Thursday, July 22, 2010


This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Clutter and I are not friends. We parted ways many many years ago and I am okay if we keep it that way. For me clutter makes my mind go completely blank and my skin start to itch. Okay the skin itching is an exaggeration but the mind going blank is not too far off. I have found that when I let clutter build up it is hard to be really present and have the ability to dream beyond what is. Living without clutter gives you a freedom that can’t be enjoyed in the midst of junk.

One of the things I love to do most is help people clean out their clutter. Yes, you heard me right. I love to organize other peoples junk. You know that runner’s high people talk about. I get an organizational high. I would go as far as to say it’s better than a runner’s high. Many times when I go home to my parents house I organize some part of their house...pantry...closet...cabinets. I’m under the rule of thought that everything has a place and if it doesn’t have place then one needs to be created or it needs to go. I have a few rules that I use when going through my own things...and others. I thought I would share them with you and you can use them to go through your clothes, messy closet, guest room closet, kitchen stuff, pantry, garage...or wherever needs a clean up!

Here are three questions to ask yourself.

1. “Do I need this?” I know there are many definitions of need. Many people say they “need” something when they have a hard time letting go of it. “But I NEED it.” But when you ask yourself this question really be honest with yourself. You know whether or not you REALLY need it. Need really only covers a couple of areas. You either use it everyday, weekly, or seasonally. If you haven’t needed it in the past 4 years, I would say you don’t actually need it.

2. “Do I use this?” A lot of times you will say that you “need” something but the clincher is do you actually “use” it. My rule of thumb is if you say you need this particular sweater but you did not wear it last season you do not use it goes in the pile. We tend to keep a lot of “needs” that we never “use”. I understand that some things are seasonal so you aren’t going to be using them everyday, but be honest with yourself. If there is something a lid or a button...either find the missing piece or buy the missing piece...if you don’t do either you will not use it’s best to let it go. You will always go to the thing that is usable. If you don’t use it why would you want to keep it.

3. “Do I love this?” This the last question to ask yourself. Because when it comes down to it if you don’t love it you aren’t going to use it and then you don’t need it. I try to only keep things that I love because that is what I am going to go to when I am looking for something in particular...the thing I love. Each season these “loves” are going to change...that’s why it’s good to go through things yearly. The longer you keep things the more attached you become to them. Then all the sudden a picture frame has as you in tears as you are giving it away. One important thing I try to remember is it’s not the object that has all the’s the memories that go with it. You will always have the

For those that have a hard time giving away things like t-shirts or sweaters that hold so much value during a time in your life (high school/college) make them into a t-shirt quilt. I did this and it is one of my most favorite blankets. Whit’s mom helped my make it which made it even more special. If you have movie tickets or concert tickets that you love to keep over time, figure out a way to organize them in a way that you can enjoy them. Don’t just throw them in a drawer. Honor the things that you love.

I think the most effective way to stay organized is maintenance. You have to go through things on a regular basis. Don’t save it all for your kids to go through one day when you have left them all your favorite pens that you loved writing with.:)

Do you find it hard to keep clutter away?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ezekiel Bread

“Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Products are inspired by the Holy Scripture verse: "Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it..." Ez 4:9

We discovered when six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens: a complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. There are 18 amino acids present in Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain bread. Made from freshly sprouted organically grown grains, Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain bread is naturally flavorful and bursting with nutrients and is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and natural fiber with no added fat.”

This is one of my most favorite products. They make over 30 baked goods that are so good for you and taste amazing. Plus how cool is it that they base their ingredients off of scripture! The sliced bread and English muffins (whole grain and cinnamon raisin) are really really good toasted...the sliced bread is a little too dense to eat without toasting it. We like to add a little peanut or almond butter to a piece. This is the only bread that we buy now in our house...It’s just so good for you that other breads seems like a waste of carbs. You can find their bread products in the freezer section. Because they are so fresh with no preservatives they have to be kept frozen at the store...but once you get home you can keep them in your frig or freezer depending on how fast you go through it. They also make yummy tortillas, cereals and pasta. If you want to check out more about them you can go to their site.

Happy Eating!

Monday, July 19, 2010


SO a couple weeks ago Whit and I went to have our yearly physical. It's something I am kind of weird about. I'm just in the school of thought that it's better to educate yourself and work on anything that might be a problem...then take the whole philosophy "Ignorance is Bliss" and have to deal with problems later when they have gotten worse. So every year I journey to the doctor and then when I am leaving I just go ahead and make my appointment for the next year. Then I don't have to think about it again! I do this with the dentist and other doctors as well... ;)

So this past visit she talked to us about Whit’s Vitamin D levels. They have just recently been testing these levels along with the other blood work they do in a physical. They have really been seeing the effects of low vitamin D and the benefits of high levels. She told us that the ideal minimum level for good vitamin D is 35. Whit’s was 15. Yikes!! She said ...just to give you a frame of reference...Sarah your’s is 81. Hehe:) There are so many benefits of having great vitamin D. It protects you from prostate and colon cancer. It regulates your blood pressure and boosts your immunity. We take a daily multi-vitamin but this was obviously not doing the trick for Whit. Come to find out his mom has really low vitamin D levels as well. She put him on a prescription dose that he takes weekly...its extremely high...51,000 IU. He is going to take this for a little over a month and then see if he can maintain it with an extra supplement.

Something else that she brought to our attention was our fiber intake. This was not something that came up low in our physical but she talked to us about how you can never get enough in your diet. That no matter if you ate whole grains all day long you would never get enough. This was news to me! Fiber is crucial in helping maintain low cholesterol and keeping your heart healthy...and well...keeping you regular:) So she told us that we (and everyone else for that matter) should be taking Metamucil every morning and night. I’ll be honest I felt 60 when we first started taking it but now it’s just a great beginning and ending to our day! It also fills me up more when I take it. Oh and you can get the generic version. We got a HUGE thing of it at Target for $6.

The last thing that she talked to us about was taking Fish Oil. We have been taking this as well...but not as much as she told us to. She said that we should be taking two capsules in the morning and two at night. Whit and I eat quite a bit of fish but she said that this was still mandatory. It’s benefits are huge, protects your heart, high cholesterol, immunity, and many more. I would say get the ones that are “burp free” but they are sooooo much more expensive than the regular ones...and once you have been taking them for awhile you stop burping fish. Ugh. Gross.

SO these were a few things we learned this year at our physical...I would highly recommend you all going and having it done! It is so educational and your body will thank you later!

Do you get a regular physical or are you a once every ten years?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Product of the Week

I thought it might be fun to do my favorite product of the week! So here it is! About a year ago I was looking for a new lotion that I felt really worked. Other lotions that I had used in the past honestly just left me feeling dry. I texted my good Leslie and asked her what she recommended...she is the pro on things like this. And she told me I needed to use “Palmer’s Cocoa Butter”. Because I always takes Leslie’s advice I went out immediately and bought it. I LOVE it. I use it in the morning and evening and my skins feels oh so smooth. I like it because it isn’t too thick but at the same time its not really runny...leaving my skin feeling more dry. Plus the effects last all day. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something new!

Let me know if you try it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blueberry Patch.

So today I did something so fun! I had been wanting to go to a blueberry farm a couple weeks ago and I started calling around to see if there were any located in our area. Come to find out prime blueberry picking was coming up in 2 weeks! Pretty good timing on my part. :) There is this great website called where you can find out what farms are located in your county or a county near you! And it’s not just for can look up other produce!

I talked to the sweetest lady at The Blueberry Patch in Murfreesboro. She told me all about her blueberry patch. She has been in business for over 10 years and has so much pride in her berries. She described the height of the grass all over the 8 acres and the fact that she doesn’t spray her plants...she told me about how most groceries have blueberries that have been picked just a little too early...before they get to the last “phase” when they are their sweetest. She told me about how there would be a flutist there to serenade us while we picked the berries (hehe) So with all her amazing info I decided to come out this morning and give it a try! It was so fun!! There were a lot of people there but because their were so many acres it felt very peaceful. We were given a bucket and told to get at it! All you had to do was touch the blueberries and they just fell into the bucket. Here is a picture of when I first started!

My only complaint about the blueberry patch is that I feel like they need to install scales all along the path so that you can periodically weigh your berries! The bucket feels up fast and you could end up with 10 pounds of blueberries! But I guess that would somewhat lose the aesthetic of the experience:) Here is a picture of my final pickin’s!

I decided to freeze the blueberries so that I can have fresh ones throughout the year plus it's a money saver in that we don't have to buy frozen ones...which are ridiculously expensive! If you don't have time to go to a farm to pick them on your own you can freeze blueberries that are at the grocery right now...I know Sam's has a HUGE container of Driscoll's (the best) for $2. The freezing process is so simple. Don't wash them before laying them out on a cookie sheet (or something that fits in your freezer) and let them freeze for 6-8 hours. Then store them in a Freezer Ziploc baggie! So easy!

Happy Freezing!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Money Saving Tip.


So. There are a few things that sometimes I consider luxuries. You would think this would be wine, mani/pedi’s, vacations to Maui...and while yes, these indeed are luxuries (that I love...very. very. much) sometimes the plain and simple truth is the little stuff adds up. I like to find ways to make one product work on multiple levels.

One of these products is...drum roll please! Conditioner! Now I know what you are thinking. Conditioner? Boring. But I have found that it serves on two levels. First level being the obvious. To smooth and rejuvenate my lovely locks...and the second shave my legs. Yes! I have found that conditioner works so much better than shaving cream...sometimes shaving cream dries out my skin right after I get done shaving. Conditioner...not so much! The other plus is that I don’t go through my conditioner very fast so I have plenty to multi-task with! Plus I save on not buying an extra product...and it doesn’t clutter my shower...that is a double plus in my books.

What products do you have that multi-task?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dinner Time.

I made a yummy dinner tonight and I thought I would share it with you guys!

Mahi Mahi. Whit and I eat a lot of fish and Mahi Mahi is one of my favorites. When I first started eating fish this was a mild choice that I could really enjoy. The texture reminds me quite a bit like chicken..not as tough but similar. If you don’t eat fish this is a great one to start with.

Mahi Mahi:
2 Filets
1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper

Directions: Salt and pepper both sides of the filets generously. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil in skillet, add the garlic. On medium heat place filets in the skillet and let cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on size of filet). They cook quickly...once the filet starts to “flake” the fish is done.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad. I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Body and Soul magazine. I had been wanting to try quinoa but had not found a recipe I wanted to try. Quinoa is really high in protein  and is a great source of iron and magnesium. I have to say that this recipe was really really good. Both Whit and I were pleasantly surprised.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad:
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 small onion
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Quinoa
3/4 cup water
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, 1/8 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in quinoa and cook for 1 minute. Add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until water is absorbed, about 16 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Cool completely, about 25 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp. of salt and beans, cooking until bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
3. Combine quinoa and green beans. Dress with 1/8 cup olive oil, red-wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper.

This really was soooo good.

Broiled Tomatoes. This is by far the easiest dish you can make. It is very simple but at the same time really refreshing and good.
Broiled Tomatoes:
2-4 plum tomatoes
Olive Oil to drizzle
Salt and Pepper

Set oven to Broil. Cut tomatoes in halves or quarters. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place tomatoes evenly. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook tomatoes for 5-10 minutes. Don’t let them get to mushy. (I use such technical terms) :)

I left the broiler on for dessert and I cut two peaches in half, sprinkled them with cinnamon and baked them for 5-10 minutes. YUM! This is my new favorite dessert.:)

Let me know if you try any of these dishes! Happy eating!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Writing Letters.


I have found one “art form” that has been lost over the years due to technology and lack of time is writing letters. There is something so romantic and timeless about taking the time to sit down and write someone. It’s very Pride and Prejudice. When I was little I used to get really upset whenever I would visit my Grandmama and Pa-Pa and then had to leave to go home...I would just cry and cry. I loved spending time with them and I always hated to leave. One day my mom suggested that I write her letters when I got upset. So that’s what I did. We would write each other back and forth. We did this for awhile. Out of that I then wrote her a poem that ended with...(I believe I was 8 years old or so)
 “We write each other letters so we can stay in touch...this way I can tell her I love her very much...”


I told Whit about a month ago that I wanted to start writing again. That I wanted to be able to send my grandmother letters like when I was little. SO on our anniversary he got me new stationary so that I could do just that. So sweet. I am very excited about starting this back up. (Psssst. I have already mailed the first grandmother should receive it very soon.) Having these letters from people that I care about and love is something that I will treasure forever. It means so much more than printing an email. I think what it really comes down to is showing people that they matter...they matter enough to put pen to paper...

Who would you write a letter to?

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Summer Project

One of my most favorite magazines to get in the mail is my Martha Stewart Body and Soul. It has really great info on food and nutrition and all sorts of fun facts. Last night we got home from our small group and I went to check the mail and found my new issue! I went straight to my bed where I read the whole thing while Whit watched Futurama. :) One of the articles in the magazine really got me excited and I think I am going to make it a summer project to see if I can do it!

Whit and I use a lot of tomatoes in different recipes that we use. Diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, etc etc. They are really good for you because of the lycopene. The lycopene is actually responsible for the bright red color that the tomatoes have...lycopene has many benefits... it’s an antioxidant and it is a cancer fighter. It can help prevent prostate cancer, mouth cancer and others, it helps fight/guard aging skin, it helps with diabetes and cardiovascular issues and it may prevent osteoporosis. So all and all the lycopene that is found in tomatoes is pretty awesome. In order to get the best result from the lycopene it is best that the tomatoes are heated just a bit. (Pssst. Other foods with lycopene are: watermelon, grapefruit, guava, rosehips and papaya.)

Soooo as I was reading last night they had an article about canning tomatoes. I have always been fascinated with the whole “canning” process...but that was about as far as it went. Well in the article it gave a step by step process on how to can your own tomatoes. Seeing that we probably go through a couple cans of tomatoes every 2 weeks or so this would be really cool to know how to do...that way when peak tomato season comes around (right now) we can stock up on really fresh tomatoes to have throughout the year. Not to mention it would also be a money saver as well. SO this summer that is what I am going to do...learn to can tomatoes...when I get done I’ll post the results on here! Whit’s grandmother is an expert “canner” maybe she will teach me some great “tips”!

If anyone would like to learn with me that would be so fun! Who knows what we would could can next!

(I just re-read this before posting and felt like the biggest nerd...please tell me someone else thinks canning tomatoes is somewhat fun!? Oh well!:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010



One of my most favorite things is to find a product that can take the place of another product that I have to buy and use on a regular basis. Not only does it save money but there’s something that feels good about using a product for a while and not always having to throw it away. About a year ago my friend Beck told me about these reusable dryer sheets and dryer balls that she loves. I was very intrigued with what they were and immediately went on a search for them. I know. I find joy in the very. very. simple things.

The dryer sheets are chemical free, hypoallergenic, they soften the fabric, when you start using them they will gradually start removing the residue from your clothes and the dryer that a regular dryer sheet sometimes leaves. It is best to wash and dry them (with a load) after the first use to get rid of said residue. I don’t have children yet, but they are supposedly really good for children’s clothing because they don’t leave any residue to cause itching or clothes “stiffness”. But my favorite part about them is that they last for over 500 loads...there are people who say they use them even longer than that. Regular Downy dryer sheets cost between $6.00 to $8.00 for a box of 120 count. You can buy the reusable dryer sheets online at Amazon for around $12.00 and get more than quadruple the amount of loads. It’s kind of a no brainer.

The next product is the dryer balls. Now this is an “extra” if you will. It is not a necessity if you are using the dryer sheets. But some people use these rather than using a dryer sheet. Or some people are like me and use both. :) They help keep your clothes separated during the drying cycle and cut down on how long it takes for your clothes to dry. I like that you can insert a soy wax fragrance stick (lavender) inside the ball and your clothes come out smelling amazing...its not an overwhelming scent...and it makes your house smell great as well. These dryer balls also last for 3 years I believe. You do the math:) The dryer balls that I use are sold by a company called Nellie’s All-Natural Cleaning Products but you can find dryer balls at Target as really it's whichever you like best...or is cheapest.

I just love finding things that last longer...don't have to be thrown away...and are better for us. And these two things fit that! Plus it makes laundry just a tad bit more fun...well maybe not:)

Happy Laundry!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Growing up I didn’t play many “team” sports. I’m not really sure why...I guess I would need to ask my parents about that one. We were really active in a lot of other things so I never felt like I was missing out on anything. But one thing that I did do was run. I ran in a track and field league. I actually really enjoyed it and did really well at it for my age...if I can say so myself! I think part of my enjoyment of it growing up was that my dad was a runner too...we would run together every now and then...although he is 6.3” and as a teenager this was hard to keep up...I was either sprinting the whole time or he was you know.  I believe being active in something like that as a teenager really helped me to be able to carry it over in my adult life...although it still can be a real struggle.

When I really started running again about two years ago I really focused on building my stamina to run long distances. I was running 9 miles on the weekends and shorter distances on the weekdays. I really enjoyed the “runner’s high” that you would get...although my toenails saw better days (gross). When you run longer distances at a steady pace it really makes your body lean but I found that it didn’t tone as much as I would have liked. I was not adding enough other exercises with the running.

When I started back up recently I decided to change up my routine a little bit. Instead of only running distances I have started integrating a running cycle that I found in Women’s Health. I have really enjoyed it. Not only is it shorter than most of my runs, you burn almost the same amount of calories..sometimes more... and I can really feel the difference in areas that normally didn’t get worked out as much...aka...the butte’.  I also like it because it changes so often that you don’t get bored while keeps things moving. I thought I would share it with you in case you would like to add it to your workout routine!

3 minutes--3-4 mph
2 minutes--5 mph
1 minute-- 7 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
1 minute-- 7 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
1 minute-- 8 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
1 minute-- 8 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
1 minute-- 9 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
1 minute-- 9 mph
1 minute-- 4 mph
1 minute-- 5 mph
2 minutes-- 6 mph
3 minutes-- 3 mph

If you are feeling extra ambitious sometimes I will double the run and start over at the end of the cycle. Also feel free to change up the "mph" to whatever works best for you...but at the same time continually pushing yourself. WARNING-- When you run at 8.0-9.0 mph all concentration needs to be on the running...there are times that I imagine myself flying off the back of the treadmill and landing flat on my face. It wouldn't be pretty.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Steel Cut Oats

SO if you are a fan of Dr. Oz like I am you have definitely heard him talk about eating Steel Cut Oats. I believe he eats them most mornings and when given the chance goes on and on about how much he loves them. Basically steel cut oats are the purest of all the oats. They are an incredible source of fiber...which is really good for your heart and clearing/cleaning your arteries. Plus they keep you satisfied come lunch...which I need to in order to control the snack monster.

About a year and half ago I decided to welcome them into our life...reluctantly. I mean you all understand...we come from the generation of IF we ate oatmeal it had all these yummy goodies in it like maple and brown sugar...peaches and cream...colored swirls...and the list could go on. But in an attempt to cut out processed foods (another post) I tried to let go of the instant sugar oats and embrace the real stuff.

After Whit and I got married we started eating them on a regular basis...but honestly there was something that was missing...Whit really enjoyed them but I just couldn't commit to it. We would add different things like blueberries, chopped apples, walnuts, cinnamon (not altogether)...which were yummy...but it was still lacking. Until that blessed day.

While Whit was out of town a couple weeks ago I decided to try something a little different. Whit and I now use rice milk as our "milk" substitute (before you turn your nose's actually really good...but again that's another post) one morning I decided to make the steel cut oats with this instead. We use the vanilla flavored rice that adds a little goodness. It’s very low calorie and has great nutrients...minus the dairy...we try to limit our "cow" intake.  Let me just say that this revolutionized my steel cut oat experience. It is fab.u.lous. They had so much more flavor...they were actually felt like I was eating oatmeal again. If you would like to give them a try here you go.

The recipe is the most simple.

1 cup steel cut oats (I like to use Bob’s Red Mill or I scoop it out myself at Whole Foods. Price wise they are about the same.)

3 cups rice milk (We use Rice Dream Vanilla- it is not refrigerated at the grocery)

Bring the oats to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. (You’ll be able to tell when the texture is right.)

Stir frequently...every 5 minutes or so.

Add any yummy toppings: Blueberries, Walnuts, Cinnamon, Apples, Almond Slivers...Banana...the list is endless...well you probably want to skip on the chocolate chips:)

I like to make a BIG batch on Sunday and then you can store the rest in the refrigerator and just warm up in the morning! It helps you out on time!

Let me know if you tried it and what you thought!

Whole Living

I think Martha Stewart coined the phrase. "Whole Living". To me it feels like such a loaded statement. A little intimidating and can also be read as "perfect living" some. Honestly the thought of that makes my heart race and my mind goes completely blank. Perfect is not something that I want to achieve...well...sometimes. But that's another post. 

Over the past year I have really been intrigued with what it means to live a life that is intentional and out of that "whole". A balanced life. If that even truly exists. I believe its a journey. Not something that you ever achieve fully...and honestly I think that's the fun part...I want to always be learning....exploring...asking questions. Soooo this is my blog to share all my findings...all the fun little tidbits on food... health... fitness... life... relationships....on and on and on. 

Now I need to go ahead and just give a disclaimer. I am not an expert on any of these subjects. I do not claim to be and if you see me out and about you will probably see me living that truth...but this is just a place where I can hash it all out...and where you can share with me as well. 

So here's to living a life with purpose...may we enjoy the journey.
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