Wednesday, January 20, 2016


i am not a fan of these cold temperatures... which is one of the reasons we're moving out west! 

since we had a little snow on sunday (didn't stick - woo!), and the forecast is calling for more over the next few days (maybe i've jinxed it now!), i thought i would post a "way back wednesday" of my babies in the snow.

i sure don't like it, but they certainly do. :)  wellllll... except for mia... she's not exactly fond of it!


with warmth,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

a taste of winter

i think it's safe to say that in this house, we love chili. beans, fresh tomatoes, fresh corn, organic ground beef and sausage, fresh jalape├▒os and onions... it's all just so delicious! especially on cold days like today... it just seems to warm you to the bone. 

typically, i like to brown my meat with onions and peppers, then throw everything into the crock-pot and let it simmer for a few hours (if you have the patience). yum yum!

i think, what i love about chili so much, is the fact that you can switch out ingredients to suit certain tastes. you can take out the meat and add in lentils and quinoa; switch kidney beans to white beans; even switch the ground beef to chicken. everything is possible with this dish!

i recently found a way to make it even healthier - add more veggies! (DUH!) i'm one of those people who just doesn't like carrots or beets, no matter how they're prepared. but with as much nutritional value as they carry, it's difficult to stay away. 

so, i've been steaming them and then pulverizing them in the food chopper until they're at the right consistency, where i'll add a cup into chili - and i swear, you can't even taste it! - or add a cup into my morning smoothie. i'll freeze the leftovers for use at a different time.

i know, i know, it's a trick that's been used forever with getting children to eat their veggies without even knowing it. i just honestly never even thought to use it in a way such as this!

another interesting tidbit... i had misplaced my black pepper AND forgot to grab limes while at the grocery store - i mean, i never do that, i use limes for literally everything! well... thank goodness my essential oil rack was stocked. 

i used only a few drops of black pepper, because that stuff is potent - trust me! - and maybe 4-5 drops of lime. it really gave it the crisp taste i was looking for and was thrilled that i was able to achieve it with my oils. my dish was saved!

stay warm, friends!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

meal planning


when i meal plan... i meal plan

and of course, with everything that i do, there's a billion steps and probably a much easier way to do so... but what can i say... it works for me!

here's my list of steps for meal planning, if you're interested!

1. research recipes
because i'm an avid customer of fabletics, i receive a free magazine subscription with each order i put in. usually, all of these magazines are food and health related, so, i'll tear out the recipes that look appetizing and put them in a folder.

so, when i'm researching recipes for meal planning, i always start there. pinterest is also a great source of recipes, but lately i've started getting my menu from blue apron, where you're able to go onto their website and look at the recipes that they offer. they're all quite healthy and relatively easy (and quick!) to make.

2. switch out ingredients 
i'm allergic to all things nuts, which means i have to scour through each and every recipe to make sure that there is nothing in the ingredients that could make me have an allergic reaction (never fun). no, i don't have any nut products in my home, but since i do like to try new things, you never know what is included in many ingredients.

trust me, with a food allergy, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

3. calculate calories + carbs + protein + fat
calculating calories, carbs, protein, and fat can be exhausting. with using iifym (if it fits your macros), it allows me to eat less calories than my body requires while getting adequate protein, carbs, fat and fiber based on your goals and the energy needs of your body.

so, i'll go through and make a mock chart of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, checking to make sure that everything adds up and i'm able to meet my daily goals without any problems. 

4. adjust as needed 
because of my differing tastes, i like to always have a "back up" recipe ready to go if i get home and decide that I'm really not in the mood for salmon that particular day. 

5. make grocery list + go shopping
pretty simple!

6. prep + cook
i'm going to be honest here... i'm a bit of a microwave snob. i absolutely hate to microwave my food, as i feel like it just makes the taste so much worse. and because i'm blessed with a fully functioning kitchen at work, there is an oven, stove top, and small toaster oven available to use.

which is why i chose to prepare my meals on sundays and wednesdays. that way, nothing sits in my fridge for more than a few days, and if i change my mind on a breakfast or lunch, i'm able to do that without letting a meal sit untouched for... who knows how long!

i usually cook everything at once and put it all together when its done.

7. and finally... put it all together!
using my handy dandy kitchen scale, i'm able to properly portion my food and store my meals in super cool containers. you can find more on amazon, depending on what you're looking for.

once i put everything together, and make one final edit to my mock food chart, i'll write it all down in my erin condren wellness journal. in my wellness journal, i can track my food choices (calories and macros included), maintain my water intake, log activities, and continue to motivate myself through a choice of stickers and quotes. 

a few tips:

*learn about the different types of food and what they offer.
*don't get burnt out on the same foods over and over - mix it up!
*tired of drinking all that water? add in some lime, grapefruit, or lemon essential oil.

and as always... don't feel so pressured to make the perfect meal plans every week. don't get stressed, don't overly worry about it... remember! this life is all about living while we're here... relax and take the time you need. 

be well, friends!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

purging menial clutter

i know, i know...

we all have that stack of clothes or shelves of knick-knacks that we desperately need to go through, but shrug it off for "when we have more time"... yeah... like that's ever going to happen.

while perusing the hgtv website over the weekend, i found an article titled "stop household clutter: 15 things to get rid of right now", and knew i had to share it with you all.

this list reveals perfect and practical ways of getting in the habit right now and doing something about it! it's an easy stepping stone to completely purging your home... trust me.

there are a lot of simple things you have laying around, such as your old calendar, socks without mates, that dried up sponge that sits next to your sink, and expired makeup (*raises hand*) that will literally take less than five minutes to simply go through and trash it. 

trust me, ladies... that faded, 3 month old sponge isn't going to scrub that pan any cleaner, and that mascara that you've had for two years isn't going to miraculously replenish itself. i know, it's really really really difficult to throw things away... but as i said before... trust me! because once you start clearing things out, you won't want to stop!

it's easier to justify keeping everything and storing them for a later time, as your mind starts panicking, what if i need a date from the calendar? then write it down somewhere else! what if i find the matching sock? ...i think we both know that's not going to happen.

becoming more organized and less cluttered doesn't mean getting rid of everything you own and keeping your house spotless. thanks to pinterest, we now have an effective way to manage our stuff, without the clutter, and still look like we have a "lived in" home.

for instance...

hide your wireless router!

furniture that doubles as storage!

using glass jars to replace cardboard and plastic boxes!


keep a storage box in the bottom of your closet. when you're putting clothes away, or find an item that you don't want anymore, instead of leaving it on the hanger "for another day", toss it into the box. once it's filled, send it off to the salvation army for someone else to have! 

get busy, friends!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

new years gratitude

well, it's that time again... a time for reflection, a time for new beginnings, a time for resolutions. we look back onto the year that we've recently completed and decide how we would like to change our lives for the better.

some decide to lose weight, some decide to travel more, some decide to save money and pay off debt. 

while i haven't made a "resolution" in quite some time, i have decided that this will be the year of gratitude. 

  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

i vow to take appreciation in every day. 
i vow to show gratitude with every breath i take. 
i vow to be thankful for the many opportunities given to me.

a new year can bring so many good things to so many people, and i sincerely hope that each and every one of you resolves to do something good in this coming year. whether its putting down your phones and spending more time with your family, rescuing puppies (hint, hint!), or even taking the time to slow down and appreciate what you have... find the joy in it all.

be grateful, friends!

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