Nearing The End.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…. It’s the end of the world as we know it…It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fiiiiiiiiine. (sing it with me ya’ll)

This song pops into my head as I think about how close I am to the end of my pregnancy. My world as I know it will end sooner rather than later. This is not a bad thing by any means…in fact, I feel fiiiiiiinnnne (more than fine).

It all happened so fast. I feel as if I just read the pregnancy test (err…4 tests) informing me that there was a little precious life growing in me. Time happens like that sometimes.

I love this little being with all my heart but that is not to say that there aren’t a mix of emotions as my world as I know it comes to an end and a new world begins.

This is the end of my marriage the way it has been for almost three years. I really enjoy my marriage like it is. I enjoy being able to focus my attention on what my husband needs and desires. I enjoy our spontaneous outings and late nights watching TV and sleeping in the next day. I enjoy my time with him and just him.

This is the end of me as I know it. Let’s just be real and say that the 9 months of pregnancy begin to prepare you for what life will look like when a little tiny precious human is more or less dictating what things you can and cannot do.

This is the end of my precious little one being inside my tummy. I think I may have already mentioned that I am going to miss being pregnant (I do cry about this). I CANNOT wait to hold my baby in my arms but I will miss all the little movements inside my tummy…and even the 20 trips to the bathroom that occur in one day.

All of these “ends” only mean great new beginnings in my world. My marriage will grow and be challenged in ways I couldn’t possibly ever imagine. I will become a different type of person, growing in the Lord in new and exciting ways so that I may become all He has created me to be. My precious baby will be in the outside world learning, exploring, and no doubt stealing the hearts of all the family and friends so anxiously awaiting his/her arrival.

Yes, R.E.M. was indeed correct, it’s the end of the world as we know it but notice that they didn’t say it was the end, just the end as we know it.

Can’t wait to know a new world and to see all life as in store for my wonderful crazy life.

-Kristina

Pregnancy Post: why we chose not to find out the gender of our baby

Until very recently, within the last few weeks, no random stranger had said anything to me about being pregnant. As my belly is positively pregnant to the outside world now (you know, the point where people start saying “you are definitely pregnant” and you’re like “i’ve been definitely pregnant for quite some time now but okay”) I’ve been stopped by random people that tend to ask a couple routine questions.

1) When are you due? Which sometimes comes in the from of this sort of statement: “You look like you’re about ready to have that baby”

2) Are you having a boy or girl? Or my personal favorite: Do you know what you’re having? *Yes I do know what I’m having… I’m having a human*

These are typical questions but the second one is particularly interesting because depending on how you answer, and in our case it’s “we aren’t finding out”, there are two reactions:

1) Thats’s so cool.

2) You’re so crazy.

People fall into two categories: those who want to find out and those who don’t. I always thought I would fall into the latter. My mom didn’t find out with her last one and I thought she was crazy but now I realize she’s just even cooler than I thought.

Behold the list of why we chose not to find out. It really doesn’t make a difference whether you do or don’t.

There isn’t much to plan for. Probably the most rehearsed response to finding out your baby’s gender is all the planning that goes into having a baby.”I just couldn’t do that, I need to know so I can plan” they say. I would like to know what planning that is so I can get on board ASAP. From my perspective here’s what you need to plan for: sleeping (and sleep deprivation), eating, and pooping. These are pretty standard for boys and girls the last I checked. Now, there’s a lot of extra stuff you can plan for but you don’t need to. Plan on feeding your baby, loving on your baby, sleeping, and changing their diapers. Oh and a note about picking out a name. It’s really not rocket science here guys, just you know, pick a boy and a girl name.

Pink or blue is just not us. It’s not a bad thing if you want your girl to be in pink from head to toe the moment she’s born or if you want your boy in blue but it’s just not me or my husband. We like gender neutral colors better anyways. We are ensuring that for the first little moments of baby’s life it will not be bombarded with pink or blue. And thus ensuring future children will be able to use those same little outfits no matter what.

To save ourselves from all the “advice”/”we wish it was a boy or girl” comments. I’ve heard that once you know if it’s a boy or girl the “advice” starts flowing in like a tsunami. Can’t tell you if it’s true or not but since that “advice” will be flowing my way for the rest of the kids life, I’ll just save myself from the annoyance of having to listen to it during my pregnancy. Isn’t it so sweet when people tell you once you find out that they were hoping for a girl but of course you’re having a boy? This should be on the list of things not to say to pregnant couples but people say it. We won’t have to deal with it during my pregnancy and if someone dare says a comment like that to us after the precious baby is out of my womb… I’ll punch them…hard.

It makes no difference to us/who really cares. It really doesn’t or shouldn’t make a difference to anyone but some people have their heart set on a boy or a girl. In not finding out we don’t have to deal with any disappointment that could come from not having what we hoped for or what people hoped for us. Also, who cares?

Side note: I don’t have a pregnancy instinct as to whether I’m having a boy or girl. Do people really have those? And, it’s such a strange question when people ask me what I’m hoping for or wanting. Like, how do you respond to that? And how do you respond to that after you find out it’s not what you hoped for. “Well, it’s not a girl like I wanted but…” *awkward*

What if the docs get it wrong? We’ve come a long way in technology and ultrasounds but it’s not bulletproof. As someone who does like to have a plan, I would be thrown for quite a loop if they got it wrong. It doesn’t happen too often but with my luck, if I did find out, it would happen to us.

It’s fun. It’s fun when people react to you not knowing. It’s fun to piss off the crazy planners that want to know. It’s fun to play guessing games/doctor. It’s fun. It’s fun to have your family on the edge of their seat once the baby is being born. It’s just fun. I can’t explain the kind of fun it is unless you’re someone who hasn’t or doesn’t plan to find out but it’s fun.

It’s probably the biggest surprise you’ll ever get. When I think about how surprised we’re going to be, I can hardly handle it. Sure, it’s a surprise either way but it’s an even bigger surprise when the baby is being birthed. If all goes as planned Jonah will be the one who gets to yell “It’s a ________”! Oh my word. Life throws you very few true genuine surprises, this is one of them. Embrace it.

We just didn’t want to. It’s obviously that you do or do not want to know. But for us, we had no crazy desire to know. We’re having baby showers like most people do. We don’t really care for gender reveal parties or photo shoots and since we aren’t on Facebook there aren’t many people to announce it to anyways. Our nursery is going to be grey-white with some fun accent like mint or teal or sea-foam green. We just didn’t need to know and at 26 weeks, it’s a super exciting journey so far.

For all of you who think we’re crazy for not finding out. Here’s a funny post about reasons NOT to keep the baby’s gender a surprise.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Kristina

Almond Milk! Better than store bought.

I’m coming out of the woodwork (I think thats the proper saying at this time) to bring you this AMAZING almond milk recipe.

BUT FIRST.

I’ve been MIA for many months now. I haven’t had a desire to write in a while. Last semester was exhausting, exciting, exhilarating and so many more adjectives that do not exclusively start with an ‘e’ but it left little room for me to post. In October the hubs and I found out we would be expecting our first little child and so these last past MIA months have been a joyful whirlwind of my first semesters of grad school and my first and most of my second trimester of pregnancy.

I have scaled WAY way back this semester to one class and hope to get back into more blogging here. I have so much to share about my journey with pregnancy including how my trimesters have been, why I hated salad for almost 6 weeks, why I chose a natural home birth, and so much more!

All of these posts will come your way soon but in the mean time this recipe got me so excited I just HAD to share it with all of you ASAP.

I have tried a myriad of homemade almond milk recipes in the past and none of them passed the “HUSBAND APPROVED” stamp (although some have come close) until now. On the 22nd of February the hands of fate came together to bring you the following:

Almond Milk: it’s so much better than store bought it will blow your brains out.

almondmilk

1 cup almonds (that have been previously soaked or sprouted)*

2 cups filtered water

3 pitted medjool dates (that have soaked in warm water until soft)*

generous pinch of salt (I used HIMALAYAN)

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender (I use a NINJA). Once “blended” strain the milk through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth with a fine mesh strainer. And boom. You’re done. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Don’t throw away the pulp (leftover almond) and make homemade almond meal too.

*It’s important to soak or sprout your almonds for a number of health reasons but especially for this recipe. I do not know what the outcome will be if you do not. Here’s a quick link for you on how to or simply google soaking almonds.

*Soaking your dates makes it way easier to remove the pit as well as blend and I think this is the key to what finally made this recipe great. I’ve tried in the past to use maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, etc but dates are by far the better way to go.

This recipe suits my hubby perfectly but is on the sweeter side of life for me. Adjust to your preference.

To make the almond meal from your almond pulp: line a baking sheet with the pulp and dry that puppy out on the lowest setting in your oven or use a dehydrator if you have one (which I do not). Once it’s dry, stick in a food processor and process until meal-like consistency.

One last thing you may be wondering about is why the heck you make your own almond milk in the first place.

The answer is simple: homemade is better for your health (and better for your taste buds too).

The other answer is that if you check out the store bought almond milk you’ll notice something very interesting. What’s that interesting thing you say? The first ingredient of 20 million* is almond milk. “Kristina, duh the first ingredient is almond milk-it’s almond milk.” Yes, but it’s the first one of 20 million*!!!! If you have almond milk why not stop there? Because they want you to have more than just almond milk (how sweet of them), they want you to have almond milk plus tons of forms of sugars, thickeners, carrageen and more. For your health it’s better to have just almond milk.

*20 million is probably a little bit of an exaggeration, it’s probably closer to 20.

How would you feel about a step-by-step picture guide with this recipe? Maybe I will update with pictures next time around.

Enjoy the most amazing almond milk ever!

Kristina

Check this out (Whole30 style): part two

I hope most of you enjoyed the day off yesterday and if you happened to be working, thank you for your service! Since today is September 2nd I can say I have completed my first ever Whole30 with great success. And I am well on track with my reintroduction phase. I plan to fill you in on just how much success plus some of my thoughts about the program very soon but today I want you to 1) read my last post on Whole30 and 2) read this post on some awesome Whole30 products you should check out if you’re planning on completing the program or even if you aren’t. I think everyone could benefit from a more Whole30 lifestyle so even if you think Whole30 isn’t for you maybe parts of it are and the spirit of Whole30 is for everyone.

Oh and also if you missed the last “check this out”, check it out here. Check it outs are basically just me rambling about things I think you should check out, okay?

First thing you should check out is the book It Starts with Food written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the original Whole30ers! It’s a great book to expand your horizons and gain some new perspective. Plus, if you’re wondering more about why certain foods are cut out during the Whole30 experience, you have no clue, or you want to understand food better, this book is for you.

Second, Whole30 has a page on their site that includes some of their best Whole30 approved products you should check out. These products have been through a more rigorous process to be listed on their page such as that their mission is in line with not only Whole30 but Whole9life as well. So check the page out.

Although the link above includes some of the Whole30 approved products, do not be discouraged! There are more out there and I will share just a few below but first I have to start with my favorite product that I wish I had known about sooner in my life and just so happens to be on the official page….

Thing number 3: Tessemae’s salad dressings (specifically the cracked pepper). Oh my word. Seriously so good. I can/do eat my salads plain or mixed in with my foods but sometimes dressing is a must and thank goodness for this product!

Thing number 4: Coconut Aminos. Forever to replace any form of soy sauce to ever enter my life. Yes, it’s that good.

It can be a little overwhelming to have to make your own food all the time so it’s nice to find some Whole30 products on the shelf. Plus, if you were absent from your kitchen for a week on vacation like me then you needed some go to foods like the ones below….

Thing number 5: Trader Joe’s Applesauce, unsweetened pure goodness. Now, I do believe that apples are easy to transport short term. I’m far from thinking that your fruit roll up is any easier to throw in your bag for lunch than my pink lady apple but it’s nice to have applesauce packets when you’re traveling long distances or to hold up better for an extra long day.

Thing number 6: Larabars. READ YOUR LABELS. Now, Whole30 cautions against too many Larabars and I agree but these saved my life on vacation. Not all of them are Whole30 approved so please read your labels.

Thing number 7: Some Eden Foods mustard and some Whole Foods mustards are Whole30! Isn’t it sad that more products aren’t Whole30? Meaning they don’t have extra sugar and other crap added to them! I mean, I’ve been getting pissed off at the added sugar thing for a while but I became angrier during my Whole30. Especially with those lying labels exclaiming “Sugar Free” or “No Sugar Added”. Sorry, that’s a rant for another time. Moving on.

Thing number 8: Trader Joe’s boxed broths. A lot of the broths are sugar free and carrageenan free!!! The best is homemade but again nice to know they exist just in case.

Thing number 9: Shopping at Costco. Now, I agree that it is better to get your food as close to local as possible and preferably from a Farmer’s market but sometimes we cannot all do that and plus, I LOVE me some Costco. Ask anybody and you know I love some Costco. Anyways, here’s a handy little post about Whole30 shopping at Costco. There’s also plenty more posts out there!

Finally check out this post that goes into even more detail on some Whole30 approved products from stores like Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods!

Wow! That’s a lot of stuff to check out! You better get to it.

Thanks for reading.

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Kristina

Some of my favorite Whole30 recipes (+some tips).

Welp. I failed again. I haven’t blogged in almost a month. Maybe that’s the kinda blogger I am, a onceamonther.

Onceamonther? Yes? Okay.

Anyways, if you couldn’t guess from the title this post is about some of my favorite Whole30 recipes! And in case you missed it, I started Whole30 August 1st and the finish line is just around the corner, as in tomorrow I can start the reintroduction phase! I am so excited and sad at the same time. I shall update you more on the whole experience when it’s all said and done but for now let me share some of my favorite recipes so you can be inspired to try Whole30 soon, maybe even in September!

Let’s start with my tips (I’m just going to give you my top 5, the list could go on).

Uno: Try new creative recipes every week! At least one a week. Whenever I challenge myself to cleanses or resets or whatever you want to call them, I always make it a point to try new recipes and it’s helped me a ton. Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut of eating your same sweet potatoes and chicken for dinner every night and if you do your Whole30 experience will not be as awesome as it could be. So try new recipes. Where do I find new recipes? Most, dare I say all, paleo books or blogs will have tons of recipes for you to try. But you know what else is awesome? Raw/Vegan books and blogs! Great for awesome veggie recipes to compliment your meats! Pinterest is also great (do I even need to include a link for that?) The Whole30 Instagram, and Whole30recipes InstagramWhole30 website, and Whole9life website are all great resources. When all else fails there’s always the beloved google too! You can also channel your inner chef and create your own recipes. It’s really not that complicated, or shouldn’t be that complicated, to make delicious Whole30 meals.

Dos: Don’t make things complicated for yourself! I know I know, I just said try new recipes and I meant it but not every meal needs to be roasted duck that you drove two hours to find because it had to be organically raised. Use leftovers, use frozen veggies, be okay with simple grilled chicken and salad. And this goes for other things in your life too! Don’t try to run and train for your first marathon in 30 days. Don’t try to plan a wedding in these 30 days. Don’t try to solve world hunger during this time.

Tres: Did I just say use leftovers? This deserves to be its own tip!! Make extra food to have leftovers and use those leftovers to your advantage! This saved my life, especially for lunch! SAVED MY LIFE. So make leftovers and use them. And if you hate leftovers, then get off your high horse and learn to love them. This will help you a ton, I promise.

Cuatro: Use spices. Spices have long been my friend since I decided to cut out all of those pre-packaged garbage spices from my life. But if you haven’t crossed that line before your Whole30 you will want to start now. Use your spices.

Cinco: Preparation is key. Try to have some vague idea of what you will eat for the week. Or if you’re like me, make a list of what you want to try to eat that week. If you cannot plan that far ahead, at least try to determine what you will eat one day in advance. Try pre-cutting your veggies for easy salads and sides. Try to take one day to prep what you can and this will help you a lot. I promise.

Alright, on to the recipes!

Accidental cauliflower soup. This is accidental because I meant to make a cauliflower sauce and failed.

Adapted from Detoxinista

3 (or more…cause hello GARLIC) cloves garlic minced

1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped

1 teaspoon coconut oil (HAS to be coconut oil…if you’ve never smelled garlic simmering in coconut oil you haven’t lived)

2-3 cup water or chicken broth (I would use half water and half chicken broth)

salt/pepper/whatever spices you like (I used homemade Cajun spice)

Saute your garlic in your coconut oil (make sure your significant other is around to enjoy the aroma) until the garlic is cooked to your liking, the longer the better, but not brown okay? Add 1 cup of your water and your cauliflower and bring water to a boil. Once it’s boiling reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook until your cauliflower is soft, very soft. Now, you have two options here: 1) transfer all the goods from your pan or pot into a blender and blend, adding more chicken broth or water until it reaches the desired consistency or 2) use your handy stick blender (which everyone should have) to blend all the goods in a pot or bowl, adding more chicken broth and water until it reaches the desired consistency. It’s all about the consistency and what you happen to have on hand. You may need to continue simmering your soup once it’s all blended, just to make sure it’s warm and this would be a the right time to add in your spices. If you’re soup is ready to go after you’ve blended it, just add your spices to it. Alternatively, you could add your spices before you blend it! It really don’t matter. I mixed in some leftover shredded chicken. OH MY WORD! You want the recipe for the chicken I made? Yeah, sure you do!

Crispy Roasted Chicken. The key for this recipe is the cast iron skillet, I think. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet I suggest you stop reading this and go get one. Seriously. This recipe is also super adaptable and you can add any spices you like. My 3-year-old sister could not get enough of this chicken when I made it and came over two days later asking if she could have some. I mean, that’s how good it is. Oh and if you haven’t jumped on the cooking the whole chicken train yet, you need to. It’s my favorite way of cooking chicken because I don’t feel like I’m producing as much waste, it yields so much chicken for tons of leftovers, and I make my own chicken broth after. Winning. Pair this with anything you like! Salad is my go to!

Mexican ground beef with guacamole and plantains.

If this recipe seems good to be true because of its simplicity it’s because it is too good to be true. Don’t ask me why but this recipe turned out to be one of my husbands favorite recipes. And it will take you like no time at all.

1/2 a pound of ground beef

1/2 green pepper or more

1/2 red pepper or more

1/2 large red onion or white but red onions really are the diamonds of onions aren’t they?

3 (or more) cloves garlic

salt/pepper

1 large extremely ripe (brown/black) plantain

coconut oil

avocado

salsa

Side note: can it really be that easy? Yes, yes, it can be.

Dice your peppers and onions and mince your garlic. Start cooking your ground beef, we used a cast iron skillet which I think is a significant part of why this recipe is so good, and add some salt and pepper. Once your meat is mostly cooked add your diced pepper and onions and minced garlic. Now’s the perfect time to cook your plantains. Heat your coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat, slice your plantains about 1/4 inch thick and drop in the pan, be careful for oil splashing. Fry on both sides about 3 mins or longer if you like. Now, you can buy the pre-made guac which is fine, you can go all out and make some with cilantro, lime, fresh tomato, etc or you can do what I did this time and mix avocado and salsa which took all of a few minutes. And boom! You’re done! Not everything has to be complicated! I served mine over a bed of salad!

Chicken Nuggets. These were delicious but there are lots of other recipes out there. We paired these with homemade ketchup and mayo. Homemade sweet potato fries and stir fry veggies. You need the recipes for these now don’t you!?

Oil free stir fry veggies. Does the thought of making stir fry veggies without oil scare you? Not me and after you try these you won’t miss the oil. But I will say the key to this was my green pan and some water. You could probably get away with a normal pan and a lot of water/chicken broth/vegetable broth but it may not be the same.

Broccoli

Red pepper

Green Pepper

Onion

Whatever spices you like!

Fry those babies up to your liking. You could use any veggies but the broccoli is a must cause it’s so good. Add water as needed to keep frying them.

Never buy store bought mayo every again mayo recipe.

If you’re like me you have long since given up on finding a suitable mayo in the outside world. All of them are made with inflammatory oils, like canola and soy, and with nasty poison eggs! Gross. For over two years the only times we had mayo in the house were when we really really wanted it which was like 3 times. Literally. We’re human you know so we caved sometimes but my husband can vouch that I was no happy camper when buying normal mayo, like at all. But, the thought of making my own just weirded me out given the whole raw egg thing which is totally strange because as a kid I grew up eating brownie mix with raw egg all the time! So thankful I got over my phobia and made my own mayo because I will never buy store-bought mayo ever again!

 The teriyaki sauce outlined in this post is amazing. You must try it.

We obviously ate more delicious recipes than that but these are some of our favorites. There is nothing like a good salad with lots of chopped veggies or a baked sweet potato or cucumber with guac (yes, cucumber) but these really don’t their own recipe do they?

There you have it folks! I’ll be sharing more on Whole30 in the days to come including some of my favorite staples to have in your house during Whole30 and some awesome approved Whole30 products!

Thanks for reading!

Kristina

Oh and if you’ve completed a Whole30 and have some of your favorite recipes to share then please do so in the comments below! Me and my handful of readers would sure love it.

Check this out: part one.

Hey guys!

First off, had a great time in St. Pete visiting my old time friend. We baked, and burnt, some cookies, had a beach day plus some fun loading up the paddle-board, visited Tampa and much more. It was the perfect pre-week to my Whole30 challenge which is going wonderfully so far.

I’m only 3 days in so I cannot report a whole (pun intended) lot crazy differences my body is feeling but I do feel great. I’ve done plenty of juice fasts in the past so I don’t think this could be any harder. You really have to put your mind to do and just do it. If you start off with the mentality that you will fail or are not able to do it, you most likely will do exactly those things. It’s the power of the mind. I hope to report some great stuff at the end of this so that one of you reading this may be challenged to try Whole30.

This post is, however, not about Whole30. It’s just a random post of some stuff I think you should check out. Yeah, sometimes blog posts are allowed to be rather long twitter rants where you simply tell the world random uninteresting things like what I am about to tell you.

Uninteresting thing #1 you should check out: Oxford Exchange (Tampa, FL). (Hah! Not that uninteresting is it) I’ve never much cared for Tampa but they do have some great shopping and food. If you’re ever in the area be sure to check out Oxford Exchange. Not so much for their stores but for their restaurants which include food that is locally and organically sourced as well as antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat. You can imagine my happy dance when my friend mentioned going there and I found out their restaurant turned out to my right up my foodie ally! I had the most amazing sweet potato fries, kale chips, and turkey club sandwich but honestly, everything looked so good. They even have afternoon tea on the weekends, how cute is that? Oh and brunch too? Adorable. Yes, please go check this place out pronto if you visit Tampa.

Uninteresting thing #2 you should check out: Best Green Drinks Ever (book written by Katrine Van Wyk). My friend bought me this book for my birthday and I was so excited to have a green drinks book on hand with tons of recipes and information! I actually don’t have a ton of cookbooks or anything of the sort so it was nice to get one that directly speaks to me and my love for all things green juice/smoothie. So anyways, I won’t spoil any of the book for you nor the recipes but let me tell you, I would’ve never thought to juice a jalapeno nor would I have learned one of the key reasons people don’t digest dairy that well. And if any of that remotely interests you, you should get the book.

Uninteresting thing #3 you should check out: Redefining Home (book written by Carrie Anne Hudson). I bought this a while back. I don’t even remember why but I’m so glad I did. It’s written in a journal form which strongly appeals to my likings. It makes me feel like I know the person and like I could just sit and have tea or coffee with her and tell funny stories of our children (for her, actual children, for me, my dog). Carrie writes of her journey to redefine “home” as she tells of her life in China and America. She brings such a unique perspective on some of the cultural differences between America and China. I love reading books like this because it opens my eyes to so many new fresh ways to look at cultures and people. Above all, she has a passion to spread the love of Christ, God’s grace, and His message of salvation to all. My favorite chapter was the last one. It was directed towards Christians who want to live overseas but I think any Christian would benefit from her advice.

Uninteresting thing #4 you should check out. When I was Younger (the album) written by Colony House (probably one of my top 5 favorite bands ever). If you couldn’t tell by the obnoxiously long link there, I don’t want you to miss out on this band. There isn’t much to say about them except that I have had their album on repeat for about a week now. It’s that good. I am in love. I even bought the whole album which says a lot because we have Rdio which means the album is “free” to us but this band deserves support. I will even by a T-shirt. Two things I never do, buy an album and a T-shirt. So go check it out. The only way you won’t like them is if you hate happy, uplifting, creative music and adore lame, crappy, uncreative music.

So there you have it, four not-uninteresting things for you to check out in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading! Happy Sunday!

Kristina

My life in a nutshell….a very large nutshell.

Nutshells are supposed to be small right? Well, I make no promises that this blog will be small. It’s been a little over two months since I last blogged. I’m not proud of it. It’s life sometimes and you just have to role with the punches. My last post brought a ton of new visitors to the blog as well as some heated twitter discussions. I will need to update you with those little gems soon as well as some additional words on the truth behind the nasty fake canola oil found in so many foods these days. BUT, that discussion will have to wait while I update you on my life, why I’ve been gone for so long, why I’m back and where I’m headed.

A life recap of the last couple of months.

Memorial Day weekend one of my closest friends got married. I helped a ton with the running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off type things. Honestly, I love doing those types of things and I especially love doing those type of things for my friends. The wedding was the beautiful, the bride was beautiful (the groom too), and everything was beautiful. And aside from crying my eyes out for a week before and after everything was great.

The older you get, and I’m not saying I’m old, the more your friendships evolve and people move away and get married and have kids and you have to fight and make conscience efforts to hold on to the friendships you want to hold on to. This is where I’ve been lately. What friendships do I want? What friendships do I care to hold on to? What do my friendships mean? It’s all very hard on me to tell you the truth.

Alright so in June I had a quince for my sweetest little or not so little cousin which was super fun. Miami is always fun to visit with all the delicious Cuban food, the music, the beautiful beaches, and best of all familia. Don’t ever ask me to live there though, ever, but I can visit and have beautiful beach days like the one below.

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Also, did I mention I got my dress for the quince for 40 bucks? You cannot beat that. I dare you to try. Oh and the World Cup started this weekend so my life got sucked into that real quick.

Moving on, I also had a birthday in June! Hooray! Which I celebrated like any normal 22 year old would at Disney World! It was so magical and fun. My hubby and I had never been to Disney just the two of us nor celebrated a birthday totally just me and him. And aside from some food poisoning the trip was perfect. Colombia beat the Ivory Coast, Mickey Ears were eaten, and too many laughs were shared. Such perfection. Don’t believe me? Look how happy we look🙂

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Fourth of July week was family vacation week in Bryson City, NC. Such an adorable little city and such a beautiful place to visit. It just so happened that my family was camping sort of nearby where my husband’s family was cabining and so it worked out nicely for all of us to be able to see each other. I don’t have too much to say about the trip except that you could probably have made a movie about it and it would have been filled with lots of ups and downs and Murphy’s Laws. My hubby’s knee is still sore to the touch from when he hit the boulder tubing down Deep Creek in an effort to save his little sister from hitting a rock. Oh, two licenses are better than one especially after you lost the first one and had to pay 25 bucks for a new one. And our bank account got a little bit smaller after the ticket we had to pay for speeding. It’s all laughable now. I realize that sometimes God has a strange way of showing you that He’s got your back. Oh and if you’re ever in Bryson City you have to visit Cork & Bean. The absolute cutest restaurant ever.

The week after 4th of July was my last official week of nannying. I had felt like it was time to either a) focus my energy on grad school or b) find a job in my field. I also wanted a break between doing either. You grow so attached to the kids you nanny and their families and I love nannying for this exact reason but it also makes cutting ties a bit harder. But it’s okay, I try to stay on the radar for the families if they need my help again and who knows I could be back at nannying this time next year.

My cousin was also in town during the duration of all these moments, he came up from Miami with us after the quince, and we got to spend a lot of time together making sweet memories. He is like the coolest kid ever and his little brother, also the coolest kid ever, stayed with us for a week. It was sweet to have nothing to do but spend time with these kiddos.

Alright so there’s my life so far. Glad you care enough to read the whole thing. I’m now past 1000 characters which means this blog post may go down in history as the longest post ever.

Why have I been gone so long? Well the little bits and pieces of my life above may show you some reasons but it’s a little bit more than that. I’ve been out of my groove until the last couple weeks. I had no desire to post. I had no inspiration. Just couldn’t get back into my groove. I don’t know what it was. I barely worked out, like at all actually. I deactivated my Facebook account, one of the better decisions I’ve made. I obviously didn’t post anything. I didn’t want to cook much even though I enjoy cooking. I was just out of my element for a little bit there. Plus, I figured the handful of people reading this wouldn’t miss me much but the truth is I missed it. I missed it more than I thought I would and that’s why I’m back.

So where am I headed from here? Well, as of August 25th I’m officially an FSU student again…yay. It’s just for a year and I’ll have my Masters and I will never set foot inside a classroom ever again!!!! More importantly than that August 1st I start Whole30 with my bestest friend aka my sister (okay, not really sisters but we may as well be) and fellow blogger over at Red Polka Dot Mama. I’m so excited! Like I said earlier, I’ve been feeling very off lately and this has crept into my real wholesome food world a little so I’m hoping Whole30 can help me get my groove back. Click the link for more info but the gist of it is this: Whole REAL food for 30 days which does not include any sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, and no treats we real foodies have created to get us through life. Yes, this means no fudge, no pancakes, no cookies, no paleo/vegan/raw/real food treats outside of a banana with some sprinkled cinnamon. I plan to do my best to keep you updated on how it goes for me. I think the things I’ll miss most are my green tea with honey, tortilla chips, popcorn, and quinoa. Oh and no weighing or measuring yourself either! Just so you know what I’m up against August includes my Abuelita’s birthday party and a wedding. But I am excited for the challenge and to see what new food awakenings happen because of it. I believe that health is a journey and there are always new things to try and learn…Whole30 is going to help me do just that.

Alright ladies and gents, that’s my nutshell. My rather large nutshell. I’m headed to visit said friend who got married down south for this whole week! I am beyond words excited! When I get back I can hopefully update you on some rather wonderful crazy things🙂

Thanks for reading.

Kristina