Monday, November 10, 2014

Video: Collett Hilliard Wedding, 10 November 2013

One of my goals for 2014 was to put together our wedding video. At the absolute last hour (16 last hours, actually!) I started (learning) and finished. It's a little rough but I'm ridiculously proud of it.


Happy 1 year anniversary, my love. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recipe Post: Mini Apple Pies with Cinnamon Roll Crust

My coworkers tasked me with bringing dessert for a boss's day and birthday celebration for the office. I initially was going to make something really healthy - but delicious - so that I could also enjoy the dessert but then I realized that as much as I adore these folks - they don't really give a damn about whether or not their dessert is paleo/clean/remotely healthy. 

SO, I found a pin for mini apple pies that I'd pinned THREE YEARS ago and decided it was time to give it a shot. I also remembered seeing a great idea for a pie crust: rolled-out cinnamon rolls. I combined the two ideas and here we go:

5 small-ish apples - peeled, cored, and diced.
1 cup sugar
11 tbsp ap flour
2-3ish tbsp of cinnamon (this is a preferential thing since the crust IS cinnamon.)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp chilled butter, cut into 20 squares.
  • Mix all that shit together in a bowl. 
  • Set it aside while you realize how frustrating rolling out/flattening cinnamon rolls is. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350. 
  • I know we didn't use the butter yet, just wait.

2 cans cinnamon rolls to make 20 lil pies
  • Grease a muffin tin or be lucky and have a silicon muffin mold. 
  • Open one can of dough at a time, unless you can cook all 20 at once - room temperature dough is a bitch to work with.  
  • Cut each cinnamon roll in half - lengthwise - so you have two really thin cinnamon rolls. 
  • Press each "slice" into your muffin tin.
  • Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 

  • Pull out the dough - and using a TBSP measurer - kind of smash the dough back down into a cup shape and then fill each cup with about a tbsp of the apple mix. 
  • Top the mix with a square of butter and put them back into the oven for 20 minutes - or until golden brown. *I can't remember if I baked them for a total of 20 or 25 minutes; sorry! 

After they've cooled a bit, feel free to use a dollop of the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls to top them off - they won't "need" it but why waste it, right? 

Fresh out of the oven!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Family Photo Session: The Hamiltons

Another Saturday and another gorgeous family to make me look talented. The Hamilton trio with Amber's mother visiting from Clemson.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Family Photo Session: O'Dell

Occasionally I stick myself behind a camera and shout "1, 2, ..." & "one more for good measure!"

This mom is one I've known for a very long time and her incredibly photogenic family made my job so easy, see:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Out of the Closet: Outfit Post 2

I got dressed some more times - and eventually will start taking more appropriately composed photos -  and went to work like this:

Ah, class class class! You could be wearing a suit of mud and set of pearls would make that shit so classy. I've had this skirt for a while and every season threaten to toss it but I'm glad I haven't - it's a wonderfully constructed piece that looks equally awesome with pumps or boots. This was/is the first time I paired it with this top - another awesome transitional piece that I grabbed last summer at Chico's in Tanger Outlets.
Blouse: Chico's, Skirt: Grace Elements, Shoes: Mossimo, Necklace: Rando Boutique

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Coming out of the Closet: Outfit Post

That's a tricky title. 

Sweater & Bracelet: Banana Republic; Skirt: H&M, Shoes: Rampage, Necklace: Premier Jewelry

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Newborn Photo Session: Sebastian

Occasionally I get behind a camera and snap photos that I'm really proud of. 

This is a piece of one of those times. My beautiful best friend with her first born, in all of their in-love glory. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1 Week of Lessons

1 - what bloating feels like
2 - that within moments of consuming dairy, the rumblings in my tummy rival the largest caldera in Yellowstone
3 - even though I don't crave sugar, I still haven't developed enough self-control to bake a cake and pretend like I won't attempt to eat it all in one night
3a - ...what a real sugar high feels like
4 - Body composition changes > a number on a scale
5 - indulging a little bit doesn't (literally) hurt but going balls to the wall with a weekend of mostly bad decisions is going to leave some (figurative) bruising

Since completing the Whole30 I've allowed myself quite a bit of no-no's. The first night was a chocolate bar and a sip of red wine which - I swear - gave me a buzz! The second and third bites of that chocolate were nowhere near as incredible as the first - I think I've been chasing the dragon the past seven days. I managed to have two - three sips of wine in the following nights before handing my glass to Husband to finish for me. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Reluctant Semi-Reveal: Russ's Guest Room

I wrote this in August 2013 and my, oh, my how this room has changed again - as I knew it would. You can read through and see that I wasn't happy with it, but was still astonished at the before/after photos' difference. I'll get some good pics of the room now to share really soon!

My aunt & uncle drove in from OK to pick up Nana and Q & I were sooo lucky to have them stay with us during their stop-over! However, this meant that a few of my meh-maybe-another-day projects were now in the GO-GO-GO phase and go I did - with a hammer, nails, two tape measurers, a pencil, and a wall. Oh, and some toothpaste for the pieces with two nail hangers (a little pinterest trick!)

That's all, Folks! Whole30: Done!

Today is day 1 after a Whole30. Coincidentally - and rather unfortunately - I feel awful! I made this quiche the other day and while it's super duper awesome, I think I had too much of it for breakfast. I had to tell someone in between belches in the office that "I'm a lady damnit!" So because I feel awful, even lunch is still pretty Whole30 - larabar, apple, boiled egg, and almonds. Dinner is zoosketti (zoodles!) and Josh is just DYING to see my face when I have chocolate after dinner. Seriously, he mentions it twice a day/at mealtime - he's really been looking forward to tonight! 

I'm going to have the chocolate because I don't think I can make my little bear wait any longer but there is an After Whole30 protocol for re-introducing foods. Chocolate isn't on the list... weird. Reintroduction is relatively simple - and sounds kinda fun in theory, although I'm a little worried about introducing some foods! I have a morbid curiosity to know how one particular food actually makes me feel so I'll do it the right way. I need to single out the bread, the peanuts, the soy - and relate a gut feeling to them for my brain to trust.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 20something

DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a real thing, I'm here to tell you. It's cause is still kind of a mystery (I mean, duh, obvi kick ass exercise is the initial cause). In a really sadistic way, it feels awesome - I kind of like being reminded that I made a good decision to workout. I'm chowing down on a burger right now only wishing I'd nuked it a little longer but I'm going to have to suffer because walking is hard right now, lol! 

Recently I ate:

Thurs.: Sausage & Kale Sweet Potato Hash & PSfauxL (pumpkin spice faux-latte) + Pork Chop & Green Beans + Spinach/Ham Fritatta + More Hash
Fri.: Hash & Coffee blend, again + Hamburger Pattie, Plantains, & Green Beans + London Broil, Eggplant, & Zoodles

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 19 skip a few 24!

I forgot to post for a few days. Whoops. My weeks just got a little more hectic with a new CrossFit schedule so I'm going to use that excuse. I'm hurting this morning - from bruising on my shoulders from front squats to screaming abdominal muscles and burning tight quads. Yowza. 3x a week is gonna be no joke! 

What I can remember I've eaten recently, with photos below:
Sat.: Sausage/Spinach/Apple/Sweet Potato Casserole + Beefalo Filet Mignon, Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Rosemary, Eggplant (I think...)
Sun.:  Plantain Nachos + Shrimp & "Grits" (photo below!)
Mon.: Spinach & Ham Fritattas + Tuna Waldorf Salad & 1/2 apple + Top Round Beefalo & Zoodles (pre & post workout)
Tue.: Spinach & Ham Fritattas + Top Round Beefalo, Zoodles, & Broccoli + Pork Chop, Fauxtatoes, Eggplant
Wed.: Spinach & Ham Fritatta, Plantains, and Top Round Beefalo + Tuna Waldorf Salad, Fauxtatoes, Eggplant, Pork Chop (I'm really hungry.) + Burger, Sweet Potato Chips, Eggplant

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 18. I think I'm gonna start over.

Not start THIS Whole30 over, but do another challenge. Something like what Gretchen Rubin did in The Happiness Project. I read that almost exactly 3 years ago and some things still resonate with me: slow down, prioritize, put others first but also do what makes you happy, abandon a self-conscious mind, etc. Maybe I'll tell a joke everyday for 30 days. Or maybe I'll thoughtfully dress myself for 30 days. Perhaps I could do some sort of have-a-glass-of-wine every day for 30 days. Yeah, I like that one...

Today I ate:
Egg Foo Young + 1/2 plantain + nursing a tall coffee
SB+J Burger leftovers with diced carrots
BBQ Beef (probably with more plantain!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 17; real talk - I'm tired

I am so damn sleepy today; I can't think of why I might feel this way. I've been eating properly and getting a fair amount of sleep - maybe I need more than 7.5 hours? I also have had a headache for a few days which I attributed to allergies but the PollenCast has been moderate since mid-August. I tried having some coffee this morning thinking maybe it was a caffeine issue - which is far fetched as I rarely have anything caffeinated. Maybe I just kicked so much ass at CrossFit last night that my body needed a smidgen more recovery time. Yeah, we'll go with that! Mad ass-kicking skills require 8+ hours of sleep, I'm sure.

Today I ate:

Egg Foo Young & uncured smoked bacon
Paleo Chicken Pad Thai with zoodles
Sunbutter + Strawberry Hamburgers with French Fries

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Days 13 - 16

I've gone 16 days without chocolate. Everything I eat tastes sweet. I don't know how I feel about this. Am I going to enjoy the fancy chocolate bar I purchased for day 31 or am I going to recoil in sugary revulsion? Have I said out loud "these carrots are sweet!" so many times that people are plotting my demise? Was eating a banana and sunbutter, & enjoying it, in front of adults enjoying beer a one-way ticket to hell? These are questions only fate can answer, however I'm hoping for a Yes, No, and No - in that order.

This week/end I ate:
Sat.: sweet potato & sausage casserole + pork chop + spaghetti
Sun.: sweet potato & sausage casserole + *see below + pork & sweet potatoes
Mon.: eggs & pork & sweet potatoes + naked homewrecker jr. + leftover spaghetti sauce & eggplant
Tue.: egg foo young + leftover spaghetti sauce & eggplant + pad Thai

Friday, August 29, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 12

After my 2nd Sunday of cooking, I'm finding that part is kind of relaxing and am looking forward to that part of this weekend. I start thawing meat, turn on Pandora, clean up the kitchen to prepare for the impending disaster-zone, and everyone leaves me alone while I cook for a few hours. I think seeing how beneficial prepared meals are during the week lessens any blow to the amount of time devoted to all that cooking. I hope the past two weeks haven't been some sort of joyous fluke!

Today I'm eating/gonna eat:
Sweet potato casserole + Peter Rabbit Pumpkin, Carrot, and Apple squeeze pack thingy (yes, baby food!)
Egg-vacado salad lettuce wraps + plum
Homemade pizzas! Adult Recipe + kids will just get standard whole wheat crust because Littlest is allergic to nuts (adult recipe crust base), specifically almonds, and I'm not interested in making THREE different pizzas. Two, I can handle.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 11, my gut is going insane

I ate almost a pound of sauerkraut for lunch today. And boooooy is my stomach using those natural probiotics to clean house! I made Reuben Roll-ups for lunch - slices of corned beef from the deli wrapped around some fancy Boar's Head Sauerkraut and then smothered with homemade paleo Russian dressing. My, oh my it was scrumptious! I was halfway through here and took this to brag to Husband. It worked.
#nofilter #badfoodporn #dohashtagsmatterinblogs ...?
Today I ate/am gonna eat:
Sweet potato, sausage, & spinach casser-ttata + espresso with coconut milk & pumpkin pie spice
3 Reuben Roll-ups
More Sweet potato casser-ttata for dinner!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: day 10, 1/3 of the way through!

Today marks my 33% milestone. Day 10 of 30; toot toot! I'm feeling pretty great and properly fueled for my long days, although they are mostly sedentary - what's great is I don't find myself needing a snack quite as soon after lunch, if at all. I haven't been taking any of my medications for 10+ days (really just because I forgot then realized I forgot THEN realized I was just fine anyways). 

Today I ate, or am gonna eat:
1.5 scotch eggs 
1/2 chicken breast + 5 lil meatballs + fauxtatoes
meatloaf + zucchini

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Days 6 - 9

The weekend came and went without much interest. I had a few "tests" that were either liquid or crunchy triangles. But more importantly, I did well - we tried a new restaurant, I relaxed at the pool without an alcoholic bev, and I doled out a few chocolate chips without popping a few myself :)

This weekend I ate:
Sat.- an omelette with sweet red peppers & onions, and hamburger patty with Wholly Guacamole, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. I ate a late breakfast and actually skipped lunch. 
Sun.- Scrambled eggs, pork carnitas & guacamole from a local place, and chicken for dinner.
Mon.-  Scotch eggs, meatloaf burger patty, chicken breast, mashed fauxtatoes, and eggplant. (SO good!)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 5

Today is donut Friday at the office.

audible sigh.

I think I can still remember what the last donut I had tasted like. Being well aware of what today is I prepared by eating a little later than normal and getting a really big coffee so I wouldn't be hungry enough to be mad that donuts make me feel like shit.

Today's meal plan:
2 frittatas + venti black coffee (this will actually last me 3-4 days)
Leftover Thai beef, wrapped in lettuce + peach + avocado
Italian chicken Hot Plate from Well Fed + whichever veggies remaining that are cooked & sound appealing

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 4

The boy chose pizza for his birthday dinner last night (day 3).

Which I think is a quintessential choice for birthday dinners until about age 26 when you discover the wonder of grilled meat, vegetables and beer in your own backyard with friends.  His choice is admissible.

I survived another day, even though I didn't get the dinner that would've made my life a lotta bit easier. Stephen ordered a s'mores pizza for them and I secretly jumped for freaking joy when she said they were all out and remaining choices were not our-kid friendly. 

Today I ate:
2 Fritattas + cup of Morning Thunder black tea
Homemade chicken nuggets + brussels sprouts + sweet potato
Fuji apple + 2 hard boiled eggs
Thai beef dish (recipe below) + the LAST of the sweet potatoes (finally!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 3

I unsubscribed to Papa John's emails yesterday. Do you know what that means? It means I won't be getting any good deals on bad decisions. You know what I did yesterday that I kinda regret? Eating ground hamburger and then doing a high intensity workout. I did notice, however, that my burp count was waaaay down during class - that's significant. I ALSO realized that I haven't taken my stomach meds (ranitidine or something) for a week now - that's also a huge success. 

Today I ate:
1.5 fritattas (Josh said his was "too spinachy") + bison sausage patty + 1/4 of a banana with sunbutter + choked down 3 gulps of canned coconut milk
Ground beef + cauliflower + 1 avocado
Mediterranean Salmon Salad @ Brixx + homemade chicken nuggets (when I got home from bday dinner)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 2

I made it through the night. It was a dark and stormy one, with lots of lightning (not metaphorically speaking, the constant lightning was actually very annoying) but here I am. In tact. I was planning to be in bed by 10:30/11 but once I realized my fancy you-should-go-to-bed-now-to-look-rested alarm* was still set to 7a instead of 6a, I turned my lamp off at 9:40 instead. 

Today I ate:
1 frittata + some sweet potatoes + brussels sprouts + coffee
Leftover chicken + sweet potatoes + brussels sprouts + olive oil
Ground beef/bison sausage mix + cauliflower for pre-workout
2 Hard boiled eggs + sauteed portabello mushrooms with coconut aminos (fancy!)
64oz water

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 1

The actual day one.

I'm actually doing the Whole30. Not planning to, not thinkin' 'bout it, not preparing for, not "waiting for my birthday to pass." Just doin the damn thing.

Today I ate:
2 frittatas + a bison sausage patty + coffee
Tuna Waldorf Salad + broccoli + 1/2 a peach
Chicken + 1/2 a sweet potato + brussels sprouts
Almost 64oz of water

Monday, August 18, 2014

Logging on for a Whole30: Day 0, The Planning!

Sunday was my day of planning. Almost all day I worked on a meal plan for 7 days = roughly 16-18 meals for an average of 3 people. It was kind of tough and overwhelming until I came across a tip in one of my new cookbooks, Well Fed 2: "don't try to be a recipe hero, just keep it simple for the first 1 or 2 weeks."

Oh, well NOW you mention that. But that's something I can do - mediocre, simple, easy, mindless, etc. hah! 

Logging On for a Whole30

At the beginning of the year, I decided to get my family "clean." I adopted a healthy, clean eating approach for us and honestly, it wasn't that difficult - there's a clean and/or GMO-free version of many icky stuffs found on the grocery store shelves: milk for almond milk, butter & veggie oil for coconut oil, white potatoes for sweet potatoes, boring ol'white pasta for whole grain brown pasta, honey for white sugar, and so on as blogger Chrissy Pollina points out in a (helpful) post in January this year. 

Eating clean was a good start; a start that was prompted after reading Michael Pollan's, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" earlier this year. We jumped on the organic train and started eating organic grass fed/finished beef, humanely sourced chicken, organic vegetables - you get the idea. We actually signed up with a local organization called Healthy Home Foods and purchased 6 months of food (there's a formula to figure this out) - meat, veggies, and fruit - to store in an upright freezer. We felt good about eating happy animals and even better about serving these clean foods to our children, family, and friends. It was a really good choice for us!

Let's fast forward 6 months...