my life in my words

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Monster Mash | Fit Life Friday


I’m a little confused as to why iTunes is listing THE GOONIES as part of a scary flick collection in their database. I mean, honestly, WHAT part of that movie is scary? Sloth doesn’t count. Sloth would be my buddy if he lived here in Seattle and we knew each other. We’d grab coffee and Baby Ruths at Hogwarts and I’d let him weed out my long array of imaginary suitors.  Seriously though, why? Weird.


Anywhoooo, with Halloween just around the corner, I figured it was time I let you all in on my deep DARK secret . . .


I. Am. A. Sucker. For. Scary. Movies.


I am. It’s true. I know, I know, you’re a bit confused. But I am. You see, my family grew up watching scary movies during “Family Time” each week. I remember growing through my elementary and teen years watching flicks like:



Pet Sematary

Child’s Play

Village of the Damned

and Nightmare on Elm Street


We developed a deep-rooted love for Stephen King and Wes Craven at a young age. Please let the record show that I will NOT be bringing this tradition back into motion once I have a family of my own. No, no. My family time could be filled with other, more wholesome, less pee-your-pants-and-have-nightmares-forever activities. Nowadays, my taste in horror is a bit more tame. I mean, I still enjoy a good scare every now and then, but a lot of the old flicks we used to watch are just a bit much for my spirit and taste now. I’ve also evolved into more of the psychological thriller type. For instance, some of my favorite horror flicks nowadays are:


Dark Water



Interview With The Vampire

and Hungry For Change


Wait what? How did THAT get in there??? Look guys, it’s true. Not only am I a closet horror flick fan, I’m also a closet documentary fan. And since it IS Fit Life Friday after all, I figured I’d throw it in the mix. It qualifies. I mean, just watch this trailer:



Ah-mazingly scary, right?!? My favorite (read: most convicting and eye-opening) piece of the film is when one of the contributors said, “You aren’t eating FOOD anymore—you’re eating food-like products.” Once again, the truth hurts. But it also opens our eyes to rethink what we’re putting into our bodies.


What You Can Learn from this Film

In the film, you’ll discover which dietary choices could be keeping you stuck, what’s keeping you from having the healthy body you deserve, and how to escape the diet trap forever.

You will learn:

  • How to overcome food addictions and cravings
  • Why fad diets don’t work
  • Which food additives to avoid and how to read labels, including the real truth behind “DIET,” “SUGAR-FREE” and “FAT-FREE” products
  • What fat is, and how you can get rid of it for good
  • The most effective strategies for detoxifying and cleansing 



I got a chance to watch the entire documentary during their special “Sneak Peek” webcast and I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of hard-hitting, eye-opening insights from the contributing nutritionists, doctors, dieters, etc. throughout the film. It is definitely what I would call a MUST-WATCH! Please, if you care about your body, your family’s mindset on food, developing a healthy relationship with food, and just overall value health education, WATCH that film! It’s scary to hear the stats, but even more to know how far we’ve fallen into these crazy “lesser-than” addictions that are actually doing pretty severe damage to our lives. So yeah, toss out the slasher films and pop this one in your DVD player or queue it up online. You don’t even have to agree with it all, just listen and be open-minded. Then, let’s talk about it. Let’s open up and be real about the hold that food and sugar and processed chemicals have on our lives. Oh, and uh, pass the fruit platter around while you’re at it, eh? 😉




Learn more about the film makers and why they made ‘Food Matters’ and ‘Hungry For Change’
New Solutions To Old Problems – An Interview With The Film Makers

Happy Spooky Fit Life Friday, Y’all!


My R2D2 Pumpkin makes me One Happy Amo!


Shop Around

Mean Girls references are always appropriate 😉



I forever love Thursdays! Thursdays are what I like to call my DAY OF DELIGHTS. It all started with choosing a “cheat day” for my Fit Life journey. Having it be a cheat day meant that I could eat whatever I wanted and just indulge, no holds barred. Then later I learned that it was wiser to do a cheat meal and not an entire cheat day. So I started the tradition that Thursday mornings I would stop by Metropolitan Market on my way into work and I would get a cupcake (they have Cupcake Royale delivered there) to go with my coffee. As I got better about taming my sweet tooth, I decided one Thursday morning to break my routine and just walk down the aisles. Down one of the main aisles, I noticed they had Greek Yogurt Parfaits. I had just jumped on the Greek yogurt train, so I decided to give it a go. What I DISCOVERED was that their Greek yogurt parfait was what my hopes and dreams were made of! A healthy treat that left me filling full and properly treated?? Oh yes please!



Check out that little bucket of Strawberry + Granola Greek Yogurt Parfait goodness on the right there!


I’m convinced they put some form of crack in there cause it’s SUPER addicting! However, I had to really limit my cravings for it because they cost about 4 bucks a pop. I know, I know—fancy pants parfait. (So if anyone wants to get me a gift card for my birthday, you KNOW you can always get me one for Metropolitan Market (or Hogwarts) and I’ll be a happy camper for sure!) Thus tradition was born and I’ve been making it part of my Day of Delights. The reason I call it my Day of Delights is because Thursday is also my small group night, and after work, I get to enjoy a home-cooked meal with the Irwins PLUS I get to spend quality time with my small group buddies. Hence, I am an automatically delighted Amo! 😀



Today’s DAY OF DELIGHT treats: Tea from Teavana that tastes like Caramel Apples; Metropolitan Market Strawberry Greek Yogurt Parfait in my West Elm bowl; A new Sandalwood candle; Listening to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer play in the background on my computer as I get work done! ♥

Having just come off of the No Shopping Spree Challenge, I’m learning to manage my spending splurges a lot better and I’m actually pretty proud at the restraint I’ve been able to show towards various purchases. For instance, the other day, I got to go shopping with 2 of my best buddies at West Elm downtown and I actually refrained from buying an entire dish set (which I had enough money and the strong urge to buy) and just bought one special bowl that (as you can see from the pic above) is reserved for special treats to remind me that I can enjoy beautiful things without spending a crap ton of money on extras. It was nice to be able to go shopping and not walk away feeling guilty for blowing my money on things I don’t need. Speaking of, here are some fun pics from our shopping trip!



My “Seattle Sister” Nicki + me + My “Wing Girl” Heather J.


Our first stop was at a place downtown called LUNCHBOX LABORATORY. It’s my new favorite eatery downtown! Their food is DEEEEELICIOUS and the ambiance and design of the restaurant is perfect for my taste as well!


Check out the awesome gamer wall art!

If I had a game room in my house . . .

Totally diggin’ the color scheme and style!

♥ You had me at Pinball & PAC MAN! ♥


Afterward, we headed on down to West Elm to do some window shopping. In general, I’m a simple/funky/geeky/bold decorator, but when I think about what I want my home to look like in the future, it’s a perfect combination of IKEA + West Elm. Okay, okay, and maybe a few random nerdy items strewn in for good measure. 😉 [See what I mean??] There were so many things I wanted to buy at West Elm, but thankfully my shopping buddies helped me keep my feet on the ground and my swipey in my pocket.



Heather J. showing off her style!

Nicki showing off her style!

Me showing off my style! They’re PANTONE toothbrushes, y’all!!! Must Have!


I want my kitchen to be Tiffany Blue and Silver, so these mugs are a must!

I kept walking back and forth debating whether I should “buy myself an early Birthday gift” and get these candle holders. 😉

Simple chic wall art . . . me gusta!



All in all, it felt nice to walk out with JUST the bowl and realize just how special it was. We followed up our shopping trip with a quick stop in Whole Foods where I picked up some coffee for the road . . . to my house . . . I know, I know—totally unnecessary splurge. But it happened. You know what else happened though????



Look, sometimes the music takes over and it’s all you can do to resist shakin’ yo groove thang with your Zumba club moves in the middle of Whole Foods! . . . wait. What do you mean it’s just me? *sigh* Ohhhh schwell! 😉


Since we’re on the subject of shopping, I thought it might be fun to share with you some other things I’ve bought recently, as well as some that I’ve (astonishingly) refrained from blowing all my dough on.




I’ve been wanting to revamp my skin care routine, so I asked my Beauty Guru friend, Elaine Z. what products to try. Then, I took her suggestions and bought a bunch of new goodies at Sephora! Elaine knows her stuff—my new skin care routine is making me feel like a million bucks (without spending a million bucks!)

New MarketSpice Tea, which was kinda spendy, but totally worth it. This flavor is so heartwarming and brings me so much comfort. And since I fell in love with the Harvest Blessing candle that Kathy I. bought as a gift for me the other day, I decided to stock up and get 2 extra!

Lately I’ve been battling severe insomnia. It’s very much no bueno. This is one of my last resorts before conforming to taking melatonin. Last night was my first night using it. It helps a bit, but I’m still struggling. The flavor is really nice though!

A new healthy snack that I’ve seen in the supermarket lately. It was very yummy but kinda tough like jerky. I don’t hate it 😉

SO DELICIOUS Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk. I bought this last weekend and busted it out yesterday to celebrate the birth of my cousin’s (2 months preemie) baby boy, NATE! I warmed up a big cup of it to serve as hot cocoa, but I ended up not liking the overwhelming flavor on its own, so I just decided to add a smidge as creamer to my morning coffee and that was MUCH better! The flavor went very well with my apricot bar and Apple Butter drenched eggs. 🙂

DELICIOUS tea from Teavana that tastes just like a caramel apple. Folks, do yourselves a favor and get summa dis!

New clothes for my nieces! I scored a bunch of sales at the mall over the weekend and got them all new clothes (I guess pink is on its way out) for $25 total and then books on sale for $10. Also, Hallmark was having a one-day Buy 1, Get 1 Free sale on all their Christmas cards, so I’m ALLLL SET this year! (I got 80 cards total and it only set me back $15!)


I had a coupon for this stuff and thought I’d give it a shot. Worst decision ever. It’s super salty and has a terrible taste overall. Pass on it.

I had my Seattle Sister Nicki come over for dinner and a movie last night and I didn’t have enough food to make a home-cooked dinner, so I gave this freezer pizza a shot. I enjoyed it enough, but I think I’m just kinda “meh” when it comes to pizza. Next time I’ll prepare better and make us some hearty chili and sweet potato mash or something. 🙂


I am running out of my Top Pot coffee, which sucks cause it’s so yum, but this Gevalia was on sale and it’s pretty good. I mean, it’s no Top Pot, but it’s good. 😉



I also bought some more specialty loose leaf tea online from DAVIDsTea, since one of my favorite bloggers highly recommended it. So now I am anxiously awaiting a box each of:




This dulce de leche inspired tisane is about as good as it gets. It’s delicate and restrained, but has enough body and sweetness to compete with dessert. That’s because this serene herbal mix of chamomile, lemongrass, lavender and rooibos is tricked out with a delicious hint of banana. What better way to keep you smiling all autumn long?
—description from DAVIDsTea



Falling snow, popping chestnuts, cold hands and noses…yep, winter has arrived. But don’t worry, we have the perfect tea to warm you up all December long. Cinnamon, apples, raisins, almonds, and hibiscus combine for a tea that is sweet, tart, and earthy. And beet pieces make it as nice and rosy as a caroler’s cheeks. So hop in your sleigh, snuggle up, and pass a thermos around. It’s lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together.
— description from DAVIDsTea

and now onto . . .




ALLLLL of these cute Hallmark ornaments!! Can it be Christmas already?? Pllleeeeaaassseee?? () 😀

Okay, these mugs are PERFECT for me!!! Seriously, I want these now. Sadly, I’m not getting them now. Must. Be. Patient, Amo. Must. Be. Patient.

I really wanted to get this because of the cute face on it, but I KNOW it would be a poor spending choice, considering I could get a more practical one at the dollar store. Heck, for the price of this one, I could get a few at the dollar store . . . but it’s super cute nonetheless.

I wish I had a neverending bank account because since embracing my inner Foodie, I just want all of these nifty kitchen/food gadgets. These rock the house! . . . sadly just not MY house. :-/

I haven’t had an Advent calendar since I was a little kiddo and it was one of those dollar store cardboard punch out the chocolate with a butter knife cause it’s not cut all the way versions. I wish I had the ability to let myself splurge on this $50 LEGO one! However, I just can’t justify it. :”'(


Now it’s YOUR turn!

What is one thing that you splurge on guilt-free?


Where’s your favorite place to shop?









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Girls Love To Shake It | Fit Life Friday

Happy Fall, y’all!


Can I just tell you how IN LOVE I am with all the fall colors happening around the city right now? Be still my heart, it’s gorgeous! The only crummy thing about the changing of seasons is the change in the weather. I mean, it’s nice for the part of me that loves scarves and mittens, but it’s such a de-motivator when it comes to getting up and out the door to get a workout in! Now that I’m not working out to lose weight, but instead to stay active and fit, I find it easier to give myself excuses not to work out or not to give my all in a workout—that’s no bueno. One of my biggest saving graces is that a lot of my workouts are with my buddies at the gym so that I have an extra reason to get there and get the workout done! So what do I do when I’m not motivated??? I crank up some peppy tunes and ride that momentum to power through the workout.

It sounds silly, but the right music really does get my mojo going and pushes me past the excuses and half-heartedness. Group classes are easy to get through because the instructor will have the techno-mix going with the choreography/guided exercises, but when it’s just me and a kettle bell, I gotta choose the right jams to get me outta my “meh” jam. To celebrate the art of shakin’ that groove thing and to carry us in to weekend with a little extra pep in our step, let’s hit play on my FitTunes Playlist and hit up that stair machine to stay active and fit!





TIL THE WORLD ENDS by Britney Spears

Work-It Circuit!


HALL OF FAME by The Script, featuring




SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW (cover) by Mayday Parade, featuring Vic Fuentes

TRIUMPHANT (Pulse Remix Extended) by Mariah Carey 

THE FIGHTER by Gym Class Heroes, featuring Ryan Tedder

Cool It Down


SUPER BASS (cover) by Nicolle Galyon


By the time I’m done singing along, the endorphins have kicked in and I feel re-energized, ready to take on the world! So what are you waiting for? Load up your mp3 player with some bumpin’ jams and get moving!


Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll be needing a little post work-out snack, cause let’s face it, all I do is eat! 😉

Post-workout Snack = Broccoli + Cauliflower, Cinnamon sprinkled apple slices, Cashew Butter, Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Mint Coffee ♥

Happy Fit Life Friday, y’all!!


Bad Days Better

Saying YES to the dress today!

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

— The Man in The Arena by Theodore Roosevelt


Just let it sink in. I did. It hurts. It heals. Read it again. I just did. It still hurts. It still heals. Now, sit back, and breathe. Just let it sink in.

Last night I got a chance to have a late night coffee date with my best friend, Alisa. She’s amazing y’all, and not just because of what I’m about to tell you, but just because SHE IS. Honestly, I get kinda nervous when I meet up with Alisa. I get nervous because I know she’ll ask me how I’m doing. And I know that when she does, I can’t lie or hide from her. She’s way too safe a friend for that. I know that no matter what I tell her, she won’t judge me or dictate to me a solution for everything or try to draw more information out of me until I’m ready to make that leap for myself. And I know that as I tell her whatever it is I tell her, she’s listening. Soaking it in, holding my words in her hands and heart, caring for them as they escape the deep recesses of my heart. And when it’s all said and done, she’s got that patient smile and those words of peace and comfort that remind me that I’m not alone. Last night was no different . . . well, except that she shared the Teddy Roosevelt quote with me. She knew I needed it. She knew it would challenge and nourish me all at the same time.


FILE UNDER: Books Every Human Being Should Own


In light of the struggles I shared with her, she shared with me the Man in the Arena excerpt and more from the book she’s been reading recently, called DARING GREATLY by Brene Brown. I was challenged, inspired, and encouraged on a whole new level, just from her reading the 1st two pages of the book. As she read the introduction, I felt like I needed to pay for at least half of the cost of the book because even thatsmall snippet revolutionized my heart and mind. I even mentioned to her that I need to set aside the current books I’m reading and just pick this one up and get to it! . . . but I won’t. The books I’m reading right now are part of the work I’m doing with my therapist and I don’t want to interfere with that wonderful terrible work by adding another thing into my already crazy-busy-outta-control-in-all-the-best-worst-ways lifestyle. I need to do a lot more breathing right now and a lot less taking on of new endeavors . . . so DARING GREATLY is just going to have to wait. However, I did get this sucker waiting for me in my e-mail inbox when I got home!


This, plus my membership is how I scored a $26 + tax book for a whopping $13.93! 😀 Thanks, B&N!


I don’t think I need to tell you what I bought with it. It was the PERFECT gift at the PERFECT time. You see, yesterday was a bad day. Someone lied to me and I believed it . . . ALL DAY. My heart was hurting and my mind was searching for wisdom that kept slipping away. I got lost in a haze of negative self-talk and recited the lie until it became my mantra. With this proverbial monkey on my back, I adopted the lie into my heart, where it strategically leached all of my joy, hope, peace, and strength away. Thankfully, I’ve learned to let certain “safe” people into my life, and in return they have helped to show me the lie and remind me that it’s my choice to believe it or not and that I DO have the power to shut it down—more importantly, that God already shut it down and doesn’t want me to pick it back up.


As I got ready for bed, I set SHANE & SHANE’S song, WITHOUT YOUon repeat and mediated on the words to Man in the Arena. I prayed for clarity, wisdom, vision, freedom, and the courage to heal through vulnerability, honesty, and obedience to the things God was daring me to do. I decided to dare something great. I decided that I was going to wake up the next day, and not believe the lie. I wasn’t going to try to please everyone. I wasn’t going to try to be perfect. I wasn’t going to try to be “normal.” I wasn’t going to hide in shame and hurt. I wasn’t going to fear failure.



And so today, I am daring to run hard and fast away from the lies. I wrote this on my ride-in to work today and I want to share it with you. It is vulnerable and honest. It is my second daring move of the day. The first being getting all dressed up. The third will be hitting that PUBLISH button and not immediately deleting this post.



Yesterday I felt ugly.
I felt empty. Alone. Unwanted. Unworthy.
I listened to lies all day.
They grew and I became ugly.
I became empty. Alone. Unwanted. Unworthy.

I thought that the lies came from her mouth, but they didn’t.
The lies came from my only sworn enemy.
He tricked me again. And again. And again.
He always knows where to hit hardest.


But what he doesn’t know is that even when he leads me to believe that I’m ugly,
I’m pretty.


I’m pretty sure that “This too shall pass.”
I’m pretty thankful that God made a way.
I’m pretty confident that soon
I’ll be able to crawl out of the mud pits and onto the white sands,
letting go of the lies and clinging to Truth.

I’m pretty sure it’s not the last time.
I’m pretty sure I’ll keep training and getting stronger.
The training is trusting. The training is letting go and breathing.
It’s dancing on graves. It’s boxing the darkness. It’s cleaning off the mirror.

I’m pretty convinced it’s going to get uglier.
Then again, I’m pretty grateful that I’m not alone.
I’m pretty sure that someone wants me.
And I’m pretty confident that sooner than later, it’ll be me.




I still can’t believe I agreed to this! What have I done?!?!?!?

Mark your calendars, boys and squirrels!

On November 15th, I will be embarking on a new ADVENTURE!


Yes, my friends, for the first time in 30 wonderful years, I will be having all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed! :O

Here’s a glimpse into how I’m feeling about it all:
(taken from my discussion with the dentist yesterday)


Dentist: Okay so with your coverage, you can choose from any of the anesthetic options. We can do a basic Valium and laughing gas combination or I can give you an IV of sedatives that will keep you from feeling anything and will make you forget that you were even here. There are also many options in between, depending on how strong you are.

Me: Y’know, doc. The offer for the less intense anesthesia sounds really tempting, but in this situation I’m gonna go with, “LET’S JUST FORGET THE WHOLE THING HAPPENED.”


Look guys, I’m not generally one to condone heavy drugs, but for crying out loud, my pain tolerance is ZERO. In fact, I always say that if it’s possible, I’d like to take the epidural BEFORE I get pregnant. 😉

That said, November 15th is gonna be a crazy day. I will be One Wild Amo! The doc said I’ll need someone to drop me off and pick me up and stay with me for a few hours after the procedure. Therefore, I’ve put together a short application for those interested in being my Wisdom Chomper Nanny that day.


Qualifications for my WCN Applicant to consider:


  • You’ll need a car and possibly a dolly to roll my ridiculous self outta that office.
  • You’ll need to be able to handle random outbursts of laughter/tears/gas
  • You’ll need to be able to drive your car while having your eyes shut for that odd moment where I randomly panic and reach over while shouting about the Decepticons coming to blast us all to pieces!
  • You’ll need to be able to spoon feed me soup while I stare into your eyes, professing my deepest love and affection for you. Be prepared for me to call you things like Shia LaBeouf or James McAvoy, and for repeated compliments of your role in Eagle Eye or X-Men: First Class.

  • You’ll need to be able to smack some sense into me when I start parading around my room in my Super Mario Pajamas making monkey noises and pretending to fly like Superman.
  • You’ll need to be able to stick around for a few hours to make sure that I’m not dead and that I’m not trying to eat paper  . . . or my sheets. 
  • You’ll need to have a high level of grace for the moment I bat my doe-eyed lashes and say, “Mandy made wetty in beddy.”


Sooooo, if you think you’re up for the task and you can be at my house to take me to my appointment at 8am on the 15th, please fill out the application by leaving a comment with your answers!
And stay tuned because you better believe it’s gonna be a crazy few days as I recover from getting my wisdom teeth removed. :O


Application for Amo’s Wisdom Chomper Nanny Position:


Please answer every question honestly. Snarky submissions much appreciated. Also appreciated: Cashew Butter dipped Apples


  • Would you be willing to take said Amo to the appointment in the morning and pick her up at the appropriate time, and continue to stay near her in her room for a few hours just to make sure she doesn’t start hallucinating to the point of defecation or self-harm?
  • If Amo does happen to defecate on herself and follows it up with an, “Ooops… I crapped my pants!” do you promise to courtesy laugh?
  • Do you like sci-fi/action flicks like Transformers/X-Men/The Avengers?
  • Do you like TV shows such as: One Tree Hill, LOST, CSI:NY?
  • Do you promise to still love and not judge Amo after she says something snarky under the influence of heavy drugs?
  • Do you think there should be a limit to the amount of Pumpkin Soup and or Pumpkin Pudding that Amo will be eating after the procedure?
  • Would you be willing to keep Amo’s tummy happy with healthy foods and not feel threatened when she slaps you and demands that you feed her an entire Marionberry Pie?
  • Would you be comfortable having cashew butter smeared on your face to resemble a mustache and beard?
  • Would you be willing to pray for Amo as she’s recovering and read her passages of scripture to help her cope with the pain and drugs?
  • Would you be willing to update the blog/FB/Twitter for Amo with pictures and anecdotes of the experience?
  • Would you be willing to agree with Amo that something is worth “pinning” even if it’s not?
  • What is your best advice for prepping to get your wisdom teeth removed and recovery from the procedure?
  • Would you be willing to sing SOFT KITTY to Amo on request regardless of the frequency?


Thank you for taking the time to apply! I look forward to reviewing your answers and selecting the best candidate(s) for the job!

(Also, please let me know if you’d like spectator tickets to the Amo’s Doped-Up show!)

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I Knew You Were Trouble | Fit Life Friday

And it just so happened that yesterday, the life waiting for me was not Fit Life Friday. Instead, it was learning to slow down and spend quality time with friends. The bonus was that the quality time with friends was spent watching DOWNTON ABBEY Season 3!!!!!

So far, Season 3 is redefining Awesome Sauce!!! Perfect show is perfect!

It was a nice night to just separate myself from the busyness of life. I’ll be honest, I was *thisclose* to taking my laptop down to the TV room and working on this post while watching with my friends, but my REALLY good awesome friend/Seattle Dad, Del, knocked some sense into my head and got me to leave the laptop upstairs, locked away in my bag, allowing me to really FOCUS on intentional quality time with friends. I needed that! THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER, DEL!! Seriously, I forget so easily what it is to slow down and live each moment to the fullest. It was also good not to be so stressed, which I’m sure was a nice break for my tummy, considering that ever since I ate that disgusting duck egg has been a raging monster.

Wait, you didn’t know I ate a duck egg?


Yeah, so um, THIS just happened! :O And now my tummy hates me. SO gross! What can I say—when the boss man dares, he dares VERY well.

And now, thanks to my foolish decision, my stomach is a never-ending replay of this:


I’ve actually been trying a lot of new things lately. Some great, some not so great. One other thing I tried recently was this:

Berry Antioxidant Nut Butter


I saw this stuff at Whole Foods and decided to give it a shot, since I LOOOOVE berries and Nut Butters. So I packed it up with some carrots and brought it with me to the gym for a post-workout snack.


I had to run a bunch of errands in a short amount of time after the gym before my next event, so I just grubbed on it in the car as I hit the road.

Sadly, it was a bust. I really DID not like the flavor at all. I think I’ll just stick to Cashew Butter—MY FAVE!!!

Other things I’ve picked up lately that I’m going to be daring and try out this week:


STRIPETTI SQUASH | One of my recipes for the week calls for Spaghetti Squash, but the QFC was out, so I opted for this hybrid.

JAMBA JUICE RAZZMATAZZ SMOOTHIE BLEND | This is my favorite flavor of Jamba! I actually had one today and it’s DELICIOUS!!! Me totally gusta!

GARBANZO BEAN FLOUR | It’s part of a recipe that I’m trying out for one of my meals this week. The blogger that I got the recipe from warned that it had a strong flavor and that you either love it or hate it . . . I LOVE IT!! It’s a great taste AND it gives me more protein, which is a win.

SUGAR FREE SYRUPS FOR THE FALL! | Both of these are rockin’ my taste buds! I had the Gingerbread syrup with my morning coffee and now I’m drinking the Pumpkin Spice with my evening coffee. Lovin’ ’em!

TOP POT FEDERALE BLEND COFFEE | I haven’t opened this one yet, since I’m still working on my other grounds (Zoka) but I’m looking forward to seeing if the hype is legit or not. 😉

BOK CHOY | A new green that goes into one of my upcoming meals. Gotta admit, I’m kinda scared. I think the name scares me more than the weird look of it. We’ll seeeee . . .

TOFU | You guys, this is huge! I am SERIOUSLY AFRAID of Tofu. I don’t know why, I just am. But one of my recipes calls for it, so here goes nothing . . . :O

SALMON | Again, another HUGE experiment! Not only am I NOT a fan of seafood, but I’m even more nervous of cooking it myself. But I want to be adventurous and try something new, so this week I picked out a salmon meal. I’m cooking it up tonight! :O eeeeps!


So yeah, lots of new adventurous stuff going on in my Fit Life as far as food goes this week! I won’t lie—I’m SUPER nervous about the Tofu and Salmon. Deathly afraid nervous actually. But, I need to try it and get over it and DISCOVER just how far I can go in my tastes.


In case you’re wondering how these ingredients will all work their way into my week, here’s my meal plan for the week!


Mid-Morning Snack: Cashew Butter + Apple

Lunch: Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, & Black Bean Chili + Eggy Breakfast Bread

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Tropical Pineapple Breezes Smoothie (Adding in some Muscle Milk Light “Cake Batter” protein powder so I can get in more protein!)

Dinner: Spicy Pan Seared Salmon + Asian-Inspired Spaghetti Squash Noodle Soup

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups 


What are some other daring foods you think I should try in the near future?


You Gotta Be


Life has not been peaches and cream for my mind and heart lately. As I take on new tasks at each job and as I continue to work through my demons with my therapist, I’ve realized lately and have come face-to-face with a cold hard reality that I had tried to deny for so long—I fall into the comparison trap big time.


I compare myself to other people in ministry and push myself to try to be as good as they are at what they do/have done.

I compare myself to photographers/designers and wonder if my work would ever be inspiring enough to be proudly displayed in someone’s house.

I compare myself to my friends who have “perfect” families that seem to operate much like The Brady Bunch.

I compare myself to funny guys and gals I see on Saturday Night Live and on The Big Bang Theory and wonder if I’ll ever have  great comedic timing and material like they do.

I constantly wonder when I’ll be fashionable enough to not live in fear of a WHAT NOT TO WEAR intervention.

I fear that I’ll never be the wife that I want to be because of my shortcomings, quirky geeky personality & OCD tendencies.

I worry that I’m not THERE for my family the way I should be. 

I compare myself to ladies at the gym who can lift heavy weights and have such incredible muscle definition.

I compare myself to others my age that have incredibly foxy boyfriends, while all I can seem to attract is 50 year-old men looking to score with a younger lady.

I compare myself to other bloggers who write incredibly informative/inspirational posts.

I compare myself to foodies that make incredible meals and I feel like the weak sauce rookie still learning how to multiply measurements for a recipe. I guess I SHOULD have paid more attention in math class. :/

I compare myself to my friends that are super savvy to practical, effective solutions to everyday problems. I will face a situation and be so dumbfounded as to how to handle it and they’re just like, “Oh that’s all? It’s easy,  just do this _______.” 


I really could go on and on. I never really saw these thoughts as breadcrumbs that lead to the Comparison Trap, but now I do and I’m trying my best to kick them outta my mind and heart. However, those thoughts and I have been friends for so long, it’s super difficult to (1) Catch them in action, (2) Give myself permission to flourish without their self-sabotaging power, and (3) Let go of them for good . . . what will I have left to hold on to when I’m feeling down and out??

I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to stand out and do something meaningful to prove myself to my friends and family. I want to be dependable and add value to the lives of others. I want to be that kind of friend where people just show up at the door needing a good cry + snuggles session and I’m ready with a box of Kleenex, a cup of coffee/tea, and a listening ear . . . but I’m hardly home and I don’t always have the “right words” to say at the ready. I often think of what I need to do to be a better friend, daughter, sibling, niece, follower of Christ, minister, designer, etc. And it’s wrong. It’s taken me a while to admit it, but it’s way wrong. And I need to shift my thinking. Thankfully, I came across this sermon series by Andy Stanley. I’ve watched it through a few times now and God is using it to reshape my mind and heart in some pretty incredible ways. I haven’t fully mastered the shift, but I’m working on it.


(Click here for more of the series)

I’m learning to listen to my thoughts a little more before I accept them and surrender them to God—truly casting my cares on Him. I’m striving to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk and to actually believe that people sincerely mean it when they pay me a compliment. I’m trying to refocus my mind and give myself permission to be fully me . . . and to be okay with that. I’m fighting to remind myself that I won’t be able to please everyone all the time, and that that’s okay. I’m fighting to restructure my life to make more room for “free-play” and invite more friends that I don’t spend consistent time with along with me. Some days are WINS, most days are losses, but I’m not giving up. I don’t like this trap. It keeps me up at night. It hurts my heart and mind. It’s toxic. It needs to be left in the dust. One of the major insights I was able to take away from Andy’s message is to:


Celebrate what God has given others and leverage what God has given you.


After watching that sermon series and refocusing, I’m clinging to God more than ever and doing my best to remember that this is a JOURNEY and that I need to learn to delight in the milestones along the way. God has given me gifts and skills and insight to share with others as He leads. I just need to begin taking the small, but important steps (like exposing my struggle here) to change from a “can’t do” to a “am doing” mentality. I made a promise to myself after listening to that teaching that I am going to give myself permission to love every unique aspect of who I am in Christ. I am striving to exchange my inner monologue from “If only I was ____________er,” to “Because I am ____________, I will be great at ______________.” I’m looking forward to the changes (tough as they may be) that are coming. I know that months/years from now, I’ll look back on this post and laugh, maybe even cry to see how far I’ve come. This journey is far from over!