Friday Favorites

Happy June everyone! I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. Summer is here and I am so excited for beach days, time in the sun, and enjoying this season with my little tribe. I thought I'd share what I've been digging lately and what I've been grateful for in life, because God is good and I definitely feel blessed!

1. Father's Day cookies. I've posted about these cookies so many times, and you can find the recipe here. These are my husband's favorite cookies. They are so delicious and light, so I woke up early on Sunday morning to bake them for him! We've been munching on them all week, so delicious!


2. Disneyland days. I am beyond grateful to have the chance to enjoy so many Disneyland days with Emma! We went on Monday and had so much fun! I love watching her learn and notice new things every time we go. She is growing up so fast!!! I also had to stop myself from buying this  cute Beauty and the Beast tea set. Belle is my favorite Disney princess! Who is yours??

3. Limiting caffeine. Ever since becoming a mom, I've gotten into a bad habit of having 3-4 cups of coffee a day. So I've made a more conscious effort to just have 1 cup of coffee/day, and I'm feeling a lot better! I am definitely a bit more tired, but I know that I will get used to it and it's better for me overall, and might help my sleep too!


4. Free food at work. I used to not give in to the free food at work because it's typically not the healthiest, but this week I definitely enjoyed some! We had an all-day training yesterday and they brought Corner Bakery for breakfast and Panera for lunch...basically all. the. carbs. I ate what I typically don't eat, but health is not about being perfect 100% of the time. It's about eating nourishing food MOST of the time so that your body is able to handle the occasional treats and sweets! That's a much healthier mindset to live in long-term, and I got right back on my healthy eating plan today and feel incredible!


5. Emma's Mickey Mouse toys. My cousin got Emma these toys for her birthday and she has been OBSESSED with them. Every morning she wakes up and talks to them, carries them around the house, and sets them up all around her. It's absolutely adorable to watch her play and interact and babble! I just love this girl so so much.


I hope you can also think of some things you are thankful for in your life or the blessings God has bestowed upon you this week! Blessings are all around, you just gotta look for them! Happy Friday, everybody!

Friday Favorites & Updates

Hello friends! Long time no chat! It's been exactly a month since I've blogged. I've had every intention of keeping up with this place, but with being a working momma and Emma getting more mobile every day, it's been hard to carve out time to consistently blog. It's still such as passion of mine though, so I promise to be more consistent! Anything YOU all would like to see more of in this space? I'd appreciate any ideas in the comments below!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things that have been on my heart and mind this past month...starting with the best cake smash ever!

1. Emma's cake smash.

Emma thoroughly enjoyed her cake on her first birthday! It was a simple white cake with vanilla frosting and we let her go at it for a couple minutes and then swiftly took it away.


And yes, it was a full sugar, full flour, totally regular cake. I didn't make anything sugar-free or organic or anything like that because the truth of the matter is (from the research I've done and children I've worked with), when you restrict a child, they are even more likely to rebel and do things that you don't want them to do. She eats healthy vegetables, proteins, and whole grains 99% of the time and I want her to have a healthy relationship towards treats from the very beginning; starting with the fact that treats are "sometimes" foods, and not "everyday foods" and that it's ok to have a treat on your birthday, then move on with your life.

2. Birthday trip to Disneyland


We took Emma to Disneyland the Monday after her birthday and we had a BLAST! She slept for the first two hours which gave my hubby and I sweet time to walk around, grab coffee, and reminisce about our days at Disneyland when we were dating and just married. Disneyland holds a special place in my heart, and now it's even more special to be able to enjoy it with my little tribe!

3. Being Brave


I grabbed this book on a whim at Target and I am so glad I did. Almost every devotional, Bible verse, or motivational quote I've read lately has been on the concept of being brave. Think God is trying to tell me something? All that to say, I highly recommend this book!


4. Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's.

This stuff has been blowing up my Instagram feed for weeks, so I finally decided to give in and try it. Oh. My. Gosh. WE LOVED IT! Even my husband who needs meat with practically every meal, thoroughly enjoyed this. We used a pesto cream sauce (literally combined a 1/2 cup lite Alfredo with 1 tsp of pesto and mixed it well). Such a good meal and I'll be definitely grabbing a few bags next time I hit up TJ's!


5. Kodiak Cakes.

A box of these protein pancakes have been sitting in my pantry for a couple weeks. I finally made them and they were SO good! And all you do is mix the mix with water, so easy! I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter too, because cinnamon. These complemented my spinach scramble nicely and kept me full for quite a while! I highly recommend!


I hope you all have had a great week and can pick at least 5 things you are grateful for and are "favorites" in your life! It's always good to have a positive mindset and look for the joy and blessings in our life verses only focusing on what may be stressing us out! Have a great weekend and blessed Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! Not gonne lie, we are rockstars!

Weekend Recap: Disney edition!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend...I know I sure did! I feel like I'm still coming down from a major high over the weekend...because over the weekend...Emma, my mom, and I all went to Disneyland! TWICE! 

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It's always been a dream of mine to be a mommy and take my kiddos to Disneyland. I am a BIG Disney fan and the movies, songs, and theme park will always have a special place in my heart! So for my birthday, my amazing Mama bought us annual passes to Disneyland! I was thrilled, and after checking in with a few other mommas who all encouraged me that Emma was at a great age for Disneyland, we were so excited to finally take her!

We went Friday and Saturday for a few hours each day. They were seriously the best days EVER! The first day, we got there around 11 and headed to lunch because we were starving. We had those delicious burgers up top with some garlic fries at the Red Rose good!

Then we went on the small world ride, the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the tiki room! Emma loved it all! She was so engrossed with the music and the characters and was taking it all in! 

We also got Emma this adorable Minnie Mouse sweat set...ahhhhhh I'm going to have to watch my wallet because all of their baby clothes are so adorable!!! We came home Friday with such full hearts, that we impromptu decided to make another trip Saturday!

We got to Disneyland a little later Saturday, and since the park was pretty packed, we ate a quick lunch of chicken nuggets and fries. I am not a fan of chicken nuggets, but we just wanted to get lunch out of the way so we could at least go on a ride! Next time, we may pack lunches with us to save some time!

I also enjoyed some ice cream which didn't really feel good on the tummy later. Oh well, I tend to forget that I am sensitive to dairy, because ice cream is so delicious! But such is life. After lunch and ice cream, we went on the Snow White ride, shopped a little more, and headed home. Such a great day again!

On Sunday, my parents wanted to take me out to lunch for my birthday, so hubby, Emma, my mom, dad, and I all headed to Lucille's! I've been trying to eat more of a plant based diet but clearly, I haven't been too strict about it! Lucille's is definitely not a place to go if you want to eat more plant-based, but the food was still delicious! I am planing on getting back to my plant based ways this week (while practicing intuitive eating with my portion control containers!) but I definitely enjoyed this meal!

We spent the rest of the day at an outdoor shopping area, had a light dinner, then headed home. It was such a great birthday weekend spent with family, Disney characters, and with my sweet baby girl! I am so grateful for another year of life and what 29 will bring! God is so good and has blessed me year after year, and my heart is full entering into this new year, now as a mommy! Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes! I felt very loved this year and appreciate all of you! :) 



A Day at Disneyland! Daily Manna: 10/11

Disneyland!!!!!! That is basically how I sound/act every time I go to the happiest place on earth. I love everything about this place from the music, characters, rides, princesses, and just the Disney feel of being there! I was blessed to be able to go yesterday with a bunch of my cousins, and I couldn't have asked for a better time!!! Thank God my hip was doing better or walking would have been a nightmare. I think walking actually helped open up my hip a little more by constantly moving it throughout the day.

I wanted to write this Daily Manna post last night, but was so exhausted by the time we got back from Disneyland that I decided to save it for today! I was very pleased with the day, including my food choices (maybe minus lunch, which I'll get to!) But overall, I felt that I was able to enjoy what I wanted throughout the day while making health conscious choices and not depriving myself! Here is my Daily Manna Disney edition!

As you may have read a few days ago, my hip and knee have been giving me some trouble. After icing and elevating my leg multiple times on Thursday, I woke up Friday feeling really good and wanting to get a short run in before heading to Disneyland. I had a couple squares of my pumpkin bread (same recipe as the posted muffins!) and headed out the door. We were meeting there pretty early, but I was able to fit in a 3 mile run and some push ups before picking up my cousin!

photo 1 Most people think I am kind of crazy for working out on a day when I will be walking all day! But, running has become more for me than just a workout. It has become a stress reliever, a time with just me and The Lord, and a time to clear my head before the day begins. That's why I love to start every day with a run or some kind of movement to get my body and brain moving in the right direction!

After my run, I didn't have time to make a nice big breakfast, so I just grabbed a quest bar and carrot sticks and had them once we reached the park around 10/10:30!

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These snacks held me over well, but I was starving by the time lunch time came! We usually eat at the Pizza Port for lunch, so I had already decided to get the pizza salad that I love from there (and NOT the pizza, which is pretty good too). However, (surprise surprise) the line was CRAZY long, so we decided to go to one of the many burger joints Disneyland has to offer. My cousin and I saw a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado salsa on the menu that looked good. We love avocado so we decided to get the sandwich lettuce wrapped! However, when the meal came, there was no avocado anything...just a piece of chicken with lettuce :(

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I would have taken a better picture but seriously, the picture basically says it all. We were both so sad but didn't feel like getting back in the long line. Luckily, my other cousin was feeding her toddler an avocado (yay!) so we were able to eat some of that, which helped add some healthy fats and fullness to our meal!

After a few rides, one of which being the Little Mermaid ride (one of my favorites!), we decided it was ice cream time.

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I love the ice cream at Disneyland! I don't think it's a special one-of-a-kind brand, but for some reason, it just tastes better there. Last time we came to Disneyland for my birthday, we got brownie sundaes from Ghirardelli's in California Adventure. That sundae was amazing, but I definitely didn't wanna go all out again! This time, I got a scoop of cookie dough ice cream and that satisfied me perfectly!

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After ice cream, we went on the Haunted Mansion ride, which is presently decorated as "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I loved all the decorations on this ride and the fusion of Fall and Christmas! I love coming to Disneyland around this time of year; it is definitely my favorite! :)

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Around 6pm, only my cousin and I were left (we had originally come with about 10 of us!) and we were already hungry for dinner. I decided to get tacos at one of the Mexican places in California Adventure. I got beef tacos in flour tortillas (should have gotten corn but I had already ordered before I realized they had a gluten-free option!) with some rice on the side. I was starving by the time we ate but focused more on the tacos and less on the rice. I was definitely satisfied after this meal! Much better choice compared to lunch, but I definitely need to go the corn tortilla or tortilla-less route next time since my tummy is feeling it today...but it was well worth it because it tasted amazing!


By the time we finished dinner, California Adventure was packed! We wanted to do a few more rides but didn't want to wait the 45-60 minutes each ride demanded. We decided to head home around 7, which ended up being a good choice because we were so exhausted! Overall, I had an amazing time at Disneyland with my family and was glad to be able to have a healthy but balanced day as well!! Now for a relaxing Saturday! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!