Wednesday, August 14

VEGAN Skincare & VEGAN Makeup!

Sunday, August 11

A secret to vibrant health....

We all want to be healthy and we strive for it in different ways. Covering all our bases is essential to get that glowing skin, those high energy levels and that great feeling of being satisfied in your own body. After all, it is our temple!

Something I have discovered along my health and fitness journey is the wonderful benefits of smoothies. And no, I'm not talking about smoothies from fast food joints....I'm talking about home made healthfood smoothies! They are great because you can get creative and they can even be healthy meal replacements if you're trying to slim down.

Today I got home from the gym and was craving something that would help detoxify me after a sweaty workout and there's no better way to detox than from the inside out!

Personally I find that I don't eat enough dark leafy greens so I sneak them into my smoothies! It adds concentrated nutrients to my smoothie and really doesn't alter the taste very much. 

"Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats."

I like buying organic whenever possible so when these went on sale I stocked up! Organic fruits and vegetables are much higher in nutrients than their counterparts and also you don't have to be concerned with pesticides and other unhealthy chemicals.

RAW Garden of Life products are great! I choose to buy plant based protein because I feel it is easy for my body to digest. 

You can purchase RAW Garden of Life products at many vitamin stores or here: 

Thanks for reading and happy health!

Friday, August 9

Vegan Chocolate and Zucchini Cake!

This cake is one of my all time favorites and I'm so excited to share the recipe with you guys!

I have started eating a *mostly* vegan diet (I can't resist seafood!) and I love how creative vegan dishes are, especially deserts. This cake is moist, delicious and healthy (compared to store-bought options that is!)

It takes some time, but I promise you it's worth it if you do each step right! My kitchen was a disaster after but I happily washed the dishes because I know how decadent the end result is.

Below are the ingredients and the directions.

I recommend serving it with fruit, either blueberries or blackberries as they really bring out the flavor of the cake!

Thanks for reading lovelies!

For Cake:
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup Unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Instant coffee powder
1.5 bananas (to replace 3 eggs)
4 Tablespoons Water
1/4 cup Soy Milk
2 cups Zucchini, grated
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

For Topping:
3 Tablespoons Light brown sugar
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 360F/180c for 15 minutes.

  2. Grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan. You can use cocoa instead of flour.

  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour,cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  4. Mash the bananas. Once mashed, add the water and mix together.

  5. In a medium bowl add oil, applesauce, sugars, vanilla extract and coffee powder. Using a hand mixer beat the mixture at a medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

  6. Add the banana liquid and mix. Now also add the milk and beat until well combined.

  7. Reserving half a cup of the flour mixture, add slowly the remaining flour to the wet ingredients, while beating it in at a low speed. Combine the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of flour. Add this to the batter and mix it well. Note that the batter is thick at this stage. So don’t worry.

  8. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and smooth it out using a spatula.

  9. Prepare the topping by mixing the brown sugar and almonds. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Friday, July 19

How to survive deployment with a new baby!

Many of you may know who I am. 

You probably see the photo at the top of my blog and think to yourself, she's a military wife. 

But what does that mean? 

And why would you care to know any more than that anyway?

Because we, the military families are the ones who sacrifice along side our american soldiers-

 but never earn any medals and never earn rank in the united states military.

Spouses choose this life because they fell in love with a man, a hero who happens to be a US soldier.

When you meet the love of your life you won't allow anything to separate you from them....

except war.

And if we, spouses had any say you know we would hug our soldier tight and say, NO, you cannot take him. our dreams.

I have been a military wife for almost 5 years now and have learned so much along the way.

I have learned how to become more extroverted and reach out to people.

I have learned that nothing in life stays the same so you might as well embrace it all.

I remember when I was pregnant and I KNEW that my husband would not be there for the birth of our first child...

I searched and searched the internet for advice about how to survive deployment with a newborn. How to deal with all of the emotions. It wasn't easy and I never found any advice I made a video all about to survive deployment. 

So here's my video, I hope it inspires some of you fellow military wives to get outside of your comfort zone. And PLEASE leave a comment if you want to talk about anything!

Thanks for reading & watching!

Nails on a budget!

So I'm all about having cute nails, and what girlie girl isn't?? 

But I'm also all about saving MONEY! And as you probably know, Essie (one of the best nail polishes) is $8 a bottle. And for me that is a little pricey! So here's a great option for all you lovely ladies out there who are on a budget!

Cover Girl outlast nail polish...It stays on great and is super pigmented! As don't have to apply 10 layers to get the color on the bottle. 

I love these little gems. I got these both, 2 for $5 at my local walgreens. And if you're super frugal like me, ask your cashier if they have any coupons for beauty products. This always works for me at Walgreens!

Thanks for reading, loves!

Friday, July 12

Flawless Face :: Neutral Natural

If you're anything like me then you have tried just about every brand of foundation out there. You name it and I've probably tried it. I don't know how much make up I have gone through trying to find the right formula. I have tried some of the most expensive brands available at sephora (NARS, Laura Mercier, etc) and I still find myself coming back to the Clinique Acne Solutions liquid foundation. 

To me the most important job of any foundation is to STAY on my face. Not just for 20 minutes, I mean, all day. If you have oily or combination skin, I highly recommend going to your nearest Clinique counter and asking for a sample, or for them to try it on your skin. It has a natural finish and covers extremely well. I ran out the other day and couldn't' wait to get to the mall and buy another bottle. Plus, it's under $30!
Love Clinique!

I've put together my little routine below. I like an easy natural-ish look. Having an infant crawling around I don't have that much time to make myself over in the morning, but I want to look put together. These items are my MUST HAVES in my beauty routine. 

As I've posted in my instagram, if you don't know how to highlight and contour or just don't have the time then I recommend investing in the

         Korres Magic Light Contouring Trio

It is simply amazing. Just use an angled brush and keep your strokes symmetrical. I will do a video tutorial when I get time, of my current foundation/makeup routine. 

Lastly, if you love a nude lip as much as I do then go to your nearest MAC counter and purchase their Creme de Nude lipstick... It's my favorite lipstick in my whole makeup collection. Perfect for fair skin tones like myself!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 28

Everyday face!

When it comes to makeup, I gravitate towards brands that have the most natural ingredients. Of course the most natural way to go would be without makeup...but I am not one of those girls! I am the kind of girl who cannot leave my house without at least a *little* bit of makeup on. I am hoping to build my confidence to a point where I CAN leave the house without it; but I'm not there yet.

I am a huge fan of the new bare minerals compact! I love the coverage it provides and I also don't find that I am wasting product like before when I used their loose powder makeup. I use ecotools brushes also because they are pretty good quality at an affordable price!

The UD (urban decay) is a makeup setting spray that works incredibly well. I never used a spray like this but I guarantee you, once you try it you will wonder why you didn't try it sooner! It makes it so you do NOT have to reapply makeup for 12+ hours. It's worth the $

I never want to have a 'cake-face' and hate feeling like I'm wearing too much makeup. Wearing a tinted moisturizer with some mineral powder over it gives me just enough coverage to cover uneven skin tone without making me feel like I'm wearing a ton of makeup.

Everyday face

Wednesday, January 16

Abigail's Birth :: September 26, 2012

After waiting 9 long months, our baby girl was finally ready to come earthside. The night before she was born I checked into the hospital where they inserted some cervidil to help soften my cervix. The next morning they started pitocin around 6am and broke my water around 1 or 2, I can't remember. After they broke my water, I started feeling real pain for the first time. They told me that since there was no longer a lot of water surrounding my baby that the contractions would feel a lot stronger, and they were not joking! I wish I could remember the little details more clearly... I don't remember when exactly that I got an epidural...but I definitely got one and am so thankful that I did. I wasn't completely numb but it made it bearable. 

When I was getting the epidural, Ashton called via Skype all the way from Afghanistan. He had left about 6 days before that. The days leading up to his departure were awful. I had spent the weeks before then walking, lunging, bouncing on my yoga ball and doing everything I could to encourage babygirl to come early. I walked around the neighborhood every single day, in 80 degree weather trying desperately to go into labor so that Ashton could be there for our first child's birth. It broke my heart to think of him missing it...and he did. Looking back, I think it was more difficult to anticipate his absence. After he had left it was a little bit easier because I knew the hardest part was over; saying goodbye (for 9 months). 

During the epidural, I almost passed out. I think it was because I had been laying down and suddenly sitting upright made me feel faint. I was shaking from the pain and wanted that epidural more than anything. To be honest I can't even remember any pain from the actual insertion of the epidural....either way, it was nothing compared to the pain of those contractions. I really commend women who go all natural!

So my water broke around 1 or 2 and after a while my contractions picked up so they were back to back. The picture below explains what went on in the moments right before my beautiful girl entered the world:

So yeah, I pushed for less than 30 minutes. In fact, the doctor walked in (he had to drive from his office down the street) JUST in time to deliver Abigail. I progressed really quickly and my body actually started pushing for me. It was a feeling I will never forget. I pushed, and pushed, and put every ounce of my concentration into pushing her out because I just wanted to see her beautiful face so badly...

Rebecca (pictured above) is my best friend. She is the most amazing friend and person. I wish I could find the words to accurately portray how amazing she really is. You can ask her just about anything and she will have an answer for you. She is so caring and is not afraid to tell you whats up. I love her like a sister. So anyway, she flew from Mississippi to Kansas just to be with me and help me before, during, and after having Abby. She was in the room when she was born, and watched Abigail enter the world. I'm pretty sure that she was the first to hold her after me. Having Becca there made everything so awesome, when it could have been so much worse. I had been dreading giving birth without my husband, but I don't think I could have asked for anything more. 

It really was the best birth experience I could have wished for. 

Above, I was trying to figure out why I couldn't see Ashton on the screen....yeah, I was pretty upset. He called about 20 minutes after she was born. I was SO excited for him to 'see' Abigail and the damn computer was being a bastard...

^ But finally he did...and I will never forget it. His tears made me cry. It was a beautiful moment. 

We, had become three.

My friend who is also an amazing photographer came to my room right before Abigail was born. Talk about amazing timing! She had never experienced a birth before this, and she did an amazing job. I have these photos to cherish forever. 

The next morning we got to go home...I wasn't in any pain. I was barely even sore which shocked me so much, because I expected to be like, bedridden. But I was amazingly energized and refreshed. I can't think of anything better in life than being a Mother. 

In a few short months Ashton will be home from his third deployment and will meet his daughter for the very first time. She will be around 9 months old and I cannot wait. It is going to be just as amazing as the day she was born.