Saturday, October 21, 2017

hope for the hopeless...

Earlier this year I was talking to a friend and she encouraged me (in more ways than one) to find what makes me unique and showcase that when it comes to blogging and my social media. 

I’ve been pondering that conversation ever since and have been pushing myself to open up, be humbled, be raw, be honest, and most importantly be someone who is an encouragement to this here online community. Not. Easy. 

Life has been pretty hard lately. My husband and I feel like we’re in the trenches of this super crazy hard season. This spiritual super battle. So I fell away. It got harder to blog. Harder to do my beloved Instagram cooking demo stories, hard to really do much other than self protect, damage control and live off of auto pilot. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

backyard vow renewal...

Over the summer I had the immense pleasure of photographing one of my favorite couples ever, for their 10th wedding anniversary vow renewal. 

It was SUCH a sweet gathering, very intimate, of just a few friends and family in the backyard of their new home they purchased (and redid!!!) last year. My friend, Tiffany, has such an eye for decor and all things farmhouse chic, so it's no surprise that this celebration was done in that very style. 

Whites, light hues of greens and pinks, wood accents and lots of natural elements made up the simple, yet extremely sweet and beautiful decor. And yes, she did it all herself. 

Anyone wondering if they can throw a little backyard wedding in farmhouse style, look no further. It can be done and can be done beautifully.

Friday, September 29, 2017

braised red cabbage with bacon...

Fall is here guys. (Who's cheering big cheers alongside me on this one??)

I can't think of a better autumnal side dish than our favorite side dish ever- braised red cabbage with like the biggest ratio of bacon ever. Because honestly, it's all about starting that fall sweater weather body. 

Who am I kidding? We eat this sucker year round and I sport my sweater weather body all 12 glorious months of the year.

Monday, September 18, 2017

our thrive market staples...

If you've been following me for some time now, you know I love me some Thrive Market

At first one might think it's just another run of the mill health food something or another, but I kid you not- it's been one of the bigger blessings to our kitchen (and wallets)! Put simply, Thrive Market is an online store that is sort of like if Amazon and Whole Foods had a baby. Basically it's a place where for a small yearly membership fee (like Amazon Prime or Costco) you have a crazy array of natural, clean, healthy foods and home products at your fingertips (like Whole Foods)... but with WAY CHEAPER PRICES! Like, 25-50% off the brands you love, no coupon or code needed. Forever.

There is a minimum you need to get free shipping ($49) but if you add to your cart as you run out of things (think of it like your own grocery list) after a few weeks you will totally meet that minimum. AND they are constantly giving away freebees to orders over $59! Which again, we hit every 2 or so weeks. Then you just place your order online or via their app on your phone (this is what I use and it's SO easy!!) and in a few days it is delivered right to your door step. And And And! Thrive will give you 25% off your first order (and a free 30 day trial)! Sign up here.

They have all of your favorite brands too! Like Primal Chocolate, Primal Kitchen, Artisana, Four Sigmatic and Navitas Organics amongst so many others! All at a really nice discount. And even more discounted? Their own name brand products, which we have tried and also love! It's not just food either. There are bath and body products, baby stuff (like Honest diapers!), home necessities (like sponges or Mrs Meyers cleaners) etc. 

Lots to love. I thought it might be fun and informative to show you guys the absolute 'must haves' my family uses the most, so you can see not only what else they carry but reference and price check (and find out that their prices are giving other companies a run for their money)!

Friday, September 8, 2017

"peanut" dressing...

Man guys, ever since going Paleo a year and a half ago, there are so many things I still find myself missing. Like cheese (sad face), mashed potatoes and peanuts. Oh my goodness did I love peanuts. Well, peanut butter to be exact. I ate that stuff in and on everything. Sweet or savory- didn't matter. Love, love, love peanuts! But as you know, they're a no go for those of us on a paleo diet. Not only that, but I found out after taking a food sensitivity test (different from a food allergy) that peanuts are a pretty big trigger! Yikes! 

A year and some change into my drastic diet change (to further my Hashimoto's healing) and I have found a lot of really yummy substitutions for some of my favorite foods. I'm still working on the cheese thing, but this recipe is such a great mashed potato replacement! I've also found some things create an almost peanut butter like flavor- like sunflower seed butter! Alone, not so much, but when in certain recipes, I can almost pretend it's my beloved peanut butter.

Like this recipe. Man oh man do I love peanut dressing! I'm such a fan of asian flavors in general, but peanut sauce/dressing ranks up there. I loved it on salads and noodles and used as a dip for veggies and proteins (like chicken satay)! One day I thought I'd give it a go with sunflower seed butter and you know what? Totally worked! You've got to try this if you've got a peanut allergy or sensitivity, or can't consume peanuts for whatever reason! So yum!