Monday, August 18, 2014

{Recipe} The Best Chocolate Protein Bars. Ever.

Happy Monday, friends! 

As it turns out, a newborn, a "spirited" 2.5 year old, a 4 year and moving can be semi-difficult. I've definitely not been as good on this challenge as I have been on ones in the past but, it's about progress, not perfection so, I'm still pluggin' along! I'll be back tomorrow with more daily eats - I'm going to condense days - I fell like I'm wearin' ya'll out doing one post for each day :)

Moving on to the goods. Go ahead and plan on puttin' the ingredients on your grocery list 'cause you're gonna wanna make these on the super fly. 


2 cups Oat Flour (I just put old fashioned oats in the food processor and blend until fine)
8 Egg Whites (I've been using a 16oz carton of Egg Beaters - I hate wasting the yolks)
4 scoops Vanilla Muscle Gain
3/4 cup Truvia
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Unsweetened Applesauce
6 tbsp Baking Cocoa (I like Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 cup Water (only use if the batter needs to be thinned out a little)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients (oat flour, Muscle Gain, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa) together in a large bowl.
Mix wet ingredients (egg whites/beaters, Truvia, applesauce and water) together in a separate medium sized bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
Spray a 9x13 glass pan with a non stick spray and add batter to dish.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until done (I stick a toothpick in the middle and when it comes out clean, it's done!). 
Note: I like to undercook mine just a little bit :)

I hope you enjoy these as much as our family does! They are perfect little treats when you're wanting something sweet or just a mid afternoon or evening snack.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

24 Day Challenge Series :: Day 3 & Meal Prep

Let me start by saying that I spent the entire day meal prepping. You would think that I prepped enough for the Zombie Apocalypse but, sadly no, just enough to get us through a few days

Friday, August 8, 2014

He's Finally Here!

Our little guy has finally arrived! 

And he is pure perfection. He is definitely his father's son! 

I apologize up front for the lack of typical hospital pictures but, is it me or, is there seriously someone in your hospital room 24/7? I felt like every time I tried to call someone or do well, anything, in would pop someone else. 

Nurse: "Oh, hi. I'm here to draw your blood." 
Me: "Oh, hello. Did you see what I just went through to avoid the epidural needle?! I'll spare you the details but, yeah, I don't think that's gonna happen."
Nurse: *crickets*

Bless their hearts for putting up with me. 

Charlie has been with the grandparent's for going on almost a week now (there is going to be some serious grandparent detoxing happening next week #imafraid) but, I managed to snag a couple of Breaker and "My baby". 

I mean. #idie right? Such an incredible feeling of grateful heartedness when I look at this. 

Then fast forward to our first night at home annnnnnd we're back. Ace, we're gonna have to toughen you up quick, kid if there's a hope of you standing a chance. 

I'm basically obsessed with taking pictures of everything these days so make sure to follow me on the greatest thing ever.

And in other news, this should surprise no one, but I'm on Day 1 of my first 24 Day Challenge in a hot minute and I'll be blogging about each day - food, workouts, progress, etc. so make sure to follow along. Today was Day 1 and whew, I picked up a lot of bad habits over the past 10 months!

Big news in the moving situation and on the blog homefront too, so stay tuned for all that awesomeness!

Be back Monday with Day 1 of my 24 Day Challenge!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Master Bed & Bath {Before & After} You HAVE to see the before...

I apologize for being MIA but, lot's goin' on ova heah.

  1. We have a pending offer on the house!!! Happy, sad, nervous and excited! 
  2. AdvoCare is in massive action. The hubs has recently caught the vision. We're now helping change people's lives TOGETHER. A long-time prayer answered. 
  3. Oh, yeah. And having our third little angel literally ANY day now! So excited to meet the little guy! 
I was really hesitant to post this because the before's are so insanely horrendous. Like, I can't...seriously but, I was super happy with the after's that I've gotten over it. Kind of.

Things didn't go exactly like my original design board but, I got close and am super happy with the finished room. So, come back with me, if you will, to this hot mess...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boys' Bedroom {Before & After}

I promise, I'm not as horrible at life as I am at keeping a blogging schedule. Well, maybe a little right now. There's been five swimming lessons and we have yet to make it to one, I still haven't gotten the newborn clothes out of storage (16 days to due date...)and ate hard boiled eggs for lunch...and dinner.
Either way, I'm still a firm believer in the saying "You'll never have more time than you do today" so, trying to suck it up :)

On to the fun stuff - before and afters!

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Journey Back to Faith

I planned on sharing some more before and after's of the house but, felt compelled to share something that's been on my heart (and in a draft post) for a while now. I've never shared this part of my life partially because I think I was embarrassed and also a little afraid of being judged when I make the inevitable misstep.

I've been working on my spiritual growth over the past few months but, just didn't feel God's presence. I'm a Christian, I went to Christian schools for many years and I believe His Word to be true from my very core. God is all around us, every second of every day, in every thing. I absolutely know and believe that with every ounce of my being but, how do I reflect that in my actions and make it my heart? How do I take that and have it make a difference in my life? That is where I was struggling.

My heart didn't feel whole.

The hubs says that he feels God speak to him and all he does is listen and act. Um, #excuseme what. I want that! I want God to talk to me and I listen. I knew I needed to really pursue Christ to be the kind of wife and mother I want to be (and the one God wants me to be). Not just say but, act. Like really live my life chasing His will. Fulfilling His purpose for me. Letting Him transform my heart, thoughts and actions. It's almost like I would hear God speaking to me and then kind of resist it when it was something I didn't want to hear. A good friend told me that often times we view our relationship with God like we view the one with our actual father - and that made a whole...whole lot of sense to me. I've always been one to think that I know better, that despite what someone (anyone) tells me, I'm gonna do it my way. Even if I know they're right and I'm wrong. I have to learn the hard way which, has caused me a lot of pain, heartache and tangled feelings that I've had to work through over the years.

As #craycray as it sounds, PowerSheets are what have helped me connect the dots. Helped me create some action items that will help me build that deeper relationship with God that I desire and truly transform my heart. I reached out to a friend and asked for her advice. This is someone I have seen grow in incredible ways and she has had such an impact on me as a wife, mother and so much more. She had many words of wisdom and her words of truth and encouragement were what really pushed me into taking action on changing those empty feelings I was having.

After I spent a few days praying (as best as I know how) reflecting on what I want my life to look like, what kind of family I want to raise and what kind of wife, mother, friend and person I want to be, I had 5 areas of focus.
  1. Faith
  2. Husband
  3. Children 
  4. Others 
  5. Self

I've learned that my brain seems to work best in a compartmentalized manner (which is reinforced by the time management/organizational system that I'm using. Seriously, amazing. I'll share more about that in the next couple weeks) and when I write things down. Seems to be the only way that things really sink in. 

From this larger goal, you're asked to break it down into an Action Plan that included listing the Why and How. This forced me to form and refine my purpose and put it on paper. One of the biggest things I've learned from Advocare is the importance of having a solid purpose so, I really embraced this exercise. 

My Goal:
  • I want to know God's heart through reading the Bible and devotionals (Jesus Calling) start to finish this year and through prayer. I want to seek and align His will with my daily activities, thoughts and actions. I want to ACT on His will and teachings.
My Why:
  • Because my family needs me to do this more than they need me to do anything. I don't want God to have to teach me the hard way to get me to listen. It's the only way to fill the void in my heart and accomplish every and any other goal I set. I want Him to know that I treasure His blessings and grace through my thoughts and actions, not just my words. Words mean nothing if your behaviors and actions don't align. My boys teach me that every day. They learn by seeing. I want to earn their respect.

My How:
  • Finding a church and asking God for the guidance and discipline to do this - I'm honestly embarrassed to admit that we don't go to church. I always felt like you didn't need to go to church to be a good person and a strong Christian but, as it turns out, there are several verses here that talk about the importance of going to church and why. My girlfriend also said that it's important to pray about it and find a one where God wants you to serve - not just where they have casual dress code and a great daycare/kids program (not that I even thought...or maybe even mentioned that those were my criteria to her. Nope. Definitely didn't do that). 

  • Reading Jesus Calling each morning before checking any social media - this was a hard one for me. Again, embarrassing but, I'm working on it.
  • Being still, spending time with God and praying throughout the day - it's weird. I feel like I don't know how to pray. What do I say? How do I become disciplined and focused so that my mind doesn't wander? I'll start praying and it's like I'm not really there. This is a big focus for me because I think prayer takes practice.  
  • Getting rid of distractions that keep me from this - I unfollowed a lot of people/groups on Facebook and Instagram that weren't positive or fully in line with my values (ex. Someecards, certain fitness accounts on IG, etc.). I've also set some technology boundaries. My phone is a slippery slope. I found myself checking FB, IG, etc. habitually. Kid #1 calls my phone my camera because I'm always taking pictures with it and not too long ago he said to me, "mommy, QUIT LOOKING AT YOUR CAMERA! LOOK AT ME!!" I now am only on my computer or phone (for anything except something regarding the husband or kids) before they get up, when they're at school, or when they're napping. It's been really hard because I love being available to my Advocare people/team all the time, but it just didn't align with my core, nor my priorities so, I've had to set some boundaries. 

I think that my Spiritual journey is much like my health and fitness journey. I had to get to a point where I wanted and needed change and was willing to do the work to make it happen. 

God put things, like Advocare and my friend, Danielle, in my life to give me the tools, support and mentorship that I needed to truly transform my life. It's been an amazing journey so far and I am so excited to live the life that God is calling me to and fulfilling His purpose for me. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Basement {Before & After}

I want to apologize for the half-heartedness of this post right off the bat. I am knee-deep in my #powersheets (and loving every second) and working on a few of my monthly and weekly goals like:
  • trying to create and implement a time management system
  • learning to set some boundaries with work and the kids, 
  • and blogging more often.
I haven't quite got it all figured out just yet but, I'm working on it!

So, our basement. I didn't take many before pictures because this was one of the first areas we conquered and I think I was trying to block the whole situation out. I've since come a long way and have learned to embrace a good challenge but, this basement was a holy hot mess. There were cats (one of which they claimed to be the grandparent of Jinx from Meet the Parents...?! I can't make this stuff up) and birds...and a tanning bed.  

We started by ripping out the blue indoor/outdoor carpet and refinishing the floors (which I talked a little bit about that and the office HERE). Everything was a disaster down there and had to be re-done. Walls, trim, baseboards, ev-er-y-thing.

I'll start with my favorite room. Mostly because it's a long narrow room and we really had to be creative with how to best utilize it. It was originally a "media room". 

and who even has physical "media" anymore? Not me but, I do have wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Isn't that a much better use of the space?! Obviously, if you agree, we need to meet because we're destined to be bff's.

The wall color. Oh, the wall color. It's Sherwin Williams Ethereal Mood and although it's in the gray family, it pulls GREEN. I mean really green. I'd definitely do a different color if I had it to do over again, just because I'm not a huge fan of green on walls (unlike the previous owners) but, I chose this color off of a swatch instead of a sample on the wall. Big mistake, people. Huge. Rule #1 when choosing a paint color. Put it on the wall!

The racks came from Wine Racks America. They were super reasonable and great quality. I highly recommend them, if you're looking to do something similar in your home. The countertops are green onyx and I LOVE them. They are definitely unique and don't appeal to everyone, or look good in every room but, we wanted to add some character to the basement.

On to the living area.

I didn't get an after shot just like this one, because of the way the room is now put together but, you get the idea - hot mess city.

The after is actually shot from where that TV is.

{that couch and chair. another one of the husband's pre-marriage purchases...}

We opted not to paint the brick, like we did upstairs since I thought white would kind of compete with the floors. We sprayed the fireplace surround black and that looks about a thousand times better than brass. And you may recognize the built-ins. We repurposed the shelving in the media room and installed them out in the main room. They were sprayed in Sherwin Williams Dover White and the wall color is Sherwin Williams Useful Gray. I LOVE this color. It pulls a little tan (?) but it's a really great neutral gray that works in a lot of different rooms (It's also in the nursery upstairs that I'll be sharing later this week after the closet system is in). 

Here is the basement "bedroom" - which after shooting these, I realized that it looks a little more like a prison cell than a bedroom. This was a storage type room up until last week so, I've never spent any time making it into a true guest bedroom. I promise it's not this bad in person. Well, the rug is. I'd like to blame the husband but, I think this was a pregnancy brain purchase about 5 years ago. It's a king bed so the room is actually pretty big, but it was kinda hard to capture. Wall color is Useful Gray as well.

I will tell you, I am LOVING everything Nate Burkus at Target right now. #idie over these sheets.

The bathroom proved to be difficult to capture as well but, you can see the detail in the onyx a little more here. Isn't it dreamy?! The wall color is Agreeable Gray and this is another favorite. It pulls a little tan/green but, it's still gray. Definitely one you want to sample first, though!

So there you have it. The finally finished basement! Will be sharing some more #powersheet (are you guys sick of hearing about these yet?! Sorry, they are seriously just that amazing) awesomeness and my 5 goals for the next 6 months, as well as, my mission statement...that I've been meaning to actually come up with for oh, I don't know, 2 years now. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Updated Grocery List

Popping in today to share my updated Grocery List! I'm working on a post that gathers up the resources in which I meal plan from as well so, be on the look out for that.

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pantry // Mudroom {Before & After}

Excited for the group that's getting ready to start their 24 Day Challenge. Email me if you haven't received your stuff!

Now, on to some more before and after's. The pantry was one of the only things that I actually liked about this house when we first looked at it. Coming from a tiny little closet and seeing the rest of the house, this is all I had to hold on to...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Main Floor {Before & After :: Part 1}

I found all the 'before' pictures of our house from when it was on the market (I apologize that they're not the best quality) before we purchased it. Get ready, it's....well, it's interesting. We'll just leave it at that.

So here we go!

What we have here is the sunroom. This was honestly the best room in the house, at the time.

And here it is today.

If you're wondering why the side tables are a little bare, it's because I have the wildest two year old on the planet. He, like his father, cannot be trusted with small, breakable items.

*Pretend you don't see the driftwood stool by the door* It belongs next to the media console but, pregnancy brain forgot to move it.

We spend quite a bit of time in this room and I love, love, love looking at the gallery wall. I think everyone should have one in their home somewhere. Those fans however, not a huge fan of them, but they were last on our to-do/budget list so, they're there for now.

The wall color is Sherwin Williams Gray Clouds. To me, is the quintessential, perfect 'gray'. It doesn't pull blue, green, purple or brown (at least not in this room). We still have to switch out the patio (?) door hardware but, have yet to be able to find any. Seriously, does nowhere carry these?! I like to think that I can track down just about anything but, these. These are scarce. If anyone knows where one might get their hands on some, drop me an email!

We also chose to leave the ceiling and window casings in their original colors. It gave a room more character and depth. I think white would have made it too sterile but, maybe not. Erin, over at Sunny Side Up has a similar style and her new house is amazing so, it may have been fine but, I actually like the contrast.

Ok, moving on to the kitchen. Get ready for these...

Do you hear angels singing?! I did not when we first walked in. Thankfully, the husband, despite his aforementioned annoyances, has quite a design vision.

No words here, people. No words. I'm actually a little surprised I don't see the League of Their Own framed movie poster hanging in here that the previous owners gifted us (that and the table you see here...). The fact that Tom Hanks stayed in this house while they were filming was their main selling point. My only thought was, "wtf, Tom. I expected you to have better taste than this".  Never thought quite the same of him since.

And here it is today.

We basically gutted everything in this area. During which, I was confined to living in the basement making meals only in a crockpot and washing Charlie's sippy cups in the bathroom sink...8 months pregnant. If I could give you guys one piece of advice, don't do this to yourselves. I had more breakdowns than I can count and this is probably the time I developed the twitch I have now anytime I see a crockpot.

I have the boys' artwork hanging on the backsplash so, not sure if you can tell that it's white subway tile. I'm sure our realtor will suggest that I take it down but, not happnin'. I love looking at their sweet handprints and scribbles. Especially when I've got my head shoved underneath the cabinets trying to regain my composure after Breaker threw an egg at me while standing on the counter (true story).

If you look closely (or probably not even closely), you can see where I attempted to brush out a mop I left behind the chair in the sunroom. And that friends, is why I am not a graphic designer.

The husband built this table and I love it. We looked everywhere for a long, skinny table to no avail so, he found some barnwood on Craigslist and, handy little devil, built one himself. We put a piece of Absolute Black granite with a honed finish down the middle to put hot dishes on and the chairs are Restoration Hardware Remy Side Chairs. They're still on sale so, if you're in the market, snag these babies up!

Lastly, here is the living room. You guys, I can't. I just. can't.

Like what?! I don't even know here.

And here is the same view today.

Oh, no. It doesn't stop there.

Ladies, can you imagine your husband taking  you into this and saying, "yep, this is the one, Honey." I thought he had ingested some sort of a hallucinogen and lost his mind. I've since learned to keep a much more open mind but, initially this was tough for me.

I'll hopefully be back this week with more before and after's but, we'll see what the kiddo's and husband have up their dirty little sleeves :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home Office {Before & After}

It takes everyone a year to finish a simple project, right? Please say yes...

No? Well, in any case wanted to share some pretty amazing before and afters of our current house. This is the first house my husband and I have purchased together so, you'll see a lot of his/her things. It's been an interesting transition but, this baby has come a lonnnnnng way from it's day-we-purchased-it state. I'm going room by room as I get them finished so, I'll probably be skipping around a bit, but is life these days :)

Here is the basement office, semi-before. Before-before was an even hotter mess, if you can imagine that. Blueish indoor/outdoor carpet and I'm pretty sure the previous owners had a bird in there (?!?!) Little known fact about me, I HATE birds. They just freak me out. #ihaveissues but, moving on.

Here it is after we moved in, painted, ripped up the carpet and did stained concrete. Which by the way, was a great idea, in theory but, I'd do tile if I had it to do all over again. It's gorgeous when it's buffed, but the minute you even look at it, it looks muddy and sad. But, it's concrete and we got a CRAZY good deal on it, so I'm not too mad about it.

So, back to the office. Here are some before's:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Week Meal Plan {Jenna's Kitchen}

If you've been looking for a little help in the meal planning department, look no further.
I have found an awesome one week meal plan, courtesy of Jenna over at Jenna's Kitchen. She presents a typical week of 3 meals/day of whole foods. It even comes with a grocery list. How great is that! This is great plan for those new to whole foods, or veterans looking to switch it up. And bonus...all of it is 24 Day Challenge approved (at least when I'm your coach)!

I found I liked this a plan and layout a ton better than emeals. It calls for salmon on a few occasions. HERE and HERE are my favorite sources for quality fish.

Jenna is offering a 10% discount on this plan using the code HELLOSTRIPES

Head on over and get this killer meal plan HERE and enjoy!

Would love to hear what you guys think ~

Friday, May 9, 2014

Work-at-Home Moms

Taking a little break from recipes and food stuff to share some ideas for the work-at-home-moms. Came across a post from and God knew I needed it. I've been having a tough time lately serving with love. I LOVE staying at home and everything that comes with it and and I love that I've been able to continue to do so AND contribute significantly with the financial (and countless others) blessing of Advocare, but there are days where it is still really tough to stay home and work part-time with two (soon to be three) young ones. 

I felt so overwhelmed with the little ones, being pregnant, being a wife, cooking healthy meals for my family and everything else it takes to run a household. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I was mentally exhausted and never sat down, but never felt like I got anything done. I called my sweet husband bawling because it was three hours past the kids' naptime and they were still fighting it. "What am I doing wrong here?!" It was a string of a few bad days and I know that it was me, not them, not anything

I knew I just had my priorities all out of whack. I was so focused on trying to get our house ready to sell, the demands of life that every person experiences and distracting myself from doing household chores (and telling Breaker 'no' for the 15,987th time that day), that I let my relationship with God fall down to the bottom of the list and it was very apparent in my thoughts and actions. 

I knew I had my priorities in the wrong order and a few weeks later, a friend sent me this post. It was just what my heart and mind needed. 
Recalibration and a guideline for how to get some intention back into my days. Please head over there and read the entire thing for yourself, but here are the CliffsNotes.

  1. Create a Schedule
  2. Establish Boundaries to Eliminate Distractions (this one is really hard for me!)
  3. Find Reliable Childcare
  4. Let Go of Something (for me, it's been TV but, it should be Facebook...)
  5. Don't Compromise Sleep
  6. Hold a Weekly Planning Meeting
  7. Get Out of the House (Network, Nurture Friendships, Etc. Advocare has been HUGE for me in this area. Have such a great group of girlfriends because of it.)

Creating a schedule has allowed me to put my relationship with God back at the top, which has given me the strength, energy and grace I need to get through this season of life. It's an incredible one, but whew, it definitely tests you. This blog gives me a lot of strength and I turn to it often when I'm feeling a little mentally or spiritually worn down. It's really things like THIS and THIS that remind me what life is really all about. 

I think we're all (hopefully) on a path of continual improvement. Having a family and being a part of such an amazing Advo-family has challenged me personally in ways I couldn't have imagined five years ago. I hope that you find these resources as moving and helpful as I have.

What are you guys reading/doing to fill up your tanks and accomplish all of your goals? 

Love to hear it! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My No. 1 Healthy Lifestyle Tip

You may have noticed, I've been pretty MIA lately due to the miniature dictators that are currently going through "a phase" and requiring 99.9% of my time so, I'll get right to it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greek Chicken Salad {Current Favorite Recipe}

This very well may be the most legit recipe I've ever concocted. It's super easy and packed with flavor, veggies and lean protein #totalwin.

I crave acidic food like it's nobody's bidness - like eat lemons kinda crave. This baby is right up my alley and you guys will love this. Promise. It's perfect for on-the-go eating, too!

Don't hate me for my complete lack of even attempting to bust out a camera. I get roughly 8 seconds to myself everyday and I just used 7 to write this little post. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My New Breakfast Jam {Super Easy Recipe}

*Please excuse the inevitable typos since I'm posting this from my phone while I'm getting my hair done*

Wanted to share my crazy easy go-to breakfast that keeps me full all morning long - quite a feat for this girl!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Heart Buffalo

My love of buffalo sauce knows no bounds. Other than wine, caffeine and sushi, it's been what I've been craving most. I've found a few (two are pretty similar) protein recipes that you can add to your lineup*!

Monday, February 17, 2014

{Recipe} Clean Chicken Salad :: 2 Ways

Summer, please hurry. This may be a bit overdramatic, but I'm dying. Withering away from lack of sunlight. My hands look at least 5 years older from this cold, dry weather. And we all know that's when it gets real. When your hands look older - it's time to cut the crap and get warm.

I've been craving and making the heck out of some summer foods. Other than turning the thermostat up to 75, it's the only thing keeping me alive. I thought I'd share a couple winners that even the husband approved of!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{Recipe} Perfect Chicken

I know I promised this recipe last week, but due to the husband's ambitious 'Project Insulate the Attic',