March 7, 2013


Here is what my Whole30 dinners have looked like this week! I didn't fully commit to following the Whole30 rules, which has resulted in some cheats. Uh oh. But these dinners are cheap, filling, and Whole30 friendly. Each recipe is around $5! They have been my lunch as well! Lots of leftovers = happy girl.

4 Item Soup

1 bag turkey meatballs
1 bag frozen vegetables
1 carton vegetable broth
Seasoning (garlic salt, onion powder, pepper, etc.)


Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Let cook for 10 minutes, until vegetables are no longer frozen.


 Pork Loin and Brussel Sprouts

2 lb marinated pork loin
1 bag brussel sprouts
1 t seasonings of choice
1 T olive oil



 Marinate your pork loin for at least a few hours in
chopped garlic, pepper, and marinade of choice

Brown the pork loin in a skillet with olive oil until all sides are slightly browned
Combine pork loin and seasoned brussel sprouts in a pan and cook in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes or until fully cooked

 Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Side Dish

 1 medium sweet potato
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 onion, chopped
Seasonings of choice
(recommended-cinnamon, garlic salt, pepper)

Pulsed a little too much the first time! But I ate it as soup instead.


Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. 
Pour water out.
Let cool, then lightly pulse ingredients in a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes. (Too much and it will become soupy.)

Mini Burgers

1 lb ground beef 
taco seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato
olive oil


Combine ground beef and seasonings in a bowl 
Heat olive oil in a skillet, and add beef patties to cook until brown on both sides, and cooked all the way through
Add onion slices to the beef fat leftover in the skillet and cook until browned

Serve with tomato slices and avocado!
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March 1, 2013


A close relative of paleo is the Whole30 diet. The idea is to reset your body and eat clean for 30 days without cheating. Meat, veggies, nuts, and fruit make up the menu. This is basically paleo, but you cannot make any food that is a paleo version of a non-paleo meal. For example, pancakes, muffins, crackers, coffee creamer, etc. I did the Whole30 challenge last October and l o v e d it. Sweet potatoes, bananas, and hot tea became dessert to me.

I am going to do a looser version of Whole30 starting this week, so I will post Whole30 friendly recipes! 

Here is the link to the Whole30 site!

February 26, 2013


Since the Paleo diet consists of...

it seemingly takes away most go-to snack options. Finding Paleo friendly snacks was my mission when I started this lifestyle last summer. After a lot of experimenting, I have come up with quite a hearty list of options. They may not seem desirable because they need to be made, but your body will thank you. I also learned that the process of changing what you eat will also be a process of re-training your taste buds. If your mind thinks sweet = donut, then a banana smoothie might not seem like dessert right away. However, after training your taste buds to eat meat and veggies for dinner, followed by some frozen berries, your cravings will shift to healthier items.

Here are some simple and quick snack options for those of you starting the Paleo lifestyle, or a healthier lifestyle in general.


Black olives-filling, healthy fats
Sweet Potato Chips-great for dipping
Hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper
Beef Jerky
Snap peas- costco sells giant bags
Almond butter and celery
 Slices of meat-good, good, deli meat or grilled chicken
Sliced Radishes with sprinkled salt and lemon
Dinner leftovers!
Small sweet potato


Coconut flakes
Apples and almond butter  
Banana flax seed "crackers"
Fruity muffins found here
Almonds with chocolate chips
Dried Fruit
Greek yogurt w. berries-If you are going to give in to dairy, make it full fat.
Veggie smoothies seen here or here
Mug Cakes found here 
Almond milk, sliced almonds, frozen berries mixed together for dessert

This is a short list but it gets me through! The point is to fill your stomach with good  things. Sometimes that will mean a small sweet potato at 10am!
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February 25, 2013


Life has been interesting lately. Lots of transitions, ups and downs, change and uncomfortable days. I have a history of not doing so well with these things. Mainly change/transition. Welcome to the first year out of college. I have moved three times, added jobs, deleted jobs and changed housemates along the way. I have also seen prayers answered, been promoted and met amazing people. There are days where I have no idea what I'm doing (most of the time) and days where I strut with confidence. No two days are ever the same when it comes to emotion and reality. An image on Pinterest explains this part of my life perfectly. 

I have been searching for meaning and purpose in my days and honestly a lot of the time I just say "I'm here for a reason...and I know it is God ordained...but I'm not seeing much past that." 
 I have learned that this is where faith comes in. Even when you don't feel like you have a purpose, you do. God doesn't do anything accidentally. He didn't create you without a purpose in his head. He didn't say to himself, "whoops how did she pop out there? Well, I hope she navigates life. Good luck little person." He molded you with your future in His head. And when we are made in His image, that is pretty cool already. I get frustrated with myself when I forget this. I want to buy new clothes, decorate my room and create an image and identity for myself when I already have one! This can get exhausting; pleasing yourself and the world. Colossians 3:2 says "Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth." This is the only way to be released from the grasp of the world.

When you leave situations you are used to and have identified you, such as sports and school, we scramble to find anything that can give us a sense of purpose or identity. At one point I made like a million muffins cause I felt like I had an identity as "Baker Girl." That seems even weirder now that I type it out. But that is how desperate I was to just belong somewhere. 
In the end, it is painful but mind blowingly beautiful when God takes away the need for these surface identities. When we realize He is enough, we are finally fulfilled and we don't need an identity in anything else. Bye, Bye Baker Girl.

I encourage you to spend time thinking or writing out the things of the earth that own an inappropriately big section of your heart. What do you wake up thinking about? How God will show His mercies today or how you need to please your boss? List things that you commonly give weight to and set them at the feet of Jesus. Those don't need to unnecessarily fill space anymore. Give that space to God. He deserves it.

And with that, I ironically leave you with a blueberry muffin recipe. 

Remember that I have a kitchen light that is from the 70s.

Paleo Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Civilized Caveman
Servings: 12 Muffins
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes 

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil Blackberry Banana Muffins, melted
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk Blackberry Banana Muffins (I used Half & Half because I ran out of coconut milk)
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour Blackberry Banana Muffins
  • 1-2 Bananas
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
Mix together your eggs, honey, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt and vanilla
Mix together your baking powder and coconut flour and then combine with your wet ingredients
Mix your batter well and then fold in your banana and blueberries 
Divide your batter into 12 Muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes 
These turned out really sweet for me because I used 2 extremely ripe bananas, so I cut down on the honey. They are very moist and not the same consistency as non-Paleo muffins but they do the trick! Great for an early morning snack. 
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February 24, 2013


These turned out like little mounds, but still tasted great.

  • 1¼ cups almond meal
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together almond meal, dark chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat egg
  3. Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet with space in between each. Press down slightly.
  7. Bake 7-10 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
  8. Let them cool before serving.

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February 23, 2013


So busy. I've been feeling like my weeks are just one giant checklist, hence my absence here. BUT part of why I was so busy was because I was making things. Mostly smoothies! So the result of that is more recipes. Always a good thing. We now have a juicer and a Nutri Bullet (close friend of the Magic Bullet), which has turned our house into a giant smoothie. I just keep packing random ingredients into those things and waiting for the result. Sometimes its not so great. Those ones are usually a weird grey color. But that's how I eliminate combinations. Good method? Yep.

If you have a Magic Bullet/Nutri Bullet/Whizzing smoothie machine you will appreciate these. If you don't, I'm sure they turn out the same :)

The Workout/Deceptive Smoothie
this one tastes like sweet chocolate banana heaven. GREAT dessert substitute if you are looking for low sugar. 

1 giant handful of spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 spoonful almond butter
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (can substitute cocoa powder)

The AvoYoYo
 Don't doubt me. I haven't led you astray yet. Putting weird ingredients in smoothies is half the fun.
1/2 avocado
2 scoops *full fat greek yogurt (*less processed, more filling)
1 cup frozen berries
1 orange
1 cup almond milk
add water to make it blend more if needed

If you juice, feel free to add your juice to the AvoYoYo. More fresh fruitiness.
Some of my favorite juicing combinations are...



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February 16, 2013



Sometimes I take a small 1 hour break from Paleo and eat something slightly not Paleo. Whoops. This helps make it a lifestyle and not a strict diet where I feel like I'm controlled. However, the idea of filling that Paleo break with paleo's worst nightmare pizza seemed like a little too much. Enter PALEO PIZZA. Yay. Super easy. And you get to empty your fridge of random vegetables.
The picture isn't too was late...I was hungry. No time for picture prepping.

3 eggs
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup coconut flour (mine is from Whole Foods)
1/2 can full fat coconut milk (I skimped a bit and it still worked with adding almond milk)

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with oil.
Beat eggs and milk together with both garlics. Add the coconut flour and baking soda and mix/whisk until smooth. Let it sit for a minute to thicken. Pour onto greased parchment paper and bake until its slightly crisper/harder (about 10 mins).

While the crust is baking, cook your meat toppings. I did sweet chicken Italian sausage (from Trader Joes).

Take out the crust and spread sauce on it, add some cheese and toppings. Vegetables don't need to be cooked before so you can pile them on now (along with your cooked meat.) Bake another 10 mins or until the crust isn't too doughy. 

shout out to thanks hil :)
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February 15, 2013


V-day can seem like a pointless Hallmark holiday but HEY, for me it's an excuse to see bean. With baseball, work, school, and everything life throws at you it can be tough to fit in quality time. Thank you St. Valentine for creating a day that you can be extra cheesy and no one can mock you :)

We decided to meet before work for coffee on the beach. He had bought me a mug with a bear on it (that's what he calls me) awhile ago so I thought I'd do the same! But finding a mug with a bean on it....not gonna happen. Fortunately I had a design I had made for him (it says I Love You Deerly with a deer on it), so I had it printed on a mug so we could match. kinda.

After work and practice we went to dinner and people watched. A big thanks goes out to the man in the red suit and feathered hat for making the people watching part a bit more entertaining.
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February 10, 2013


I decided to start a new aspect on this blog called The Small Things. I will post a few details from my week that have inspired me, helped me, or just put a smile on my face. :)

a chalk drawing from my favorite class in college

Some patterns from these Tracy Reese Dessert Plates 

“A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.”
Thomas Merton quote from No Man Is an Island

a favorite Neruda poem

happy new week!

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February 7, 2013


look at that bean.

Captain chat

YAY. It is baseball season. 
I've never been a huge fan of baseball. I mean, how slow can a game go. And why does the coach whistle and slap his forehead and arm a bunch of times at his players. Drove me nuts. But now I have an incentive to watch baseball. I know the people playing!

 It is a whole different game when you actually care about who wins. Especially when bean is the captain on one of the teams...

small detail.

Westmont baseball games are weirdly enjoyable for me. Maybe because it's an excuse to have a laid back afternoon watching bean in his element. And eat. And socialize. And try to learn what the heck the signs mean. Wish me luck on that one...

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February 6, 2013


The crafty decorator in me doesn't always agree with the budget that comes along with living in the most expensive city in the world Santa Barbara. That said, when we moved into our apartment I was searching for cheap ways to spruce up the living room. 

Since coffee is .a l w a y s. in my budget I put my coffee filters to use. 

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February 2, 2013


Trying to start a business while you have multiple jobs, commitments and people to see is not an easy task. Holy moly it's not. And I don't even have kids to worry about. Sometimes I swear God gave some women 36 hour days without telling anyone else. 

My goal to open my own etsy shop/business has been interesting. I have realized I have a hard time making mistakes. This process has (very forcefully) slapped that right out of me. With a big gorilla sized hand. 
I've been trying to learn to take every road bump as a learning opportunity, but I have had some help with that! I want to share some things that have encouraged me along the way, and assisted in keeping me on the path to achieving little dreams. 


If you are wanting to achieve something, a plan is necessary. Make it realistic. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals that are attainable. You will no doubt face hardships, so account for that! Don't set daily goals that are nearly impossible, or else you will continually feel defeated. 

For example, I have a daily goal of reading the bible so I can finish it in a year. A weekly goal of mine is to workout a minimum of 3 times. My monthly goals are focused on my business. Create 5 new pieces, have the etsy shop up, create a workspace, etc.  


I'm a visual learner, so if something isn't printed in big block letters in front of my face, I tend to forget it, ignore it, or make up excuses as to why I didn't do it. I made a sign in my room with my list of daily goals I will not sacrifice. (Bible reading plan, take vitamins, drink water, workout.) I force myself to accomplish this small list before I go to bed. (Personally, I function best when they are done immediately after I wake up.) I have to tell myself I will do these things even if it is 11pm.


I used to view this as discouraging. I would research women who were doing what I wanted to do, and get mad that I wasn't in the same place they were. But they had to start somewhere! One of my favorite sources for encouragement is Lara Casey. She is the Editor of Southern Weddings magazine. She is a mother, believer, and entrepreneur. Boom. Her blog is motivation at its best. 


A Beautiful Mess: A Perfectionist's Journey Through Self-Care by Kristin Ritzau

Bean got me this book and it is unreal. For those of you who don't like making mistakes, saying no to people, or letting anyone down, READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT.

5.  PRAY

Sometimes I just pray for the desire to pray.  

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February 1, 2013


My extremely driven boyfriend recently decided to join a friend in starting a program called 

For anyone who is familiar with Crossfit (a workout program that views fitness as a sport), a WOD is a "workout of the day." Crossfit is popular among Christian athletes, so they decided to create a program that combined fitness and faith. WOD FOR GOD is now located in Santa Barbara and Arizona, and is rapidly growing. 

Their vision involves a weekly biblical curriculum coupled with a WOD. The Santa Barbara group meets at Westmont College on Sundays, does the weekly bible study, and then finishes off the day with a WOD.

Here are some photos from the first Santa Barbara meeting!

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