tennessee to continue her work in the Nashville Music Industry.

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Heylee had always dreamed about opening her own boutique. It started out by friends coming to shop out of her tiny apartment bedroom, and grew into offering ‘Home Trunk Shows’. From there she opened a small boutique in downtown Franklin, TN. It began as a pursuit through passion to help her friends find fabulous, yet affordable clothing that was unique to their own personal style, but it wasn’t until she moved the business online, using social media networks that Heylee really started to fulfill the vision of her brand.

The more she was around women, Heylee began to recognize more and more the insecurities that women face and the struggle to accept themselves. Heylee says, “With the pressure we receive from Hollywood, television and magazine advertisements, each other, and our worst critic; ourselves, it’s a wonder we can all even get out of bed in the morning. The list goes on and on of things we want to change about our bodies and how we look as we start to compare ourselves to others around us. My goal is to help each and every woman that I work with to love and accept herself at the place she is at RIGHT NOW. To be able to find freedom and live freely in knowing where her acceptance comes from, which is ultimately from our Creator. We have nothing to prove to each other, we are enough just the way we are.”

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Heylee has certainly made her dreams a reality and she is living that out through her online boutique Heylee B . She has so graciously offered to allow me to model her clothing on my blog. I will show some of my favorite pieces from her store and link back to the specific item so you can purchase. We thought it would be fun to wet the palette and show you a little of what my post will look like. Haylee is constantly buying new merchandise so we will have plenty to show off.

I love kimono’s and as soon as I spotted this rad paisley design on her site I immediately began putting outfits together in my head! Kimono’s can add that fun vintage flair to any outfit and adds versatility to your wardrobe. Heylee’s boutique prices are extremely reasonable and you can purchase this for $28. Purchase HERE

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Fall Break With Norah

October 15, 2013

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It was incredibly sweet having Norah home last week. In just 2 months, since starting school, she has blossomed into such a independent, smart little lady. I enjoyed having her being home with us and loved all the sweet moments that i normally miss during her school day. I’m so proud of her and her awesome heart to learn and be the best she can be! Kindergarden is really a unique stage of life!

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