The good, the bad and. . .

You fill in the blank: most people would say the ugly. But with the tragedy that happened in Parkland there is one word that I would replace it with,  HEARTBREAK. My heart breaks for the families that lost loved ones. Kids that will never get the opportunity to experience more to life, parents that will not be able to kiss their loved ones one more time, tuck their kids into bed another night and these loved ones that are left with the big question of WHY. This morning in church footage was replayed and a beautiful song was sung to bring tribute to these beautiful lives. We never know when it will be our time so live life to the fullest,  love more, forgive more, don’t let the small things ruin your day. Spend more time outside, with others, give the ones you love more hugs, talk more, call the people that live far from you more often, send a card, do something good for someone, step out of your comfort zone and pray. Pray for those that are hurting because you never know what another person is struggling with.

I have been cooking for a long time but I am always learning something new! So this weekend we really wanted wings so I thought to keep it healthy I would get the naked ones and make my own sauce. When I got home and opened the wings this is what they looked liked!!! WAIT WHAT??  You have to cut them yourself to make them real chicken wings??!!! Let’s just say that the honey mustard sauce I made was the bomb! As far as the wings, I need to buy them already cut next time!!!!

Three favorites from this past week: Zoodles with zucchini poppers, unstuffed cabbage rolls and mashed cauliflower! The mashed cauliflower was absolutely delicious. I steamed it in my bone broth until soft then mashed it, added ghee and garlic!

I really do feel so much better when I am filling my body with healthy food. Oh we will have occasional cheat but we do not make a habit of it anymore. We rarely eat out and I love that. Yes, sometimes its very convenient but I love knowing what ingredients are in my food and how its prepared. And honestly, I love to cook.

Bondi Bands never fail!!!!!

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If you have tomorrow off, enjoy! Sleep in, have an extra cup of coffee and stay in your pj’s just a little extra! I will be at work!!!

Have a beautiful week!

Ciao!!

Recipes:

https://fitslowcookerqueen.com/slow-cooker-unstuffed-cabbage-rolls-lowcarb-paleo-whole30/

https://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/

https://www.foodiecrush.com/mashed-cauliflower-parmesan-chives/

 

 

 

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The LOVE month!!

 

Every month is the love month for me!! No but really how is it already February?? Winter is slowly coming to an end and spring is right around the corner and then the hot summer months will be upon us! As much as I love the snow, cold weather and all that is associated with that, I am ready for a new season! When the seasons change it reminds me that new things are about to happen! I am ready for a little change. I have been really lazy with working out and I can feel it. But I am ready to get motivated and right back at it. And along with running I am always finding new strength training to incorporate in. I have been using the ball a lot and have seen a difference!

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Can we talk about that flu that is going around right now?? I have been super conscious about germs lately. If I put sanitizer on my hands right after I hug you or shake your hand please don’t take it personal! We just have no time for sickness over here. A couple things that I have been doing on a daily basis, morning and night and maybe throughout the day:-) is applying this wonderful medley to my feet and wrists! Its an essential oil blend! Also we have been taking elderberry on a daily basis. We are taking serious precaution!! If you have not jumped on the oil wagon or you still have hesitations ask me about them! I have personally seen them work! This little roller comes EVERYWHERE with me! Can we talk about hand sanitizer real quick. . . Did you know the #1 ingredient is alcohol. While that can kill some bacteria just think what its doing to your skin and then soaking in to your body and going though your blood stream. I do not use regular hand sanitizer anymore. I have switched to EO and I am soon going to order these little guys to keep on hand, in the car, in my purse and anywhere else I need one!!! Get yours too or ask me and I will get one for you too! And these are safe for kids!!!!

Can I share some great products with you? These were sent to my house so I could try them out! I can’t wait to grill out this summer and actually have an amazing bun with my burger!! And when you need a little sweet treat, you can! These products are all gluten free and filled with healthy ingredients! Go and visit their website, I will post it below, along with a coupon code, we all love a discount!!

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What’s cooking good lookin’?!?! Well I finally have used my Zoodler,  can I tell you right now this is my favorite kitchen tool!!! I have done apples, zucchini and sweet potato’s. I will NEVER eat sweet potato chips from a bag again! Guys, you know they are good when the hubs is standing at the stove eating them directly out of the oven!! I want to zoodle everything! Such a great tool! I just threw some ghee on them, Himalayan salt, garlic powder and paprika. Baked them at 400 for about 20 minutes then turned the broiler on low until crispy!!

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And a favorite recipe of the week: burger salads!! We ate them for 2 days! Arugula & spinach is at the bottom, cauliflower rice, roasted veggies and a burger on top! And instead of dressing we topped these off with guacamole!! Yummy, satisfying and healthy!

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Spend time with those you love, cook good food and do something for yourself! Can’t wait to chat next time! And because I was feeling very nostalgic in the kitchen here is my Nana! I spent many years in the kitchen with this lady and one thing I will always remember, She never was in the kitchen without her apron on. Yes, I too have an apron addiction!!!!

Ciao! XO

 

Smart baking link and coupon code!! http://smart-baking.com/ref/Runcucu

Coupon code: RUNCUCU

 

Its Fri-YAY!!!

Well we have come upon another weekend, well almost. My weekends start Thursday night when I leave the office! Hope your year is off to a fantastic start and I pray that it continues that way as we make way through this year.

We are back on Whole 30! We are in the process of just cleaning out our bodies from a strong 2017 finish, LOL!  And by strong I mean this is the dessert that we ended the year with. . . TIRAMISU! We rang the new year in with our amazing friends! We went to dinner then walked back to their house for games, coffee, dessert and watched fireworks at midnight!

There are so many things that I reflect on when a New Year begins: how to be a better wife, friend, sister, & daughter, how will I grow in the Lord more, what will I change about myself, how will my running go this year, what other work outs should I implement, how can I serve others more, how can our new home be a blessing not only to Vin and I but to others. But instead of just focusing on these and thinking about them, I have also written them down and I try to reflect on them to make sure that the things I want to change, actually happen this year! Each one of us is a work in progress so when you fail, pick right back up. When you have to say I’m sorry, do it. When asked for forgiveness, do it!

I love Fridays because its my day to go grocery shopping, YES I LOVE to go to the grocery store, sometimes I go to 2 or 3, meal plan and start prepping, get a long run in, clean the house and my afternoons usually consist of taking care of 2 of the sweetest boys. And although I could forget the last part of this, cleaning the house, I actually enjoy it. I have ventured into the world of Norwex! Guys the 1st day I cleaned the floors my husband could tell a huge difference and the best thing is, they are all chemical free! The items contain Silver which is a natural disefectant. If you have not tried the products, do it!

As you know meal prep saves our lives and really helps us to eat healthy. So a couple things I like to do is make a pan of mixed veggies and tri-color potatoes and last week I roasted a chicken for 5 hours and cut it up for salads! Remember meals do not have to be fancy.

I have been getting to the gym in the mornings and I feel so much better. I love being able to start my day like that. And honesty even though I am up at 5:25, I really have more energy through out my day. I also started doing more exercises with my legs.

And lets talk about 3 healthy things: diffusing, a quick snack and my obsession with this hot drink. When I am in a rush its hard to make a breakfast so after a long run I grabbed this RX bar to carry me over until lunch, SOOOOO good! I do not eat these on a daily basis but it was perfec to grab so I was not HANgry! Also, this car diffuser, I love it!! Thank you BESTIE! Diffusing is not just for the house anymore! And this concoction is the bomb! I try to drink it as soon as I get back from the gym in the mornings!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Stay Strong, Stay Healthy! And do something good for others!!

Ciao! XO

Happy New Years Eve. . .

I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone and we are about to put a bow on 2017.      What a year it has been. . . We built a house, Vin started a new job in the fall, we were able to sneak away for a couple weekend trips, we got through a few months of Whole 30 and about to start it all again, had family visit, experienced my 1st rodeo since I was a child, saw my 1st solar eclipse, experienced downtown Greenville, went to the mountains a few times with our sweet friends, got to see one of my best friends a bunch of times(Amy it will never get old that we live an hour and 10 min away from each other) and hoping to see all you girls this year!!! Vin and I have grown individually but also as a couple and I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for us!

I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas. Ours was filled with family and food. Vin and I gave each other the gift of a new house for Christmas this year. So Christmas morning we woke up and just laid around in our PJ’s, watched a Christmas movies, made us a special breakfast and we might have eaten some cookies too!! Christmas Eve was also so special because we gathered together as a family. There is nothing like an Italian Christmas Eve. A table filled with family, little kids running around and the smell of so many fishes!! I never will forget all the people that gathered at my grandparents each Christmas Eve. The house was filled with family and close friends and the smell of amazing Italian dishes. My Nana always made her famous Pasta Alici. I love traditions so this year I brought her famous recipe to the table here in NC!!

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If you follow me on Instagram or FB you also know I did some baking!!

And these little sweet potato quiches are the best! My hubs bought me these little springform pans and I started with mini quiches. I used shredded sweet potato for my crust, baked them at 450 for about 30 min then added the egg filling. I love this because you can add anything you want to the egg mixture. Fill it up and then bake again at 350 for about 20 min or until set.

And now can we talk about running for a quick minute. . . I ran 575 miles this year. My goal, because everyone sets New Years resolutions, is to run 1,000 miles in 2018!! Do you set resolutions? I would love to hear about them! I pray you have a beautiful New Years Eve celebrating what 2017 was and excited for what 2018 has in store for you!

And now on to 2018!!!! Ciao! XO

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Home Sweet Home. . .

Well I can finally say we are HOME!!! When we moved to Charlotte 4 years ago, we had no idea where we would end up! The city was much bigger than we expected and we knew we wanted to wait for our “forever” home. So we rented in a great area where we were surrounded by so many places that we could walk to! We moved into our condo and made it as homey as possible. We built a lot of memories there but it was never home… we’ll at least it wasn’t ours.  About every 6  months we would get the itch to look at homes. So we would jump on the internet and look.  About a year ago we really started looking, like meeting with realtors and going inside homes, talk about FUN!!! Each time we left a house we would talk about what we loved and what we would change. Then a light bulb went off, WHY NOT BUILD!!! I never thought this dream would be a reality. We went around to new developments and when we drove into The Mills at Rocky River we both sat quietly, drove around and looked at each other and both knew this would be home to us!

So the next Saturday we came back and actually met with a sales rep. We looked at the models and started putting our wishes and wants into action. Our sales rep was absolutely amazing with us! He was so patient and took us around to different lots until we found one on a culdesac. Then the fun really began. .  .

Each week we would come up and look at the progress of our home. Its amazing to see your hard work pay off. We were so blessed to have an amazing team build our house.  Each week we could not believe how much they would get done! Seeing the progress was so cool!

As the walls went up we then went in and put verses in our home. This was such an incredible experience.

It was so fun to walk through and see rooms actually come together. . . Then I saw my kitchen and got SOOOO excited! I knew a lot would be happening in this kitchen and my one request was to have ONE BIG sink!!!!

Then the day we have long awaited for happened.  .  . We CLOSED on OUR home!

We are moved in and getting settled! I pray that this home would be a home filled with love and laughter. I pray this home would be a place of safety and shine bright to others. I pray  family, friends and strangers that enter into this home would feel  God’s presence and feel welcomed here.

Well, we have lots of extra room now so pack your bags and come and stay with us!! I promise I will cook you something yummy in my kitchen!!!! And now its time to cook! I will have lots of great food to share with you soon! Stay tuned! Ohhhhh and I get to work out right across the street!! YAYA!!! More of that to follow later on!!

Happy Sunday!

Ciao! XO

Vacation Mode and Meal Prepping. . .

So people ask me, “how do you go on vacation, cheat a little and jump right back on track?” I always make sure that I am prepped for meals for when we come back. I rarely leave the house for vacation with an empty fridge, because the last thing I want to do when I get back is hit the grocery store. A lot of times, we just go away for the long weekend, so that helps avoid food spoiling while we are gone.

You know how much I love bone broth. I love making it and stocking up on it. This way, when a recipe calls for broth, I can use my own. It is filled with so many nutrients that you just can’t get from the stuff at the store. So do yourself a favor, make some and freeze it! I promise you, your body and immune system will thank you!!

Made this super yummy detox soup, because we all know we need to detox after vacation! Just gets your body back on track!

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And I really kept it simple for the week we got back. . . one pan meals are some of my favorite! A pan of all veggies. . . this is so simple because then I can add to meat to it at any point or we just have a bowl of veggies for dinner. I love lasagna but we do not eat noodles, so I made a one pot eggplant lasagna and then I had some left over chicken so I shredded it, added avocado and placed it on apple slices, you do not always need bread!!!

And my current breakfast obsession. . . mini crust-less, sweet potato cups and 5 ingredient, flour-less muffins! Yes, Whole 30 approved!!

If you are ever in Hilton Head you need to go to Ducks Donuts and The Studio to eat. We went there Friday night and had one of the best meals along with buffalo cauliflower as our app. Then Sat we got Ducks donuts and went to the beach!! And we stayed at The Sonesta!!! We left the resort 2 times, other than that we had complete beach access, hammocks and the pools. This was just a time to rest and relax!

And get ready. . .I am running a Halloween race this Sunday!!! I have race fever!!!!

Hope you are having a great Tuesday! Enjoy the rest of your week and I will chat with you soon!!

Ciao! XO

Recipes:

http://www.hustleandheartfitness.com/single-post/2016/12/28/5-Ingredient-Muffins—Whole-30-21-Day-Fix-Approved

Paleo Eggplant Lasagna

https://www.aspicyperspective.com/chicken-detox-soup/

From CT-NC & back to reality

Why when you look forward to something for so long and then it comes and you enjoy every minute and when its all over you feel like you need a repeat?! It was so nice to spend 5 full days with family and friends that are like family. And because pictures are much more fun than words, here is what my 5 days looked like. And the only thing that would have made it sweeter is if my hubs was with me. But he stayed home and worked hard and held down the fort!!!

What a coincidence. . . We go to breakfast and my dad gets the NC mug. Its a sign:-) And there is something about when I am with my mom, I always end up with a new do and I am in love with the cut and style and my sweet stylist.

Family time and soaking up my niece as much as possible!! We hold hands, match our shoes and roll down hills and run back up them until we are dizzy!

Because its not a trip to the North unless you go to Stew’s. . .BEST grocery store ever! And a visit with my sweet friend and the chickens!!!!

The one taught me everything I ever needed to know about fishing! Looking forward to many more fishing adventures together!!

Beautiful time with my Aunt and some girl and sushi time together!!

And not only did my hubby get me back but he also go some amazing ITALIAN cookies!! I can’t believe these lasted the plane ride without me digging in! But its always more fun to eat this deliciousness with someone you love!

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Hug the ones you have around you right now and when you are with ones you do not see often, love them a little more and cherish the time you have together. I can’t express how thankful I am for the ones who made this trip possible and so very special to me. Sometimes its just the little things that count. . . Rolling down hills, hiking with my brother and sister in law, chatting away with my sister in law in the kitchen, eating cannoli dip with my parents and sister at midnight and all gathering together to eat dinner!

I will be back with more food and fun next time!! Happy Friday’s Eve, even though every Thursday is my Friday!!!!!

Ciao! XO

 

 

 

Blogging from the sky!

Good morning and Happy Thursday!! I am here blogging from. . . Can you guess?!?!

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My plane is here and soon I will be boarding! This is the 1st flight I have taken solo since I have been married, wish me luck! I am heading up NORTH!!! CT here I come! I am going to have FIVE full days spent with my family! I am sure they will be ready to ship me back to my hubby! Never take living close to family for granted. If they live close, visit often. And if they don’t, when you have the opportunity to get together,  cherish it!

Update on my foot, I think its 99% healed. I have been able to walk and run with no swelling or pain. I am taking a few minutes before and after each run to properly stretch it and then I immediately apply arnica to it. If you have not discovered that stuff, well get yourself a bottle. I have seen such an improvement and I think that has helped a lot. Its a homeopathic gel that helps with bruising, swelling and pain. I got as much running in as I could this past week. I ran some pretty decent miles and of course, I have my running shoes packed! And we did a lot of walking at the fair and the some incredible food. Come on if I am going to splurge, its going to be on the foods I NEVER have. So the 1st thing on my fair food list, Pizza Fritte. I remember growing up and my mom and Nana making this as a special treat! We all know its not the healthiest but ohhhhh so good! And of course we kept ourselves young and rode some rides! After this one, I rode all the kiddie rides!!

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And now I will not be doing much cooking the next few day! The lady that taught me everything is going to feed us, thanks Mom, can’t wait! So what have I been up to. . .

I have needed a change with breakfast. If you have been reading my blogs you know eggs have been a big staple in our house. I needed to venture out. So I made 5-ingredient, healthy pancakes! They are so moist and the trick I learned to hold them together is cook them just a little longer, until they are formed and then flip them!

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And dinner. . . One that I tend to make often, because its so easy and so yummy, egg roll in a bowl. And then this coconut thyme chicken. Tasted and approved by my one and only and he said it was the best chicken! So I say, make it! And for a side, I found the cutest little butternut squash zig zags. They look like fries but only healthier and so yummy!

And for my newest product I have studied about and researched. . . Edens Garden! If you have not checked out their oils, do! And if you have any questions, ask me!!! And look at the cute packaging! One of the main reasons I researched them so much to make sure they were 100% was the price tag on them! We use oils for EVERYTHING in our house and there were other oils that I loved but the budget did not like it so much!! So go and check them out!

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Well this is it!! I am ready for take off!!

Ciao!! XOXO

Recipes:

http://www.stayfitmom.com/no-fail-paleo-pancakes-gluten-free/

https://diethood.com/coconut-milk-thyme-braised-chicken/?utm_content=buffer5c6de&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2014/07/eggroll-in-bowl.html

http://www.edensgarden.com

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Monday and Happy Labor Day! Vin and I love to take day trips or long weekend trips. So we have had Fri-today off together. We did a couple day trips and have had a blast. This year we discovered how charming Greenville, SC really is. Stroll through Reedy Park, eat at the Lazy Goat, get ice cream from Spill the Beans and grab a coffee at Coffee Underground!

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I think my foot is finally on the mend. I am still being cautious but I ran double digits this past week and feeling great. A little tender at times but I am getting there.  If you are a runner or involved in any high impact activity, make sure you have good shoes. I am a true and dedicated Asics fan. Thank you Asics for making amazing running shoes. My 2 staples for running are these sneakers and my bondi bands!!! If you have not tried a bondi band or the running arm bands, what are you waiting for?!!!

 

Craving something sweet but avoiding sweets at the same time?!! You need to make this. Pumpkin Chia seed pudding! It will satisfy your craving and it contains less then 5 ingredients.

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My newest addiction and an oldie but goodie: Butternut squash zoodles with a cauliflower alfredo sauce. And these zucchini chicken burgers are so healthy, super moist and perfect for a picnic or an easy weekly meal!

 

Hope you have a beautiful Labor Day, take some extra time to rest and spend time with those you love!

*Ciao* XO

Recipes:

http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-cauliflower-sauce

https://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/

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Thirty*Three!!!

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Well I am another year older, happier and healthier! I had such a wonderful birthday and completely spoiled. I am blessed to be loved by so many. But also I am so thankful that I get to love back on others.  My running finally took a little toll on me and ended up with x-rays on my right foot with the thought that I could have fractured it. I am SOOOO thankful for a job where my Dr will meet me on the weekend to check out my foot. The worse news you can tell a runner. . .  TAKE A BREAK. I do not know what those words mean! There is no fracture but there is some major swelling and a pulled ligament. It is really important to take a little break and ice it. In the meantime I will rest, get chiropractic treatment and eat super healthy for a full recovery.

Do you eat breakfast? Its the most important meal of the day. . . So if you are bored here are a couple different ones to try. They are a hit in our house! Sweet potato waffles and I topped them with an egg and avocado. The other is an apple, raisin and sweet potato bake. Switch up your breakfast for a special treat!

When you are Italian its very hard to truly eat HEALTHY! But since we started Whole 30 we cut out all breads, pastries, pastas, wheat and processed foods. So you have to sometimes think outside the box. So we switched up pasta for ZOODLES and we were able to eat a cleaner version of chicken cacciatore! I have one happy Italiano!

And when you are craving Thai you have no choice but to figure out how to do it healthy,  so here you go!! Almond butter zoodles,  if you love Pad  Thai you will love this!

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It has been a fun filled weekend here in Charlotte! Cooler temps have settled and hopefully they are here to stay! I have an amazing hubs who has nursed my foot all weekend long and we had a blast together. And ladies, I have a hubby who LOVES to shop!! He is serious and I love it! He shops better than me and I know how to shop! He deserves it as he ventures into his new job and position! He is the BOMB!!!!

Enjoy your week!!  Can’t wait to catch up next time! XOXO

Recipes:

http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/sweet-potato-apple-breakfast-bake-paleo-whole30/

http://www.fitmittenkitchen.com/sweet-potato-waffle-breakfast-sandwich/

https://whole30.com/2015/04/chicken-cacciatore/

http://therealfoodrds.com/spicy-asian-zucchini-noodles/

Buon Appetito!!