4 Recipes With No Gluten or Sugar

Did you know sugar is as addicting as heroin? It activates the same pleasure areas of your brain. No wonder I can’t stop eating it… I could use a serious intervention, y’all! I also recently have been having issues with my hypothyroidism and research has shown that being gluten free can help with that.

So, I’ve compiled a few recipes that help in both of these areas – processed sugar and gluten free! That doesn’t necessarily make them low calorie but most are definitely better for you than their sugar-ful counterpart.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal:

I don’t know if you’ve ever had baked oatmeal before but it’s delish! However, it usually has a cup of sugar in it. This recipe has none and is also gluten free! Get the Recipe



Mmmm Brownies: brownie

Enough said, right? An actual gooey, fudgy delightful brownie that is gluten and sugar free! Get the recipe



Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yep, you read that right! There’s bacon in these babies! You know you want to make them! haha And yes, they’re both gluten and processed sugar free!  Get the Recipe



Chocolate Energy Balls:

I make these ALL THE TIME!! They’re soooo good and really good for you. You can add extras to them also to change them up a little. Even my kiddos love them and it makes a great little snack for them too.


  • 1/2 cup organic old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-natural creamy almond butter (or Sunbutter)
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Shakeology
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey


  1. Combine Shakeology, and oats in a medium bowl; mix well.

  2. Add almond butter and honey; mix well with a rubber spatula or clean hands.

  3. Roll in balls about the size of a ping pong ball.

    You can add extras like nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, etc to spice them up even more!

5 Save Your Sanity Tips for Multitasking Moms

IMG_20180129_154727Hectic mornings herding children around rushing to get them ready for school and you ready for work.

Rushing to carline to pick them up from school on time.

Walking in the door and heading right into getting snacks, mitigating screaming matches, checking homework, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, picking up socks EVERYWHERE, maybe even doing homework yourself…

Collapsing into bed utterly exhausted just to get up the next morning and start all over.

Sound familiar?

That’s how my life used to feel. Crazy, rushed, barely surviving. Definitely no time for myself and no exercise or anything like that. The whole family always felt a little on edge and my moods were all over the place.

One day, I had enough and decided to change some things. It didn’t happen overnight but I have implemented a few new practices around our house. Now, although not always perfect, most of my mornings are relaxed, my days are peaceful and more organized, and my family flow is much smoother.

Here are the top 5 things I learned along the way that made the most impact on our family flow and my sanity!

  1. Commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of daily “me-time” as a non-negotiable. I know you may be thinking “There’s NO WAY I can find time for that, you crazy lady” but you’re wrong. You CAN and you SHOULD. Its not just for your own peace of mind, it’s for the good of your family too. When you take time out to focus on yourself, it will help you approach the rest of the day with more calmness. You’ll be surprised at how much this can affect your mindset! Your day’s flow can go from stressed to relaxed just by giving yourself this one gift.
  2. Delegate. That’s right, if your kids are big enough to put away the dishes, give them that task. If your kids are capable of folding laundry, give them that task. If they can use a sponge, assign them a few of the house cleaning responsibilities. They may not doing it perfectly the way you would but as long as it gets done, just let yourself enjoy the break from having to do it yourself! If they’re not big enough to help, ask your spouse to help out with a couple more of the tasks than he’s currently doing. Often, our spouses are much more willing to help than we think but it comes down to communicating the need.
  3. IMG_20180129_154147Create Visual Charts for Children’s Behavior and Responsibilities. This has been a HUGE help in our house. Our children have a 3 tier chart system. The first is a daily behavior/responsibility chart. For my oldest, it includes everything from getting ready in the morning without me asking her to do things all the way to choosing a healthy after school snack without asking me for an unhealthy one. For my youngest, it’s simpler. It is broken down into morning, afternoon, and night. If she gets through each section of the day without throwing a fit, she gets a star. The second level is a daily responsibility list that includes the exact items they need to do in order to get ready in the morning – get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair, get backpack ready, etc and the same for afternoon and bedtime. The third level is a calendar of the month that lists things happening for them during the upcoming month including big things like trips and little things like bath nights. They are able to look at these three charts and track what to do each day and what is coming up. They earn rewards based on how many stars they get for the level one chart such as 30 min of tv/computer time, park playdates, special time with me, etc. They mark their own stars down and they take it very seriously. It has worked wonders in lessening my youngest’s tantrums and even helped my oldest with anxiety issues.
  4. Commit to at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and fuel up with healthy nutrition (hint: this could be that 30 min of me time from #1). All too often, I stress eat and I know so many others who do that. However, we all know the BEST stress reliever is exercise. It releases endorphins, strengthens your body, and takes your mind off the rest of the world. Studies even show that people who exercise in the morning are more productive and report being happier and less stressed throughout their day. Yes, that means get your booty out of bed earlier, but if you’re like me, there’s no other time to make it happen. Sleep in your workout clothes if you have to! Do it for your own sanity, not as a punishment! If you combine that with healthy fuel for your body, you will feel so AMAZING that you won’t care what life throws at you! I know it sounds easier than it truly is, but that crazy, hectic life sure wasn’t so easy either. I much prefer this kind of hard ❤
  5. Wine. ‘Nuf said.

Parenting as “Atheists”

First, I’d like to say that I hate the word “atheists” because I feel like it has such a bad connotation, like devil-worshipers or something.

I prefer to refer to myself simply as someone who doesn’t believe in a deity. It doesn’t have to have some big name, does it? If so, fine. Call me an atheist then but just remember that it also doesn’t mean I’m sitting over here worshiping some evil force either.

I wanted to write this because I read a post the other day from someone discussing how they parent as atheists and raise their children as athiests. (I say “they” because it was a wife sharing a husband’s post. )

Since I grew up and still live surrounded by a largely very religious community, I sometimes feel rather alone in this state of no belief. Andy and I are on the same page (I honestly think marriage to someone who isn’t would be hard) but other than that, most of my family and friends are religious. So, it was nice to read a point of view from people who are like us on this. However, we did still differ on one big thing when it came to parenting.

We both believe that teaching your children good morals and how to be kind, caring, empathetic people who make good choices doesn’t require religion. In fact, I will definitely teach my children how to have faith in many things and how important faith is but it won’t be in reference to religion for us.

However, our parenting choices took a turn here from the other couple. You see, both my girls are currently attending religious schools. Why? Two reasons: 1. They are really good schools. 2. I want them to have exposure to religion so they are able to make their own decision about it.

When it comes to #2, the other couple mentioned not raising their children with religion in any way so as to avoid creating a foundation of conflicting beliefs. I can definitely understand that point of view. In fact, I don’t know if what we are choosing is right or will be detrimental later. I just know that I don’t want to tell them they have to believe or they should not believe.

I grew up going to church every Sunday and attending Sunday school. I went to lots of my friend’s churches too as a teen. I had a foundation in religious belief. I even got “saved.” But over time and with experiences and courses in religion in college, I gradually shifted in my belief system. I came to my current state of non-belief on my own.26677747_1977048545892213_5649110433748641903_o

I want my girls to be able to do the same, in either direction. Right now, they attend chapel at school and are steeped deeply in class prayers and belief in Jesus and God. They sing songs from chapel and even pray at home. We don’t discourage them or even discuss it yet. But when they ask us why we don’t attend church or what we believe in general, we will tell them from our truths. We will let them choose what they want to believe and we will support them no matter what.

What Religion?


That’s a word that speaks to people on a lot of different levels, right?

For a lot of people, it’s faith in a religious sense but for me, it’s not.

That’s hard for me to talk about because I’m always scared of judgement when it comes to this.

Though, isn’t that strange because I thought religion taught people they shouldn’t judge? And who knows, maybe they won’t. It just seems like I run into lots of judgement with this so I still let it make me feel anxious.

I mean, like so scared that I stared at this for an hour before I actually hit post (true story – I added this at the end of that hour lol).

I am from a small, southern and very religious town.

Many of my family and friends are religious, like post-bible-versus-on-Facebook e’rrrry day kind of religious.

I love them and I admire their faith.

Because I think faith is beautiful and an incredibly valuable thing.

And I do have it.

I just don’t have it in the same way.

I’m not religious but…

I have faith in my family and friends.

I have faith in kindness and goodness.

I have faith in hard work.

I have faith in loyalty, integrity, and honesty.

I have faith in myself.

I have faith in love.

And I can tell you for sure that if it wasn’t for many, many leaps of faith onto staircases that I had no idea where they’d lead…

I wouldn’t be a mom.

I wouldn’t be a wife.

I wouldn’t have gotten in the best shape of my life.

And I wouldn’t have found this crazy awesome but totally unexpected job that I love! (Heck, I’d probably still be sitting in an office working for someone else’s dreams instead! #closecall)

Faith, however it manifests in you, is EVERYTHING. Whatever you believe in, believe in it haaaard, y’all, and let it carry you through those stinkin’ doubts, aaaallllll the way to the TOP of those stairs.

An unexpected perfect life

I used to want to be a corporate climber.

I was following that route perfectly.

✔️High paying job with a big company
✔️Nice house, etc etc.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that wasn’t for me but at first, I didn’t really get why…

I mean, I had spent my whole life thinking that was the way to go and the path that would make me happy.

But instead, I was dreading every day that I went to work. I’d stare out the window and think “gah, I really don’t want to go!” The job was boring and the people were not MY people.

It was weird because I felt kind of lost. Like I had worked so hard to achieve that and then it didn’t make me happy…

Then, I had my girls. And after each one, I literally had to drop them off at a daycare at barely 8 weeks old.

That SUCKED big time.

If you’ve had to do that, you probably remember what it feels like to be crying in the daycare parking lot too.

I actually remember when Olivia was about two and I dropped her off at a new daycare and she was so scared. I will never forget that look of terror on her face as she reached for me and cried while I walked out.

I tried not to feel guilty. Our family needs two incomes and I am a woman with ambition.

But it broke my heart to leave my babies just the same.

Now though, those days almost seem like a lifetime ago.



The office of MY dreams ❤

It took me a couple more wrong turns on the career path journey to get here, but now, I LOVE my job ! It suits my need for freedom and big ambition while also filling up my cup by giving me this feeling of significance. I get to truly impact the lives of others which is AMAZING! The best part is the sisterhood that comes along with it. A super tight community of women from all over with similar goals. It’s a beautiful thing ❤


It may not be everybody else’s idea of perfection but it sure is mine!

Chicken Breast with Feta and Artichoke

14188347_10154417515860102_2883133869719641584_o-1Found this on the teambeachbody.com website, tried it and LOVED it!

Total Time:

1 hr. 28 min. Prep Time: 10 min.

Cooking Time: 18 min.

Yield: 8 servings


1 cup nonfat plain yogurt 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, divided use 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided use 1½ tsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. ground black pepper 8 (4-oz. each) raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 oz.) 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ cup canned artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes, drained Nonstick cooking spray


1. Combine yogurt, garlic, 2 Tbsp. oregano, 1 Tbsp. parsley, lemon juice, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.

2. Place chicken in a glass dish. Top with yogurt mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator, covered, turning once, for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

3. Preheat grill or broiler on high.

4. Combine cheese, tomato, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, remaining 1 Tbsp. oregano, and 1 remaining Tbsp. parsley in a large bowl; mix well. Set aside.

5. Grill or broil chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside.

6. Heat oven 350° F.

7. Place chicken on a baking pan lightly coated with spray. Top each piece with 1 rounded Tbsp. of cheese mixture. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

The #1 thing that helped me get healthy

All my life, I have swayed back and forth between various levels of healthy, but it wasn’t until my 30’s that I realized what it truly meant to be healthy and I finally got pretty close. I won’t say I’m perfect, far from it actually. However, I’m waaaay closer than I ever was before.

As a kid, I ate whatever I wanted and didn’t exercise intentionally at all. I played outside a lot and got that type of exercise but I was in no sports and pretty much embraced any chance to get out of P.E. at school that came by. Throughout high school, except my freshman year, I was what someone later told me could be described as”thick.” Now, in my freshman year, I joined the marching band as a flag twirler AND I got really sick over the summer so I lost all sorts of weight. However, when I quit the band my sophomore year, I gained it all back pretty quickly. In college, my friends exercised so I sporadically did too. I also took diet pills of various sorts. I did get pretty skinny but I was far from healthy. I still ate terribly and drank a lot and well, I was in college.

After college, I drank less and exercised more regularly because my fiance was a runner. I didn’t gain weight really until I got pregnant. I gained 50 lbs. It was AWFUL! I ate everything in sight pretty much and didn’t exercise and I was MISERABLE. I lost a little by trying things like slimfast, nutrisystem, etc etc. You name it, I tried it! None of it was long-term though. I got pregnant again and gained it all back. I tried exercising but couldn’t make a dent in the new size that I had become.

13680947_10154304382315102_5151140289346525235_nThen came Beachbody. With Beachbody came not just awesome exercise, but also recipes
for healthy food that was actually good. Even more than that though, came support. To be honest, I thought it was going to be LAME. My friend invited me to her “online challenge group” and said we’d all do Beachbody workouts and eat healthy. I was like, “um, ok, sounds dumb but I’m desperate.” Well, when my first challenge group kicked off, I immediately fell in love. I had so much fun, I learned a lot, AND I lost weight. Like a LOT of weight. I dropped 3 pant sizes in 2 months. To this day, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in and have not gained an oz of it back in almost 2 years.

I can honestly say I learned how to change my lifestyle because of this program. I can honestly say I would have quit when it got hard if it wasn’t for  those ladies in my first challenge group cheering me on. I can honestly say I still owe my continued success to the ladies in the groups that I now host every month on my own. That support and constant accountability is and always will be my gamechanger.

Exercise for not-so-sporty kids

20160817_154900 (1)Not every kid is an athlete. Not every kid enjoys competition. Not every kid wants to play team sports. However, EVERY kid does need daily exercise. But what do you do when your kid would rather play video games and stay inside all day? In the case of my oldest daughter, I realized she was not going to naturally be drawn to exercise or sports pretty early on. So, we basically went for the “put her in everything and see what sticks” method and eventually discovered physical activities that she LOVES, from the swim team to regular recess, visits to the park, and family walks on the beach.

As early as two years old, we put her in dance, then gymnastics, and then soccer, and finally swim team. The theme here is that we kept trying. She didn’t fall in love with dance, wasn’t very interested in gymnastics, and would only go on the soccer field if she was holding hands with the coach. None of them worked, but we didn’t give up. We paid attention to the things she really enjoyed and finally, we realized that her love for the pool could mean she may enjoy the swim team. We asked if she was interested, she said yes, tried out and made the team the very next day! As a no-contact sport that involves doing something she loves already – being in the pool, it is a perfect match! Plus, swimming is one of the BEST forms of exercise! Whether or not she will be excited about the races remains to be seen, but all in all, as long as she participates in the weekly practices, I’m a happy momma!

Additionally, we found a school that values activities like daily recess, daily P.E., and even has a voluntary Morning Mile program that we can all do as a family! We also take family walks on the beach, go to the park, and swim in the community pool where we live. We limit electronics time to weekends only and make sure we spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something active, even if I have to rope the girls into doing a home workout with me in our living room. They love the dancing workouts like CIZE or Country Heat!

All children are different and their strengths should be appreciated. If the things they enjoy doing are tended, they will grow and flourish.

How to make meal prep more FUN!

Don’t dread meal prep! It doesn’t have to be all “sweatin’ in the kitchen” for 5 hours of awful! I went from being like “UGH! Do I have to?” when it was meal prep day to  “alright, let’s do this thing!

What’s different? Weeeeell I came up with some things to make it more FUN!

  1. First, plan smart – think meals that will make enough for multiple days, non-cook snacks that are quick to prep, and things that have ingredients in common. This will keep your prep time to a minimum.
  2. Next, make sure you have your meal plan and recipes easily accessible. I hang my weekly meal plan right on the cabinet where I can see it not only when meal prepping but every day when packing my lunches too!
  3. Have a lot of cute, matching Tupperware on hand so you’ll know it will look really pretty when you’re done! (this could be more for those type A personalities but I do look forward to that finished product with each day laid out in a nice matching row like I always see in pics from people who are way more talented than me on social media LOL)
  4. Crack open a bottle of wine and pour a glass! It’s 21 Day Fix approved, I swear!
  5. Turn on some tunes! I like to turn on Pandora on my TV. My station is a crazy fun mix of 90’s alternative and Brittany Spears stuff LOL
  6. Ask your significant other and/or kids to join in and cook together! (now, I admit this one could backfire, in which case, I say plan your prep time when they’ll be out of the house!)
  7. Just relax! Don’t think about anything else you have to do. Enjoy this process and remember that when you’re done, you’ll be set up for success the rest of the week!


Kind of Funny Mom Tales…The Tri-Pony

Here’s how it went down.

It was time to go to Funtown for some skating and game-playing family madness! The girls were excited. I was excited. Andy was willing to join 😉 I asked the girls to get dressed so we could leave. They willingly did so with no complaints. All was progressing smoothly. That’s when I should have been worried… but I got complacent.

I brushed Brooklyn’s hair and asked if she wanted a pony tail. She said 2 pony tails. I said “OK, I’ll put in pig tails. Here’s a blue and a green hairband and some barrettes.” She said “ooh and a pink one.” I saw a pink barrette and grabbed it too.

I put in two beautifully done and evenly placed pig tails that I was pretty proud of. I told her she was all finished. She reached back and felt her head and said “is there a back one?” I didn’t know what the heck she was talking about, so I said, “No, there’s one on each side because you wanted pig tails and not a pony tail, remember?” Well that was the end of all sanity.

After about 20 minutes of ear piercing screams and a parent switch from me to Andy to try and figure out what the holy mother was happening, Brooklyn said “I WANT THREE PONYTAILS AND SHE ONLY GAVE ME TWO.”

Three ponytails? How could I have guessed that? Turns out there was a pink hairband that she had originally been asking for when I so dumbly thought she wanted the pink barrette. What kind of crap is that, right? What a failure of a mom and what a terrible life for that three year old…

When I read parenting advice, they say “learn the triggers of your child’s tantrums so you can defuse or avoid the situations before they even start.” HA! Tell me how I could have seen that one coming, oh super-wise parenting experts! In the meantime, I’ll go drink wine.