May 29, 2015

3 Things in Your 20s That you Need to Know

Age is just a number right?
Well despite that there are different things to think about health wise that do depend on that number.

I think as a whole despite all we see in society about everyone getting bigger and fatter and more unhealthy, in general we are trending the exact opposite. Never have we been more focused on health benefits and food. To be fair though, I have always been focused on food. I love food. Too much....

I credit my nursing experience and my mother's wisdom to these three tidbits that all twenty somethings should keep in mind for being happy and healthy:

Fiber can be friendly
We women need 25 grams of fiber a day according to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. We need this amount until we are 50 because it lowers cholesterol levels, lowers blood glucose levels, and as everyone knows, it keeps things moving (so to speak). But if you are worried about your fiber intakes moving too much...just remember to speak with your provider. Ultimately fiber can lower your risk of colorectal cancer by keeping it moving. 

We aren't planning for baby
I mean some of us don't want kids immediately, but you should keep your weight healthy and eat foods rich with folic acid (dark green vegetables and fruit juices) for up to five years before you plan to conceive. This will help your fertility and studies suggest that adequate folic acid can protect babies from some birth defects.

It is okay to get a D
The biggest help for me I feel in my body heath and choices is what supplements I take. Vitamin D is my favorite. Vitamin D has been shown to be able to help with weight loss and depression.  Those of us who stay away from the sun and lather on the sunscreen (which continues to be a great choice) could be deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a huge role in calcium absorption (which is fantastic since we women are at risk for osteoporosis and at age 30 our bones are as strong as they are going to get!) I personally do not take calcium supplements but instead try and eat lots of cheese and broccoli. 

What is something that you credit to your health and well being that others might not know?
Please share!

May 27, 2015

A Quick Trip to LA

After going to Santa Barbara I explored LA a little bit. I think for me, I am just not an LA girl, but I can check it off my list of been there, done that.

Flying in and out is a beast of its own. LA airport sure is BUSY.

I am probably not qualified to give any advice on going to LA because I was there for so short a time and realized quickly it was not my place. I went out to Malibu and found that a little bit more enjoyable.

Saw: Venice Beach, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, The Sunset Strip

If you visit Malibu a must visit is the Adamson House (admission is free!). Very pretty!

 What do you think of LA and the LA area?
What are some of your favorite things to do in LA?

May 25, 2015

Happiest Moments

I am a person you would call nostalgic. I love reminiscing with friends, flipping through old family photographs, and recalling special stories from my childhood. So much of who I am today is based on those little moments, preserved in memories. Being nostalgic does leave room for me to have regrets, but I try not to focus on that. It is not often that I get to take the time to pinpoint those happy memories. The moments that made me me. This reminds me that the best memories should always be on the top of my mind. 

With that being said, the other night I was thinking of my all time happiest moment. I would have to say either my engagement or my wedding ceremony.

My engagement was a surprise to me. I couldn't stop saying "oh my gosh" and I couldn't hug Kevin hard enough! My wedding ceremony was something I was nervous for. I had a long walk down the aisle and for some reason I thought I might look/sound like a dork. In my head I thought it would look funny. Could Kevin and I look serious and adult and "look the part" getting married? For some reason I thought I might laugh. No idea why. Its not like I have never been to a wedding where during the ceremony I thought, wow, these people aren't in love.

But all I felt in that moment was love. I felt more comfortable in a spotlight moment than I have ever felt in all my life. The most comfortable moment of my life was vowing myself to Kevin.

Tomorrow Kevin and I will celebrate 3 years married. 
This week I will reminisce. 

I'd love to know: can you pinpoint your happiest moment?
What about comfortable?

May 22, 2015

Let's Get Real in the Kitchen

I mentioned here that it is the worst when you get excited about using a recipe, using lots of time, ingredients, and money for the recipe, for it to come out awful. And the worst part is that there are plenty PLENTY of leftovers.

I have started to explore more in the evidenced by all the recipe posts on the blog. But there are some nights where I just need to not think of something new to do, but want something new.

What is a girl to do?
Go to a good cookbook.

I know (and I use it frequently) that the internet and Pinterest are great, but sometimes a good ol fashion cookbook is nice.

Seeing the beauty of a beautiful book with beautiful pictures inspires me. I really wish I could get with it and start taking beautiful pictures of my food for the blog.

Since I eat a lot of meat, I wanted to try a no meat recipe. I have not been creative in coming up with non meat recipes that I like. Enter Food 52 Genius Recipes and the recipe for Cauliflower Steaks.


1 Head of Cauliflower
1 1/2 cup of water
1 cup of whole milk
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350.

Use a sharp knife and starting at the top center of the cauliflower head, cut two one ince thick slices of cauliflower, cutting through the temp end. Set these steaks aside.

Cut enough florets from the remaining cauliflower head to measure 3 cups. Combine the florets with water and milk in a medium saucepan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the florets are tender. (I found it to be about 10 minutes) Strain reserving one cup of the cooking liquid.

Transfer the florets into a blender and add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Add more of the liquid if desired and puree again. (I needed to) Return the puree to the saucepan.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and add the steaks to the skillet and cook until golden brown then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Rewarm the cauliflower puree in the sauce pan and serve under the cauliflower steak.


I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

What are some of your favorite meatless dishes?

May 20, 2015

Santa Barbara, CA

Weekends filled with friends and wine are just about as good as they get.
I had that when I finally got to visit Santa Barbara, California.

Santa Barbara has beautiful architecture, perfect weather, and spectacular views. 
Here are a list of the things you have to do when you visit
Santa Barbara!

 \\   Wine and Dine   //

Kunin Wines (modern, good wine)
Cold Spring Tavern (really casual, tri-tip for lunch)
Blue Agave (eh, okay, good drinks)
Baja Sharkeez (good, cheap, casual)
Garrett's Old Fashion Restaurant (great breakfast, affordable, friendly staff)
Breakwater Restaurant (breakfast)--I mean look at this view:

 \\   Visit   //

The Santa Barbara Courthouse
It is located downtown and has the most amazing architecture and is probably the most beautiful government building ever!

Santa Barbara Mission 
The mission is beautiful. I probably in all honesty prefer the missions in Texas, but here is worth a  silly visit!

Day trip to Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley.
 It is a quaint city that is inspired by Swedish architecture. Plus the wine is just amazing!

Lauren's Tasting Picks:
Roblar Winery (would have to try again, good wine, but we had a terrible guy taking care of us)
Gainey Vineyard (beautiful grounds, okay wine)
Firestone Vineyard (fun service, beautiful grounds, good wine)
Presidio Vineyard and Winery (loved the wine here, lots of nice pours)
Casa Cassara Winery (small family feel, great wine, great stories)

Oh and don't forget about wineries in nearby Los Olivos.

Lauren's Tasting Picks:
Saarloos and Sons (cupcakes and wine and crowded, I got cupcakes and left)
Carhartt Vineyard (really cute place to try wine)
Artiste Winery and Tasting Studio (you can paint while you taste! So great!)


Moreton Bay Fig Tree. 
It rises over 80 feet above the ground. It is a pretty amazing tree.

Beautiful plants
I mean they are seriously beautiful. I love bougainvillea. It is my favorite.

The Beach
I mean duh. It is so beautiful. I wish that I wasn't injured right now otherwise I would have been all up in that water!

Have you ever been to Santa Barbara?!
Did I leave out any of your favorite places?

May 12, 2015

A Mother's Day Weekend for a Non-Mother

This weekend I watched my youngest sister unpack from her first year in the college dorms. I am proud of her for doing so well and working so hard all while being well rounded. My other sister recently graduated college and is making her way. She is changing before my eyes. 

I look at my sisters and want to take away their hardships. I want them to have nothing but good. They have had enough hardships in her life. But the hard stuff, that is what makes us better, what makes us stronger. I know both of these to be true. How can your heart possibly balance this?

I am their older sister, always have, always will be. I can't even how a mother could balance all those feelings. 

Way to go mom, I know we have all given you the best and worst moments in life. Way to go to all the moms who love as hard as they can love everyday. We love you too.

I got what I wanted this Mother's Day and I am not even a mother. I got to see my mom and talk and laugh with her. I got to give my dad the biggest hug. I got to see my sisters happy and healthy. I got to see my mother in law and all of her family who are going through some unthinkable circumstances and staying strong as a family.

This was a good weekend.

May 8, 2015

Happy Mama's Day

To all the mamas who make the world go round, 

You are the coolest!


Mom, I can't thank you enough for your sacrifice, dedication, and most importantly, beauty tips.

You're the best.

Mom-in-law, Thank you for all your support and love you have shown me!

You're the kindest.

This year I actually get to spend Mother's Day with my mother and mother-in-law! I am going to go and enjoy my weekend now. I hope you do too! 

May 4, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Menu Ideas

Cinco De Mayo is tomorrow and I am excited to dive into all the Mexican food and drink that I can. I have some great recipes to share with you today for any great Mexican celebration!

Oh and if anyone sees any cute margarita glasses, I have been looking for SO LONG. Send a link this sisters way!

Tomorrow you could try some Enchiladas Verde for a really great traditional dish. 
Easy Enchies are an easier way to do milder enchiladas.

You may have some Tacos Traditional like me!

For breakfast you might enjoy some Huevos Rancheros.

And for dessert Sopapilla Cheesecake is the bomb!

Fajitas are also always a solid choice.

For Arizona Sonora style food I may just partake in a Sonoran Hot Dog for lunch!

For low carb options, Stuffed Bell Peppers or Bell Pepper Nachos would be yummy.

Can't forget about Guacamole! And using it for Guacamole Tostadas is a yummy way to go!

Then there are great snack options like Salsa which you could smother over a burrito! 

Oh and Enchilada Roll Ups are a pretty yummy option for snacking too!

Lastly a great margarita is key! Clench your thirst with a Watermelon Margarita!

How do you celebrate Cinco De Mayo?

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