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Bacon Mac N Cheese

Bacon Mac N Cheese is pure decadence. A creamy sauce of heavy cream, sharp cheddar, white cheddar and mozzarella cheese is melted together until smooth, folded with crispy bacon pieces and pasta shells. Every crevice of every shell is filled with a cheese sauce so...

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Pumpkin Donuts are everything you could want in a pumpkin donut and more. A sweet, cinnamon-spice-speckled pumpkin cake batter is piped into a donut pan and baked to golden brown perfection. Then, rolled in melted butter and coated with a...

Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate

Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate makes all your hot chocolate dreams come true! Creamy coconut milk is swirled together with bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate and almond extract until hot and steamy. Ladle the coconut hot chocolate into a chocolate and toasted...

Apple Butter Cheesecake

Apple Butter Cheesecake is as decadent and delicious as it sounds. Perfectly spiced apple butter is swirled with a classic, tangy cheesecake batter and poured over a buttery, graham cracker crust. Topped with a cinnamon sour cream topping, this cheesecake is one for...

Smoked BBQ Buffalo Chicken Wings

Smoked BBQ Buffalo Chicken Wings is an appetizer that is the best of both worlds! Sweet bbq sauce is swirled with hot and tangy buffalo sauce to make each chicken wing the perfect bite. Smoky, tangy, sweet and spicy crispy chicken wings that will disappear before...

The Monthly Scoop – September 2019

Welcome to another post of The Monthly Scoop! September has already come and gone and it was a pretty darn good one. The kitchen was busy as 11 recipes were made and posted, the smoker whipped out several meat-sweats-worthy meals and we started to jump into Fall with...

Harvest Apple Chopped Salad

Harvest Apple Chopped Salad is everything that you could want in a simple salad recipe and more. Fresh, chopped kale is tossed with honeycrisp apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese crumbles, pumpkin seeds and a homemade honey mustard dressing. Each bite is bursting...

Fresh Mozzarella and Pepperoni Pizza

Sometimes you just need a slice of pizza, and thats where this Fresh Mozzarella and Pepperoni Pizza comes in! Creamy, fresh mozzarella slices melt perfectly into the crispy pepperoni so that each bite is loaded full of flavor and stringy cheese. A dinner recipe that...

Spiced Apple Butter Bread

Spiced Apple Butter Bread is a perfect fall baking recipe! Each slice is like a warm, sweet apple wrapped up in a cinnamon blanket. Serve the bread warm from the oven with a smear of extra apple butter and it's a match made in heaven! Apple butter is like an apple...

Toasted S’mores Cupcakes

Toasted S'mores Cupcakes are a cupcake lover's dream come true! A moist and decadent chocolate cupcake is topped with a swirl of marshmallow fluff cream cheese frosting, dusted with crumbled graham crackers and a perfectly toasted marshmallow. Each bite will have you...

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a perfect weeknight dinner! Colorful bell peppers and chipotle chicken simmer and caramelize together on one sheet pan. Scoop it all into a tortilla, top with some sour cream and fresh avocado and you have a delicious, simple dinner on...

Baked Chili Cheese Dogs

Baked Chili Cheese Dogs is a simple twist on a classic hot dog dish. Hot dogs are piled high with a quick, homemade chili, a generous sprinkle of cheese, and then baked until crispy and melted. Serve them up with a dollop of sour cream, fresh green onions and, of...

Why I Didn’t Try to Lose Weight for Hawaii

About this time last year, we decided to go ahead and take the plunge and book our trip to Hawaii. We were full of excitement and ready to adventure somewhere new together! And guess what? I didn’t start any crazy diets, I didn’t start weighing myself, and I didn’t change my workout regime. Why not? Let me tell you..

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

It’s taken me awhile to get here and I certainly haven’t always had this mindset, but I want to learn to love my body and appreciate it every day for what it is, that God has blessed me with health and I am able to explore the world He created. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be healthy, because I certainly strive for that every day. I want my body to be as healthy as it can be every day, and not just for a single trip. I don’t want to feel my best just when I’m vacationing on the beach, but also when I’m sitting at home in my sweat pants with messy hair and un-matching socks.

I’ve struggled with learning what being healthy means for me and my body. Going through eating disorders, tracking my weight and working out only because I felt like I had to (which you can read more about here), were all necessary things for me to go through for me to realize what my body truly needs. That doesn’t mean they were good, healthy, or experiences that I would recommend anyone to go through, but it lead me to where I am now! I’m not perfect and I still struggle with feeling like a rollie-pollie some days or find myself critiquing my body in the mirror, but I’m working on focusing my mind to other things. My body is strong, my body is capable of amazing things and I get to nourish and take care of it.

So, when we booked our trip to Hawaii, I knew it would be hard for me to think that I shouldn’t eat certain things or that I needed to exercise more for my “Hawaii bod”. Because of my past experiences, I knew it would be unhealthy for me to set a weight goal, as it would do nothing but discourage me and overtake my thinking. Instead, I just kept on the track that I was already on. Eating healthy and nutritional packed foods to nourish my body, but still indulging in sweet treats and Chick-Fil-A every once in awhile, working out to strengthen my body and to feel good, but also taking rest days to let my body recuperate, and finding clothes that fit my body type instead of making my body fit into the clothes. That included swim suits. A huge part of me feeling so comfortable in my skin in a swimsuit was finding the ones that worked for me and made me feel confident.My 2017 Swimsuit Recap goes over all the details of what I’ve found that works for me! 🙂

Another important thing to remember is that everyone’s story is different. Healthy looks different for every person and that is ok! It may be healthy for you to set weight goals, track calories or give yourself a goal/trip/vacation to work towards. Whatever is healthy for you and your body is what you need to pursue!

This time of year can be so discouraging as you see everyone pursuing/pushing their New Years resolutions, weight loss, diet changes and fitness dreams. I almost felt bombarded on Pinterest with all of the healthy food and pictures of women with their 6-pack abs, super toned arms and perfectly golden skin giving workout tutorials. I’m not saying these things are wrong, but I quickly found myself feeling smaller and smaller as if I wasn’t doing enough and was comparing myself to things on the Internet. Isn’t it so crazy how quickly we can get sucked in? I had to take a big reality check and remember who I am, what I’ve done and what all I’m going to do. Then I took another bite of my Nutella and moved on ;). Let’s use this time of year to encourage one another, lift each other up and highlight each other’s strengths! Social media and our culture can easily make you feel like you aren’t enough or you will never compare, and I think it’s time that we change that! 🙂 Everyone and every body is fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139

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