We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Complacency at its Best

I read an article the other day about the "shocking lows" of Millennial marriage. It turns out, there are more and more in this generation that aren't hurrying down the aisle just to check off a box of adulthood.

I don't enjoy admitting to being a Millennial myself; as the generation runneth over with adults who still act like kids, who balk at responsibility and have little initiative, but expect the world in return for the little they contribute. Most of the things I see in this, my, generation is embarrassing. But when it comes to marriage, I think we may be on to something...

In the 1950's, marriage was something to strive for, and this period of time was considered the "golden age" of marriage. Getting (and staying) married was expected and revered; along with creating a family, buying a house, keeping up with the Joneses...this was being an adult. Each decade since has brought about social change when it comes to views on marriage and what is considered "ideal". The divorce rate consistently rose through 1985, as laws became more lax, no longer requiring one to prove a cheating or abusive spouse; and women became more independent. Since the mid-80's, it remains safe to say that half of all marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce. (Source here)

In my mind, these facts alone make a case for holding off on marriage, perhaps indefinitely. However, in the interest of thinking outside myself, I realize there are economic consequences to Millennials holding off on marriage. First, there's the wedding itself. I just realized I'm in the wrong business! The average wedding cost in 2013 was nearly $30,000. Who has $30,000 ready to blow on one day that you have a 50% chance of regretting forever? Wowzers. After the big day, married couples, with their dual incomes, can spend more than singletons. The steps after marriage are typically: 1) Buy a house, 2) Upgrade vehicles for babies, 3) Have babies, 4) Spend money on babies, 5) Don't forget to keep up with the Joneses! All of these life events contribute immensely to our economy. Then, when things don't work out, you get to spend money on the divorce, which costs almost as much as the wedding, at $15,000-$20,000. All of these things help our economy, although it creates some pretty miserable people.

Here's something to chew on: Is the unmistakable contribution to our economy, through the act of getting married and (probably) divorced, enough to reconsider our motives for waiting to say "I do"? Or, are Millennials the first generation to put our happiness and well-being first, who will not willfully enter into a permanent state of complacency, just because it's what is expected? Complacency; the feeling of being satisfied with the way things are and not wanting or trying to make them better. Just saying the word leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Although there's nothing wrong with being satisfied with your life, why not continue to try and make it better? Just as an employee who has tenure, knowing that their position is permanent, can adopt an attitude of complacency, so I've seen in marriage. After all, what do you have to lose? It's a contract entered into by both parties, it's a pain to go through the divorce, and if you get into a fight or stop making love, it's not as if the other person will run to their lawyer to leave you. At least, not right away, not until both of you are so sick of each other that you can't stand to spend another minute together...

I realize I sound cynical, and I want to make it clear that I do believe in true love and being with someone forever. I am lucky enough to be living that, and my boyfriend is proof there are really good guys out there. I don't believe that I need to get married to prove to anyone that this is the real deal and that we are committed to each other. That little bit of fear of loss that every pre-marital couple has, forces you to treat each other as if you can still lose them. Knowing that I could lose the best thing that's ever happened to me makes every day more special, and I cherish the time we spend together, because I know we're choosing to be together. It's not a piece of paper forcing us to stick this out.

We do this because we're stubborn...Plus there's the love thing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm Bored Just Typing This...

I put forth a solid effort on today's post, and realized that tuna salad is just not exciting. Unless...it's this healthy and delicious version! (Ugh...I realize I'm not selling this well, so how about I just give the recipe and pictures, eh?)

Being a lazy chopper, I've found that if you take the celery and cut it lengthwise first, it's so much easier to mince!
Same with the green onions, just fold and chop.

I'm also a lazy measurer, but I added about 1 Tablespoon of Dijon to two cans of tuna, then salt, pepper, lemon and lime juice to taste, plus a healthy sprinkling of dried dill weed.

Delish on its own or as a melt with tomato and cheddar, and not a smidge of mayo!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Disgusting...but Delicious!

Oh my gosh, I just spent over an hour in the kitchen, creating one of the most disgusting-looking smoothies imaginable. I'm reluctant to say this, but...have you ever seen newborn baby poop? ...that's what my smoothie creation looks like. Why, Oh WHY, does healthy food have to look so gross?

I've fallen a bit off the low-carb wagon, and my emerging muffin top is a not-so-friendly reminder of what is to come should I continue on this path of DESTROYING Jimmy John's Vito sandwiches, devouring pizzas several times a week, and leveling Pringles cans in a sitting. I was doing so well, too...

I could go on about my shortcomings in the Land of Diet, but I woke up today determined to take action and reverse this damage before I gain back the few pounds I worked so hard to lose. Everyone on the internet claims to have found a "delicious and healthy!" low carb smoothie, and I've tried several with so-so results. Is it just me, or do healthy people seem to have skewed taste buds?

Like my vitamin-mixing, I did some research to decide what would most benefit me personally, and created a recipe using those ingredients. I decided to include a whey protein mix, avocado, yogurt, and spinach. Thinking I could make 10 servings in my blender (and seriously underestimating it's capacity), I spent the last hour mixing my disgusting creation in batches, and transferring to every available container I had, which was three, haha. So I poured the remainder into ziploc bags to freeze for individual servings for work next week! (Super-thrilled for all the "What are you drinking?!?" comments awaiting).

I can't speak on carbs intelligently, but I'm happy with this smoothie because it hides spinach well, provides protein and healthy fats, is under 250 cals, and tastes vanilla-y and sweet. I'll just have to close my eyes when I drink it!

10 servings (about 240 calories per Shake)

2 1/2 c vanilla yogurt
2 1/3 c frozen spinach (or 2-10 oz packages)
5 scoops vanilla flavored whey protein powder
3 Tbs honey
3 avocados
1 c light cranberry juice
2 c Mixed Berries
Water as needed for consistency


Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Low-Cal Cocktail You Can Actually Order

(Please Remember: My terrible suggestions work for me because I know what my body can and cannot handle, and I am always aware of my surroundings. Mio says specifically on the bottle to not mix with alcohol, so don't do it!)

Anyone who knows me know I like to party. But, my definition of party is probably a lot different than you might think...No longer a young buck, my "partying" now consists of sitting at the pool or on my balcony, sipping on an adult beverage and propping my feet up. Aahh, so wonderful!

I may love a refreshing cocktail, but good grief! the calories that follow are not welcome to me or my tummy. Most the ladies I gripe to about this agree; it is a struggle to find something you can sip on without consuming a day's worth of empty calories. There are thousands of fancy and delish cocktails featured in magazines and on my fave cooking websites, but really? A muddled fruit this-and-that with agave nectar and special garnish? Um...I go to The Goat. There are no special glasses, stirrers, syrups, and I'm sorry, but I refused that nasty lime for a reason. I definitely don't want bar fruit muddled into what I'm ingesting. (That's not meant to be a dig at this, one of my favorite watering holes. Anyone who has ever worked in a bar knows what I'm talking about. That fruit is deeeeesgusting!)

I've searched high and low for a cocktail that is refreshing and low calorie, but with a kick for those rough days, because unwinding is the real reason we drink, right? Something you wouldn't look snooty for ordering at a dive bar, a cocktail that requires few ingredients but never gets old. I've stopped looking, here is my go-to libation: Mio mixed with vodka and water.

Mio is a zero-calorie water-flavor syrup that is sold in every grocery store for about $4. There are a ton of flavors for variety, and this recipe means no bloating from carbonation (like in a yucky vodka soda), and it typically packs a wholloping 69 calories. I know that fake sugar is not more amazing for you then the calories, but it works for now. Do you have a better recipe that is actually usable at the bar? I'd love to steal it if you'll share!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Easy, Peasy Egg Salad.

Matt got me addicted to hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, but the past week I've been on antibiotics and haven't had much of an appetite. So, I have about seven boiled eggs on hand that weren't used for breakfasts I'm going to make into delicious egg salad!

The thing is, I don't feel like a mouthful of mayo is the best way to start my day, so we're going to healthy it up a bit. The way I make this packs under 700 calories for the whole shebang, or about 135 calories per serving. Eggs are such a great source of protein, and this will keep you full and happy.

I have:
7 eggs, already boiled and peeled
1 Tablespoon Mayo
1 Tablespoon Dijon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 cup red onion (feel free to omit this if you hate onion)
1 minced celery stalk (this can be adjusted for your desired level of crunchiness)
dash of kosher salt
pinch of dried Dill Weed (Dill makes everything breakfast-y better)

Chop everything up and mix it together gently... Boom, you're done! (I like to put this on an English muffin or whole wheat toast and devour immediately.)
I love egg salad because it's perfect for breakfast or lunch. This recipe will make about 5 servings, but I could seriously take a spoon and just make it one giant egg-y meal... Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our new toy (and the breasts that followed)

There's not a lot I need to say about smoked food. You know, and I know, that I am obsessed. I can't get enough, and ever since Matt brought home this electronic masterpiece, we've smoked every weekend. Every Sunday is a precursor for the delicious food to come during football season! Aah...I can't wait for football.

We slather bone-in breasts with our "mistake" rub, refrigerate overnight, and throw them on the preheated smoker for about 4 hours. Every week, the meals just seem to get better and more juicy. Smoked corn on the cob is just as delish! Here's to the simple things, like amazing smoked meat!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


...acting like the victim!

Absolutely every conscious decision we make during the course of the day, from deciding to climb out of bed in the morning, to what we put in our mouths, to how fast we drive, is our decision, and ours alone.

And even though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true, it's so easy to slip into the mindset that I can't help feeling sad, or bad, or weepy...It's always easier to blame my actions and the consequences that follow on someone or something else than to accept that I made it happen. How do you stop the victim mentality, and begin to hard-wire yourself to continually take control?...
I think it can be done with a little bit of practice, and I'm starting today!

With this resolution in mind, I spent my morning pondering what I'm unsatisfied with in my life; and what actions I can take to make it better. It's an incredible, immediate feeling of relief: Remembering that is MY LIFE, and it is completely up to me whether I live it fully or don't.

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.
If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

You don't like your job? (Why not find a new one?)
You turn into the Hulk during your period? (There are some great meds for that...)
You can't get pregnant? (Why not consider adopting a needy baby?)
You hate your dress size? (It only takes a few workouts a week to see a difference...)
It may sound harsh, but it seems there are easy solutions for the frivolous or more serious issues we may face...What would your responses be?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

Some of my absolute favorite things...blogs, websites, chefs, restaurants, and more!

Emenaye Catering in Colorado Springs
-Simply the most inventive and delicious food you could ever hope for, made with love and care!

The Freckled Fox
-My go-to for fabulous up-dos for the office...

Ruhlman's blog: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen
-I found this on accident, and am pleasantly surprised and thrilled with the inventive recipes posted, both for food and cocktails!

Overtime Pub with Bucci's Pizza attached
-Best. Pizza. In. Ohio. The staff if amazing, the pizza is better. A real treat for us after lounging around on a Saturday evening. Plus, we (sometimes) win at KENO while sippin' on some delish drinks!

Empowering Illustrations for the ladies, by Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti.
We face so much pressure nowadays, it's nice to be reminded that we are in control of our bodies, no matter what our individual situation...

Back East Bar & Grill in Colorado Springs
-Where it all started...I went through maybe some the most painful, and definitely the most wonderful, experiences of my life because of this establishment. The absolute best people, grub, entertainment, beer, and staff! We miss it constantly.

The Goat
-Nothing can top Back East Bar & Grill, but this hangout comes pretty close! Friendly bartenders, good food, and a pool; all within walking distance from mi casa!

-Last but not least, my new Derby hats! Can't wait to put these to good use next summer so I can wear them in public and not just around my house!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Women Elevating Each Other

As much as men are competitive, winning are catty.

Although I believe these are two sides of the same coin, it's odd to me that men can be fiercely competitive with each other and still go out for a beer after work, while women use their cattiness to tear each other down to no end, and with no reward. Is it a man's more simplistic nature that allows him to see the forest through the trees, and realize that competition is healthy? On the other side, then it must be women's crazy nature to take every thing personally, to treat every competition as a threat to their very existence. Why can't we be more like men in this regard?

Competition helps to drive success and inspire others. I've had my catty moments, and cannot say that when I see a woman who is thinner or more successful than I am, that I don't feel a slight rage inside. But, like a Man, I realize that this is just free inspiration to do better. That red-hot feeling I have is not directed at this other person, it fuels the fire inside of myself to be what and who I want to be.

Healthy competition makes us better, whether it's athletics or inside the office. What model of success can we possibly follow if everyone is the same? Until we women begin acting less with our emotions and more with our intelligent brains, we can't possibly hope to rule the world, as we should be.

So next time you meet a woman with an amazing career, a successful marriage, a beautiful complexion and flowing locks, why not pay her a compliment and ask for advice? We should be constantly lifting each other up, not condemning our fellow woman and their imminent success!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Happy to say, I'm a Dog

On those exceptionally happy days, when I find myself filled with wonder and my heart exploding with gratitude, a vision of a (cute and tiny) dog come to mind. I feel like the dog is my spiritual animal, just hanging her head out of a moving car window, tongue out, big grin, just thrilled to BE.

A dog is fully in the moment, blissfully unaware that anything could be amiss until they feel stress from their surroundings, and then they're available for hugs and smooches. A dog is loyal to those who give them love, and always up for a spontaneous activity. A loved pooch is happy every single day; they don't dwell on the small things, or overthink the good things.

I am a puppy in a girl's body, chasing squirrels, distracted by shiny things, and simply... happy.

What's your spirit animal? I'd love to hear all about it!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Poppin' Pills

I'm not ashamed to say that I am a Google-whore. Never again (as long as I have my trusty iPhone and am in a service area) will I wonder what the name of that one actress in that one movie was, or what chicken's proper internal cooking temp is, or in the case of my paycheck grocery shopping trip last week, what certain vitamins could do for me.

Google! Internet! Amazing technology! THANK YOU!

My family has always been big into using vitamins and supplements to provide what our bodies may be lacking on a daily basis. My vitamin style is inspired by what my mom might say, although this is not a direct quote: Listen to what your body needs, and give it that. So, I researched to find out what one should take if one wants to improve their skin and hair; if one drinks wine with dinner (and maybe after, heehee); if one is working out daily; etc. Turns out, there is a vitamin for nearly everything, and I hit the jackpot since Giant Eagle was having a BOGO sale. (Sales to me are like Christmas!)

So, I was looking for Gotu Kola, which is supposed to be good for nearly everything, but no one seems to carry it (sigh). I whipped out my phone and started furiously Googling everything Giant Eagle had on sale...Biotin for healthy skin, hair, and nails... Milk Thistle for my liver and kidneys...Vitamin D3 for calcium absorption in my old bones...Cod Liver Oil for Omega 3's...Vitamin C, because someone's always sick at the office...MSM for my joints (my knees crackle and pop)...Vitamin E for those pesky free radicals...and Apple Cider Vinegar, because it's magic.

It takes about 30 minutes, but I open up all my pills and create daily packs until something runs out. Once I get through all these, I do another dose of research and keep it interesting with a new round. Much more budget-friendly than picking up a $60 random pill set from GNC, and I love customizing! Happy (healthy) pill-popping!