Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Must Try: Sweet Potato Chicken Mexican Lasagna

Here is the second recipe I tried this week.. FAnnetastic Food Sweet Potato Chicken Mexican Lasagna. And let me say this is a MUST try. Anne said her husband said it was "good enough to serve in a restaurant". Keith and I could not agree more. It was amazing!! I'm craving more of it as we speak. The recipe made a lot, so we are happy to be eating these left overs this week.

 Cheers, Whitney

Monday, December 9, 2013

Meatless Monday & Weekend Recap

Weekend Recap
Keith and I had our final 2013 wedding this weekend!!! SEVEN weddings this year. I can't believe it, and I can't believe non of them overlapped. I'm so glad we got to make the trip back to Ohio for all of them and be a part of all of their special days!

This weekend Keith's college and fraternity brother got married. We questioned the trip with the ice/snow storm coming in Friday; luckily Keith's boss let him leave early Thursday and we made the trip up before any bad weather came. Phew. Driving in bad weather is very stressful.

We stayed with our friends Tonjia and Steven, who will be getting married next year! We spent Friday with friends and Saturday was the wedding. It snowed quite a bit so it was really pretty and not too cold!!

It was amazing to see college friends and celebrate a friend's marriage!

Andie's Cincinnati adventures... She absolutely LOVED the snow! She was definitely loved on all weekend. People were more excited to meet her then see us!

 We unfortunately got a flat tire on our way home Sunday morning. Andie was NOT happy about it. Our trip home ended up being 11 hours. It was a very long, stressful, exhausting day. But thankful that everyone is safe and we made it home!

Meatless Monday

We needed groceries desperately today. I wanted to try a few new recipes this week that I have been eyeing and this meatless chili option sounded perfect for this raining, cold Monday. You can find the recipe here,  Hummusapien Sweet-Potato-Bean-Chili. It was delicious and warmed us right up. Keith was very skeptical of this chili (probably too many vegetables) but he enjoyed it and said it was a must-have-again!

 Cheers, Whitney

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 28

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Ya'll!! Sadly this brings an end to my Thankful Project. I loved the challenge and finding more depth to my posts! I hope you all enjoyed.

What were your Thanksgiving plans?
We celebrated with Keith's parents this past weekend. Thanksgiving day we ran a 5k Turkey Trot in Findlay. This is our first time doing it. Despite the chilly weather it was alot of fun! My sister and Keith are ran it with me.

We had thanksgiving lunch at my mom's parents. Dinner at my dad's parents. Holidays are always packed with lots of family and great food! I'm thankful that Keith can take the time off work/work from home so we can spend the holidays with our families.

We got back to Charlotte last night. It was a quick trip home and we are glad to be back. Last weekend we finally got our puppy!! So the week was hectic, trying to care and train a puppy while traveling and visiting family! I'm glad to be home and to get her on a little bit of a schedule. The puppy is too cute for words and we are already in love!!

Andie, our little girl.

She got a lot of interaction with dogs this trip!! She loves to play and let all that puppy energy out.

She slept the ENTIRE seven hour drive yesterday!! We are very thankful for that. She will be our travel warrior.

After a week, she finally got to meet her kitty brother, Sonny! They seemed to really hit it off already. 

Cheers, Whitney

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 27

I'm thankful for the simple pleasure of coffee in the morning. I didn't like coffee and despised the smell of it. The closest I came to coffee before graduating college, yes graduating college, was coffee ice cream or frappachinos from Starbucks.
When I started my Dietetic Internship by the second day I couldn't even keep my eyes open past 10 am! Something had to change. So I forced myself to give coffee a try. It definitely took awhile. I had to choke it down for a few weeks. But then I really started to enjoy it. Fast forward a year, and I need it.. enjoy it every morning!! Don't think that was my intentions to get hooked. But earlier this week, we didn't have any creamer so I skipped out on my morning coffee. It was definitely a simple pleasure that I missed having in my morning routine. Mmm good.

What is a simple pleasure you are thankful for?

Cheers, Whitney

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 26

Criticism I am thankful for is, criticism is for my writing. 
Let me start from the beginning. English has never been my best subject, but I've always gotten by. Well when I got into college, you know those essays you have to write after you get accepted? Well I wrote mine. And when I went to orientation and was scheduling my classes, I couldn't schedule my English course! I got all bent out of shape and had no idea why! I found out that I didn't meet the word requirement for the essay (oops!). Well I tried to appeal it but it didn't work.. I ended up having to take a 4 hour bridge English course my freshman year. It ended up being the easiest A I've ever gotten but it still didn't make me feel that great.

Fast forward to my senior year when I was applying to Dietetic Internships. Like I've said before, the process is grueling and hard to explain. But for every place you apply you have to write a personal statement. Which is just a glorified essay saying why they should pick you and what you can offer their program. Besides your grades and extracurricular activities, this is the largest piece they judge you on. For me this was terrifying. I knew my writing wasn't great and I had to stick out with my writing.. in a good way!

Well I didn't get accepted anywhere in the first application process. So I applied to a few openings with the University of Cincinnati's program. My professors were grading our statements, so luckily they knew my work ethic and have seen what I am capable of in class. I thankfully got accepted but this was after my professor/Dietetic Intern Coordinator expressed her concerns for my writing. Dietitian's have to chart in clinical work and she was worried I wouldn't be able to express my findings in writing clearly. I just cried right there. How was writing, one of the first things we learn, holding me back? I agreed to take a few beginning courses over the summer before my internship started. I think that it really helped and made me more conscious of my writing. I continued to focus on my writing portions throughout my internship. I actually got complimented a lot on the clarity and thoroughness of my charting.

And look at me now. Successfully completed my internship and have this blog!! That is one thing that held me back at first from starting a blog and putting myself out there, through one of my vulnerabilities. I feel so much more confident now and I am so thankful for my growth.

Cheers, Whitney

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 25

I'm thankful for knowing how to be a sister. And I am thankful for my sister.

My sister and I are three years a apart. I am definitely the more outgoing, louder, attention seeking one; while my sister is smarter, creative and shy. When she was born, I was always trying to steal her thunder and 'regressed' trying to be like her to get the attention (See below).

Of course we fought like sisters, and sadly I was kind of a bully big sister. However when I went to high school, when we eventually started to work together, and when we cheered together- we really got a long and became close. I always wanted to stick up for her, make sure she was okay, and borrow her clothes! That's what sisters are for right?!

For having quite different personalities, we still have a lot in common. And living in different states definitely has not hindered our relationship. She has taught me to be protective and mindful, so I am forever grateful for that. I hope most people get to experience the joy of a sibling and that bond.  

If you have a sibling, do you you cherish your relationship?

Cheers, Whitney

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 23 & 24

Day 23:
I am thankful for seeing (& hearing) live music. If you have been following along, I'm sure you can remember my excitement seeing John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty this summer! Let me just say, I am thankful music and musical talent everyday! I love the way music makes me feel and when you can relate to a song or artist.
I'm thankful that I get many opportunities throughout the year to see live music. Whether it's a cover band, a solo artist in a cafe or my main man John Mayer! I think concert tickets are one of the best ways to spend money. I'm sure others would disagree, since you don't receive anything physical. But the emotion and experience I get from a performance will always stick with me.

Artists that have blown me away with their performances:
  • Obviously John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty
  • Twenty One Pilots. They are by far the most passionate, energetic performers I have ever seen!
  • Maroon 5
  • Luke Bryan
  • My churches worship team.. They know how to kill it every weekend. Elevation Worship.
  • Pretty much any country artist in a bar
Wanna see performances:
  • Tom Petty
  • One Republic
  • Justin Timberlake- I love seeing his current tour posts! I'm sure he puts on a great show.
  • Coldplay
  • Eric Church 
Day 24:
A physical trait I am thankful for, is my smile. My grandpa always jokes that he can see all 32 of my teeth when I smile! I even got voted best smile in yearbook surveys throughout school.

Random smile fact: I smile abnormally big most of the time and I'm always the person that messes up a picture because my eyes are closed, so I try to make a conscious effort to make my eyes wide and open.. When I look back at my wedding pictures, I'm like wah why aren't my eyes more bright and open?! Well my smile looks extremely huge in all the pictures. I guess I just couldn't help it!!

Question(s) of the day:
What is a physical trait you are thankful for?
What are you must see suggestions?

Cheers, Whitney

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 22

An expectation I am thankful for, is the expectation to live a healthy life. This is an expectation I have for myself. Also, as a dietitian I think that it is an expectation as a professional to be able to speak on behalf of living a healthy, active life. Who would take advice from a dietitian you see at an unhealthy weight or eating a plate full of fried food? I'm not saying I eat like a rabbit. Or that I don't enjoy myself and enjoy the foods that I like, even if they have no nutritional value.

However I expect myself to try new things, keep up on my vegetable intake, and enjoy physical activity a few times a week. That way I can live a long, healthier life for myself and my family!

Some things that keep me in check are:
  • Buying healthy food! I hate to waste food so if I buy, you bet its gonna be eaten. 
  • Writing down my physical activity goals for the week. It helps keep me accountable.
  • Following food/health blogs. I usually subscribe via email to blogs that I like so when I get that email I'm reminded to keep up.
  • Indulge in a craving. If I'm craving an Oreo, I'll have an Oreo. I won't eat a whole row, only a few, to satisfy my craving without binge eating them all later.
  • Try to eat at home as much as possible. Then you know how the food is prepared and what you are eating! Plus, it's budget friendly!
  • If I'm eating out I'll make sure to have some vegetables.. For example, if I'm getting a sandwich I'll make sure to get steamed veggies on the side rather than french fries. If I'm at Chipotle you can bet I'm gonna get their amazing sour cream but Ill ask for some extra salsa or fajita vegetables. Ordering pizza? Load up on the vegetables.
  • ..or if i'm eating out I'll save some for later. An awesome trick is asking for a box when you get your meal. So you can pack half of it up without being tempted to keep picking at it!
Do you have any tricks or tips that keep your eating habits in check throughout the week.

Cheers, Whitney

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 21

I am thankful for a roof over my head. This is definitely something that's easily taken for granted. Recently there was some nasty, devastating storms near my Ohio family. Destruction of homes, people injured. Not only do tornadoes and storms scare the crap out of me!! But I'm thankful for the safety of my family and friends. And that they have a sturdy roof over their heads.
I remember when I was younger every time there was a tornado warning or even a storm brewing I would cry! Like you know how dogs sense storms and go hide in the shower.. that was me. They still give me bad anxiety. I fear thee destruction they can cause.

On a brighter note! I'm thankful for our parents homes that we get to visit this next week. I will be spending the next two days cleaning and packing for our trip home for Thanksgiving!!

Have any of you been a victim of a inclement weather or destruction of a home?

Cheers, Whitney

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 20

A trait my husband possesses that I am thankful for, is my husband's patience! Considering his good looks, ability to make me laugh and happy, I am unbelievably thankful for my husband's patience! Patience is not one of my strong suits. So finding this trait in a significant other is a blessing.
In the beginning of our relationship, I made Keith work a little hard, but he was patience and sweet. He waited until I was ready and I hope he feels the wait was worth it! He still continues to be patient with me and my bull head, my job hunt and my girly antics.

Cheers, Whitney

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Thankful Project: Day 19

First of all, happy birthday to my beautiful mother!! I can't wait to see you next week!

I am thankful for the Happiness Project book. I read it not that long ago but it definitely has been sticking in the back of my mind. I'm always thankful for reading something that opens up a passion or inspiration in me, or opens up eyes.
To recap it again- it is about a woman who is happy with her life but wants to be HAPPIER. She takes a whole year to focus on her happiness and each month she focuses on a specific aspect of her life. When I was reading this book I took notes and looked at different areas of my life I would like to put more energy in to.

Side note: I think this book would be great for people wanting to make changes in the new year, and stick to them!

The Resolutions I would like to focus on are: (some are taken from the book or quotes from the book that I liked)
  1. Energy- get more sleep; act more energetic;
  2. Marriage-  “Go to bed at the same time- more sleep, sex, or a conversation.”  “Each married couple should have an outdoor fame, like tennis or golf, and an indoor game, like Scrabble or gin,that they play together.”   “Both men and women the most reliable predictor of not being lonely is the amount of contact with women.” And use our Love Languages
  3. Family- Be a treasure of happy memories; make time for projects; keep in contact
  4. Friends- Remember birthdays; make new friends; be generous; show up
  5. Money- Buy needful things; give something up
  6. Work- Pursue a passion; make steps; partnerships
  7. Play- Things I enjoy: scrapbooking, outdoors, reading, photography; “Studies show that each common interest between people boosts the chances of a lasting relationship and also brings about a 2% increase in life satisfaction"
  8. Attitude- be kind
  9. Religion- keep a gratitude notebook; invest time into the bible
  10. Health- keep up my running routine; try new things; eat
I didn't quite come up with 12, one for each month, but it's a start. She put a lot of effort and research into her resolutions. It doesn't have to be that elaborate. But I think focusing on certain aspects, that we know and want to improve is a start and can make a huge difference!
I mean who doesn't want to be happier?!

What would you focus your happiness project on?
Do you have any book suggestions?

Cheers, Whitney

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thunder Road Half Marathon

Well folks.. it happened!! Fifteen weeks of training and I completed my first half marathon!!!

It was a beautiful morning for a run- cool, cloudy and no wind! Unfortunately, the week of my race my knee started to cause me pain. I stayed off of it and biked the week before. But on the second mile the pain hit me! I was hoping it wouldn't flare up that soon. But it was a pretty hilly course (it said rolling hills, but I think it was more of rolling mountains!!) so I think that triggered it faster. I worked through it and only made a few stops to stretch it out. And with a few bathroom breaks, I still made a decent finish time!

Keith, as always was an amazing photographer and cheerleader!!

TONS of people there. It was amazing. 

Keith got to witness a wedding propasal. How sweet it this!!


Cheers, Whitney