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Hungarian Mushroom Beef Stroganoff

Hungarian Mushroom Beef Stroganoff is a delicious twist on a classic comfort food! Mushrooms and steak are sautéd with butter, garlic and dill. It is then simmered in a decadently creamy sauce and folded in with egg noodles for that classic stroganoff flavor. A dinner...

Buttermilk Coffee Cake Muffins

Buttermilk Coffee Cake Muffins are everything you love about a classic coffee cake in a sweet, little muffin form! A cinnamon-spiced buttermilk cake batter is scooped into muffin tins, topped with a streusel topping and baked until perfectly golden. Then, an...

Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting are two decadent desserts combined into one! A fudgy brownie base is frosted with a smooth, creamy cookie dough frosting. Each bite will have you guessing: is it a brownie or a cookie?! BOTH! This is a dessert that you aren't going...

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry is a quick and simple dish packed full of flavor! Creamy coconut milk is simmered together with curry powder, red curry paste and other warm and vibrant spices to create pure decadence. Add in the chicken, simmer until it's cooked through...

Citrus Spritz Punch

Citrus Spritz Punch is a fun, zesty drink! Loaded with all sorts of citrus, this punch is perfect for any breakfast, brunch or party! Grapefruit juice is swirled together with pineapple juice, orange juice and fresh slices of citrus. Pour in a little lemon-lime soda...

Herb Candied Bacon

Herb Candied Bacon is so addictively good! Thick cut bacon slices are coated with brown sugar, fresh rosemary and thyme and a little smoky paprika. Then, they are baked until perfectly crispy and all sorts of caramelized. Regular bacon will never be the same again!...

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup is a bowl of soup that is so comforting and packed full of flavor that you won't even believe it's healthy! Chicken is simmered in a tomato-based broth loaded full of spices such as chipotle powder, cayenne and cumin to take on the full...

The Monthly Scoop – December 2019

Happy New Year! We're kicking things off this year with another Monthly Scoop post - December 2019 addition. I'm talking about all the yummy recipes posted, a review of the past year, TV shows and movies we've been loving and a fun little project/goal John and I have...

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are loaded full of chocolate and tahini goodness. Tahini is swirled into a classic chocolate chip cookie dough with dark chocolate chips. The cookie dough is pressed into a pan and baked until golden brown and delicious. Then, the...

Santa’s Cocoa

Santa's Cocoa may not be for the little elves, but it sure is a jolly mug of cocoa! Milk and semi-sweet chocolate are simmered together until smooth and creamy. Then, creamy cocoa liqueur and peppermint Schnapps are whisked in. Dip the rims of your favorite mugs into...

Red Wine Braised Beef Tips

Red Wine Braised Beef Tips is hands down a show-stopper dinner that is hassle-free! Beef stew meat are lightly coated in flour and sautéd until browned. Then, in goes the red wine and balsamic vinegar! The beef is nestled back into the sauce with fresh herbs and...

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake combines two of my most favorite things: chocolate and coffee! A rich, chocolate cake batter is swirled with a whole cup of brewed coffee, poured into a bundt cake pan and baked until fluffy. An espresso cream cheese frosting is then...

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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