Think before you Buy!!

Happy Monday!! Hope you had a great weekend and your Monday is off to a great start! Many of you know, my weekends consist of grocery shopping and meal planning. But before I even make my list, I go through the fridge and freezer and see what I have. I start in the fridge. I HATE throwing food away. So I look to see what I have and I take it all out and plan meals with what I have to use up 1st. Guys, I did that and my grocery bill for this week was ONLY $29!!!! That is for a weeks worth of groceries.

I went through all this stuff and cleaned and chopped everything up. Nothing went to waste and I did not end up re-buying the same veggies and fruit that I already had. So before you shop go through your fridge! You will be surprised what you bought and did not use!


With some of those leftover, I was able to throw a salad together for the week. I had a broccoli slaw I needed to use up, added purple onion, apples and tri-color peppers and I made a vinaigrette dressing. Threw it all in a big bowl and its all ready for the week! I had a few pieces of chicken I had left in the freezer so I cooked those up and added them to the salad for extra protein!

Also, I love quick items for breakfast. I love being able to make food ahead of time and just grab them each day. I love following Whole 30 recipes on Instagram for new ideas. I made the blackberry sage breakfast sausage. 1st off, I saved money because I made patties from scratch and I knew the exact ingredients that were in my sausage patties. No added ingredients!! Now you know me. . . I did not follow the recipe exactly because I did not want to buy sage and blackberries when I had rosemary and apples I needed to use up. So I took 1 lb of grass-fed pork and added spices, apples and rosemary! We have breakfast for the week. And I can add an egg if we need it!

If you do not follow #whole30recipes on IG, GO NOW!!!!

I love to shop local. Yes, it can be a little more expensive but you never know the people you get to meet and the inspiration behind their products. I love buying all kinds of things local but one of my favorite shops is jewelry from Erin

She can do everything from custom to something basic! I have gotten the privilege to meet her in person and visit her studio! Thank you Miquel for spoiling me and introducing me to a beautiful lady but also to some amazing jewelry. Not local? No problem, she can ship! These are just 2 of my pieces from her! Love the custom bar necklace and I layered it! I just love the thought and time that goes behind each piece.


And we have been spoiled with some GOOOOOD coffee! We drank lots of coffee when my parents were in town and they brought us a pound of Bacio flavored coffee from this gem of a coffee shop! I grew up going here! When you walk in the door you will greeted with the most delicious smells. Might not be able to drink anything after this coffee is done!! Might need monthly orders. . .HINT HINT Mom and Dad!! If you are in CT, stop in for a delicious cup Coffee


I know how important it is as a runner to add other things in to my routine then just miles! But sometimes I am so focused that all I want to do is run and be done. So I have slowed my time back a bit and started adding in upper body strength conditioning. I split my miles up and after each mile I did 3 sets of 25 of upper body. And I finally got in 4 miles this past Saturday. I have been keeping it to 3 since I am not really training for anything. But once I hit that 4 mile marker I felt like I could keep going so we will see what this week brings for miles!!

Love that I can jump on and off the treadmill. Everything I need is right here!


And for date night this weekend, we invited my in-laws to join us for some Maine Lobstah hosted at this little gem Hunter Home & Gardens. If you are around here, follow them on FB and IG and see the events they have. Its such a cute place! Go check them out!

Hope you all have a beautiful week!!! And let me know if you try anything that I posted on my blog today!!!! ~Always Stay Humbled & Kind~



Casa Mia e’ Casa Tua

That has always been our motto for our home. Our home is your home. We want everyone and anyone who walks in our home to be comfortable. These past 10 days have been amazing. We have had my parents here, celebrated the 4th with a house full, filled the air with lots of love, laughs and coffee! So when are YOU coming to visit??! We are ready for the next visitors. Thank you Dad and Mom for coming and giving us 10 days!! We drank lots of coffee, enjoyed a night at Village Park filled with beautiful music from the Charlotte Symphony and it ended with the BEST firework show, Dad and Vin went & saw a Mans movie while mom and I saw a chick flick and finally tried BLUE BELL ice cream! You Texans did it right with making the best ice cream! Not sure we will be able to buy anything else!


We went a spent some time with my Dad’s Aunt! She is in her 90’s and she is amazing. Thank you Pam and Lucky for opening your home, you always make it so welcoming!

Then the real stuff started happening. . . COOKING! And lots of it! We had 4th of July at our house and it was filled with family, friends and lots of food! My Nana always made her home-made bakes beans for any big picnic and always for the church supper. Since she has passed my mom has carried on the tradition. If you have never had home-made baked beans you are missing out!!

Food always taste better when presented well, at least that is what I think. So instead of serving salsa out of the jar, I made a pineapple-mango salsa and served it in the pineapple shell! And I was told, I am officially “southern” because we served pulled pork and had banana pudding at our get together!! I will take it BUT you will NEVER catch me say Y’ALL!!! And aren’t those napkins darling? Thank you Nicole and family for the finest napkins! I LOVE everything monogrammed!

A few other things I made while my parents were here! Gluten-free Blueberry pancakes, yogurt-granola parfaits, eggs in avocado and fajita bowls.

I normally do not like going to work out when we have people at our house, because time is short and I do not get times like this that often but with the pool and treadmill being together it worked perfectly. I got some great runs in while my parents were at the pool then I would change and join them!! Worked perfectly!


I hope you have a beautiful Saturday! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I am off for a run!! Can’t wait to catch up next time!



At-home date nights!

I might not even talk about exercise on this post!! So if exercise does not excite you but food and life does, then stay tuned!! Can we chat about date nights?? I LOVE them. Its time I get with my hubs and its such an important time. Its where we disconnect from everything else and focus on each other. I know we have only been married for 6 years but if a newlywed asked me for one tip, it would be, DON’T STOP DATING! They do not have to be lavish dates, expensive or even leaving the house. I will let you in on a little secret, as much as I love dressing up and going out, after a long work week some of my favorite dates are ordering in, getting in our PJ’s and having our dinner and that is exactly what we did last weekend!! And for that Fri night we picked sushi as our dinner date! Yup, served on paper plates and eaten with chop sticks! It does not get any more real than this!!


One of my favorite things to eat is tacos! There is something about a shell that is stuffed with amazing flavor and of course, GUAC! We continue to strive to eat healthy in our home so a lot of times I have to come up with a new twist. So when I wanted to cook us tacos one night, I decided to use lettuce “shells”. You get the crunch as you would get from the taco shell but carb free and less guilt! I used ground turkey meat, sauteed zucchini, onions and peppers and loaded up the “shells” and gave each one a dollop of guac! Its so easy and quick! Remember meals do not have to be fancy! During the week, I keep it simple!


If you know me, I love being in the kitchen! I could be there all day, everyday and I love to cook/bake for others! We all know food, especially good food, can put a smile on anyone’s face. Now lets talk about sweets, I think that does the same thing. When you offer someone something sweet it just lights up their day! So 2 things I baked this week was a NY style cheesecake and some simple and easy chocolate chip cookies! I tried this Chocolate Chip Cookie  recipe this time, Thank you Joanna Gaines!! And the best thing about these 2 things, I got to share them!! Looking for a great cheesecake but do not feel like making one, ask me I will do it? Sorry, you have to live local!!!

I was so excited to open the oven and see the top of this cheesecake crack-free! Its all because of the water bath I cooked it in!

I love the summer for mainly one reason, all the FRESH fruit we get to eat! So when I said I was bringing the fruit salad for Father’s day you know I can’t just throw it in a bowl. I love seeing how food is presented so I cut all my fruit up and used my watermelon as the bowl!! Great idea for your next picnic!!


We snuck away for a little R&R and look when your hubby books a couples massage and you get there and they use Do Terra Essential oils, you know you married the perfect man!!!!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to an amazing start! Now go get a date on the calendar! And remember it does not have to be fancy or expensive! Just spend time together! And if you are not married, grab your bestie or someone you just want to spend a little extra time with, turn off your phones and just enjoy the company!

Ciao! XO


Saturday Shenanigans!!

This is my helper for the night!! Her name is Charlotte and such a sweet little pup! She wants to be part of all the action that is going on here!!


Memorial Day has come and gone and we are about to enter into summer, although I feel like its already summer here in the south! I am so excited for the pool to be open and the gym is right next to the pool so I am ready for long miles and jumping in the pool!! The past few weeks have been insanely busy and there were a few days that all I got in were 2-3 miles for that day. When I was done I honesty felt incredible because 2-3 miles is better than no miles! So I just want to encourage you, if you feel like you don’t have time to fit in a long work out but you can snag 20-30 min, do it! You will always feel better when you are done!


Prepping makes the week so much easier: Made a batch of mayo, buffalo chicken in the crock pot, spiralized the veggies, made home made Lara bars and paleo approved tuna-“noodle” casserole.

Last weekend we took a day trip to Greenville, SC. Who would have ever thought that it would be such a sweet little City! Its a perfect getaway for the day! We grabbed lunch at our favorite spot, The Lazy Goat! GO GO GO and get the truffle tries! They are to die for and I am not going to lie, they were our lunch! We walked around Reedy Falls, cutest park, then found a gem, YES, an ice cream shop. But not any ice cream shop, guys this is called rolled ice cream and its the BEST. They use fresh cream and pour it right on the frozen slab then add in your toppings, then roll it all up and stack the rolls inside the cup! We got PB &J!

After all this food, we found a little spot in the park and caught a Shakespeare show!

And a little time with my best friend! God brought 5 of us girls all together over 10 years ago and even though we are all different one thing that we all love to do is work out! So yesterday I met up with my bestie and we took out the paddle boat, chatted our way around the lake and worked on our legs!! We kept our day healthy with a smoothie. And we found them at the cutest smoothie shop. You know its a sweet little spot when you walk in and there are bible verses all around and a prayer jar to leave requests! I am so thankful for little shops like this! If you are ever in Salisbury, NC go support The Juice Life!

I hope you all have a beautiful night and wonderful Sunday! Spend some extra time with family  because a new week is about to begin and we know the week days can be so hectic. Take that extra moment to love on those around you!!







Is it more expensive to eat healthy??

Believe it or not, I get this question a lot. When people see what I eat or what I am buying or I get the chance to talk about my eating patterns, many people will ask me, “how do you afford to eat healthy”? Honestly, its cheaper to eat healthy. You have to remember I am not buying any type of processed foods, very limited canned items, I make all my own broth, goodies, muffins and meals. I do not spend money on pre-made meals, processed foods, packaged snacks or many canned items. I go to the grocery weekly and at the end end of the week I cook up anything that I have left over, such as veggies and meat. If I bought meat for the week that I know I am not going to use then I freeze it for a meal in the next week or so. Oh yes, its SOOOO much easier to just grab but that leads to processed foods or foods that contain so much sodium and extra stuff we just do not need in our diet.

I am about to get REAL with you. . . About 2 months ago I went to the grocery to pick up a couple snacks to have for the weekend. You know those kind of weekends, the lazy ones where you know you are going to hang in the house and be in stretchy clothes all weekend. When I checked out, these couple items came out to $20 and after that weekend I felt AWFUL. I didn’t want to exercise, get dressed or even leave the house. I felt lethargic, I contaminated my body with so much gluten and heavily processed foods. Sunday night I knew that these once in a while cheats were coming to a hault. As I meal planned for the week I knew this was a life style change. Its not about being on a diet. If you have that mindset, you will fail. When you tell yourself you need to go on a diet you automatically think, ok what can’t I have. Instead, eating healthy should be a lifestyle change. You should always be excited to eat. I mean really when we all get together, where do we all gather?? The KITCHEN!! Within the 1st week of getting these toxic foods out of my body, I was down 6 pounds, which was pretty much all water weight but more importantly I had all my energy back and I actually enjoyed my running and miles this weekend. So here is my comparison of what $20 bought me. Is it really cheaper to eat unhealthy???

Three of my favorite meals this week:

Breakfast lasagna: I loved this because I was able to make it on Sunday and it lasted for the week. I cut it all up and put it in  containers and each morning we just reheated and took it with us to work.


I think so far this is the most delicious salad I have made. All raw and no meat. I made a huge bowl and ate it each day for lunch! This would be great for a summer picnic and will be making this again!! Chopped Thai Salad


We love Thai food and we have a favorite restaurant we go to for Pineapple fried rice and its loaded with pure deliciousness, lots of veggies, pineapples, raisins, cashews and curry and its all served in a pineapple. So I took all those ingredients and turned it into something healthy with using cauliflower rice. I followed a recipe but put my own spin on it, I added carrot ribbons, cashews, raisins and curry.


Try eating clean, I promise you will feel so much better! Yes it takes work, you have to think ahead and meal prep but when you have so much energy, sleep better, clothes fit better and you have that confidence then you will remember that its all worth it. Even though I love meal prep and eating healthy its still hard work for me. I have to think ahead and even sometime bring food with me but in my opinion  its worth it. Don’t make excuses for hindering your health. Take good care of your body!

Running is back and going strong and I even added in planks. Every couple days I am going to incorporate strength exercises into my miles.


Remember you don’t have to be a runner but do something healthy for yourself. Get outside daily, fill your body with  better choices and start small. For each processed food you clean out of your system, fill it with something healthy.

Have a beautiful week. CIAO! XO











The other side of the fence!!

This past weekend I was on the other side of the track!!! Instead of running I was working! If you have ever run a race you know what its like to do packet pickup! I have to say that is one of my favorite things about the race, the expo! There are usually so many fun vendors there and that is where I 1st discovered Bondi Band. In 2009, I ran my 1st half marathon with one of my best friends! I had no idea that I would run 4 more after that. They become addicting! And every time I cross the finish line I say ok I think I am done, then I sign up for another. So this past weekend I had the privilege of working at the Flying Pirates half marathon in the Outerbanks, thank you Bondi Band for this experience. RUNNERS, thank those that work the expo’s and all the volunteers. I never knew the dedication, hours and work that went into the expos. I am usually the one to show up, grab my bib and walk around and enjoy all the different vendors. I will never walk into an expo again without thanking those volunteers/workers. Bondi Band And if you want to order something be sure to use this code for a discount: RUNCUCURUN

And if you have never had Duck Donuts, GO! Actually Run!!!!

I love to make roasting chicken and I like to roast it for about 5 hours. But with our busy schedules sometimes 5 hours is not feasible. So I whip out the crock pot and let the chicken cook on high for 1 hour then let it cook for 5 hours on low and dinner is ready! I love using the rest for chicken salad and then I throw the bones back in the crock pot and make my bone broth!

And when you are craving savory waffles, make these! Sweet potato waffles. I usually make an egg to go with them, I make 6 of them to make sure we have enough for Mon-Thurs. Each morning I just pop one in the oven to re-heat it! Savory Waffles

And for a quick night meal, I roasted sweet potatoes, served some of the leftover chicken added in some greens and topped it with BBQ sauce!! So good and quick!

My weekends are used for long runs. Friday mornings I get in a long run then I go take care of 2 of the most precious boys!! Seriously, they have stolen my heart. So I am usually super busy and hands on so I do not have time to sit and eat. I did grab one of these and it hit the spot!! These pouches aren’t for kids anymore! These are great for runners!!! I will definitely be keeping these in my gym bag! And those boys, are they not the cutest?!?! They keep my Fridays super exciting and I LOVE being able to love on them!

Happy Tax Day!! And shout out to MY accountant!!!! Thanks Babe for all your hard work, I am a full time job, I know, but you take amazing care of me and you work so incredibly hard!!!


Have a great Tuesday! I have family arriving on Thursday, YAY to our 1st house guests!! Stay tuned to our crazy adventures we will be taking on!!!



Race Re-Cap and Shop Local!!

My 1st race of the season and it was awesome! There is something about getting to that start line, adrenaline rushing and hundreds of people gathered around you! I love the beginning of the race. . .everyone is together, hands over their hearts and the national anthem rings out. There is nothing like the end of our anthem that chokes me up EVERY.TIME “O’er the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE”!! Stop and think about that, all the freedoms that we do have!!! And thank you to all the brave ones who have and still serve!

Because I do all my running on a treadmill I really never know what to expect when it comes to race time. I try to always set a goal no matter what and hope for the best! I have to say I think its the adrenaline that helps me get through every mile and beat my time! This was an 8K, 4.97 miles, I mean really someone please just make this 5 miles, so I was determined to make it under 50 minutes and I did!! That smile was because I just crossed the finish line in under 50 and I caught my Hubby’s eye!!!! Love that look I get from him when I cross the finish line! And 1st time wearing the arm compressions and I am so glad I did! It helped in so many ways and kept me warm! Check out Bondi Band for all your running essentials and the best thing about them is everything is washable! I throw my headbands and armbands right in the shower, wash them, hang them to dry! “No slip and No drip” Bondi Band


My fuel for this race was jelly beans!!! I definitely needed them for the hills! And those bibs will never get old!


I am really bad at eating before a run but I knew with this race I would need the energy so I left the house and took a hard boiled egg with me. It was the perfect amount of protein and fat that I needed. Afterwards, that was a whole different story. I was craving a egg and cheese biscuit. So as soon as I got home I made this! Egg white and chicken sausage sandwich. This gluten free roll was soooo good and can’t wait to use these for cook outs this summer! They come individually wrapped for extra freshness. I keep them in the freezer and pull one out and pop in the oven to crisp it up. If you are looking for a great GF roll, check them out here: BEST GF buns

And I might have snacked on these too in between bites! Seriously if you like sweet potato chips you need to make these and STOP buying them! I slice them with my veggetti and lay them on the stone. Drizzle your choice of oil, I did EVOO and then spices. You can really do whatever you like and you can even make them sweet!


Can we talk about shopping for a moment?!?! When you get the chance to shop local, DO IT! I came upon this little booth at an outdoor market one day, followed her blog immediately and won this sweet bracelet! Check her out on Instagram and follow her! Her work is amazing and I love that its so different! Shop Apiary

Picked up my bracelet and went and discovered this gem of a park, Jetton Park!

I hope you had a beautiful Easter. . . more to come later this week!!! Stay tuned!! Now go enjoy that beautiful weather if you are in the south and my Northerners, just keep enjoying all that snow!!!!


Happy 1st day of Spring!!!

I don’t know about you but I am READY. . . I am ready to sit outside and enjoy our meals, go to the gym and not have to be bundled up, drive with the windows down, get a fresh pedicure and throw on some flip flops and just enjoy the blooming of all the fresh trees and flowers!

As much as I love winter, spring reminds me of a new beginning, a fresh start. And if you are like me, I need a fresh start. I feel like I am just barely getting through the days. Ever have a time in your life like that? Lets push the re-start button, change out that wardrobe, get a pedicure, maybe a fresh hairstyle, and add one new thing to your list that you want to achieve this spring!!! I have my list made! And can I tell you how much I am LOVING that it stays lighter out! Getting home at 7pm does not feel so bad when its still light out!

Make these Morning Glory muffins- that is all I am going to say! Filled with pure deliciousness! IMG_4408

I love having people in our home so when it comes to entertaining or making a meal for someone, I am the 1st to raise my hand or raise my voice and say “come on over”!

And lets just say, its always a good idea to have brunch!! I served the muffins, coffee, bacon and I made an egg hash!


I love to bake and cook and I love trying new recipes. But during the week I try to keep it simple. So one night was 1-sheet pan shrimp fajitas served over zoodles and another night was sunny side egg, bacon burgers and we ended the week with a bunch of roasted greens!!


And 2 things I bought this past week: a meal out and this incredible salad dressing. I rarely buy dressing. I enjoy making it at home so I know exactly what is in it but when I have to buy bottled condiments I just pay attention the ingredients. This dressing is so good, I could drink it! Go to Trader Joe’s and get a bottle. I used this to put on the roasted veggies the day after for my lunch! And this lunch. . . if you live in Charlotte and looking for a cute spot and healthy food go check out Namastay Kitchen!!  That is a beet burger, so delicious!

So as the week goes on start making room for spring because its here! Well I am sorry CT, you guys are still stuck in winter! Spring is having a hard time finding itself up there. . . get ready for that snow storm! We do have the guest room ready for anyone wanting to escape!!!!

Until next time! Ciao!

Recipes: And remember you can alter any recipe to how you are eating, that is what I always do. I use a recipe for ideas and inspiration.




So last week I cooked up a few different soups and we have a great cleansing week! Sometimes your body just needs that! And yes, I even ate soup for breakfast! It was filled with so many nutrients and whole ingredients. One of the things I make sure I have on hand is bone broth, that totally makes your soup! The bone broth alone is filled with a ton of healing agents in it! And now we jumped back on Whole 30! If you have been following my blog for some time, you will see that we have pretty much adapted to eating that way, 99% of the time! Come on we ALL need a cheat!!

Also, I am all signed up for my 1st race of 2018! If you are in Charlotte be sure to come out! Its such a fun race. It starts and ends at a park and the energy alone is so strong! And thanks to Lineberger Dentistry for the sponsor!! If you need a dentist, he is the best! Do yourself a favor and go check out his website then make yourself and the family an appointment!


I always thought it was weird when people would have bone broth or soup for breakfast well then one day I decided to do it and it was amazing! There is nothing better than a hot cup of soup/bone broth after a run! It just gives my body all the nutrients I need and it keeps me full for a longer time! Believe me when I am eating it I am sometimes dreaming that its a gluten free fun-fetti pancake I am eating!! So this is the one that was for breakfast all week long! I roasted my butternut squash 1st then added everything to the pan, sauteed it all then used the immersion blender and left a few little chunks!


Apple, Carrot & Butternut squash

And the rest of the soups looked like this, and of course its all about meal prep because when you work full time the last thing I want to do when I walk in is cook!! I want to just heat and serve! I was not sure how my hubs would like the Bok Choy and mushroom but he said it was one of his favorites, so clean and full of vitamins! And the recipe calls for rice noodles but I left them out. And one of our faves, that I make often, is the egg roll in a bowl!

And sometimes you just have to escape for a couple days!!! We found ourselves up in the mountains and it was perfect!

And when you need a little “dessert” make your own lara bar and crumble it over strawberries!!!! I made cashew coconut bars!

Happy Wednesday!! I never blog during the week but we all need a little pick me up every once in a while! So sip on that coffee, check out these yummy recipes, do something kind for someone else and enjoy the day!!!

Until next time! Ciao!


Apple, Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

Bok choy Soup

Egg roll soup

Coconut Cashew Crumble

And don’t forget to check out the best dentist in the Queen city!! Lineberger Dentistry

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!!!!!


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!