I just woke up from one of those naps where you wake up in a panic thinking you are late for work, jolting out of your slumber only to discover its in fact 6:30 pm and the only thing you're late for is thawing the meat you were supposed to cook at seven. Yep. It's been that kind of week already. Hello, Monday. Mr. Charming and I will be finding some vegan take-out. On a happier note, I treated me & Mr. Charming to a little something.
I had been wrestling with if I should buy this unnecessary toy that the world is so obsessed with, and I finally caved to the materialistic consumerism trend and got us one. I thought I would just dabble with it. Then I found the game Flow, and various board games, and a program where its like drawing on a chalkboard. And Netflix. Of course Netflix. And Pinterest is HUGE. and I wasted like, 6 hours of my life the next day when I got home from work. While I'm on this topic though, my bible study spoke about an interesting issue this week and it was the Tech Trap. How we get so caught up in technology that we don't take time to TALK to one another. Like, truly sit down and have deep, one on one conversations at dinner, at parties, even on dates with our spouses. It seems someone always has a game machine, a smartphone, or, as it sits on my lap.... an iPad.
This past weekend as you read, Mr Charming and I took a weekend away to celebrate our anniversary. To ride horses. To cook elaborate meals. To read by the fire. To just be. I know for me, it's crucial to unplug and connect and to have these date weekends and date nights. Especially when my jobs are so technology driven. Sometimes the LAST thing I want to do is look at a screen of any kind. Make boundaries. Set limits. With your children, your spouse, or even just for YOU time. Make sure you disconnect, if even for a little while. Go for a walk, connect with nature, call a friend, or write a letter. On paper. It's therapeutic. Its real and pure. I promise you'll feel better. Then you can get back to level 65 on Candy Crush Saga. Which I refuse to download, because I think there is something addictive in that candy that I want no part of.
This week I wanted to include a little printable that I think every girl should keep in her purse. There are so many dangerous chemicals in our beauty products and its hard to remember everything we read about scary toxins wrapped up in long words we can't pronounce, let alone remember to identify on a label when we find the best shade of lipstick. So I've included a little 2x3 card that you can print on card stock and keep in your wallet. It lists the top most harsh and toxic chemicals found in beauty products today. That way, when you're at the makeup counter you can know what to avoid and make better choices for your skin and for your body. It's been proven that the chemicals can penetrate deeply, and carry the same effects as if you ingested them. I don't know about you, but I don't want anything in my body I can not pronounce.
Mr. Charming & I escaped for a little staycation and I share some of the DELICIOUS healthy recipes we cooked up as well as share an adventure of a NEW excursion I've always wanted to try. Read about it, and get access to an amazing pasta recipe, here.
All new content up tonight on the following pages below! I've missed you guys & gals. Mr. Charming and I took a little hiatus away from work to celebrate our two year anniversary and it was heavenly. Read all about that here.
Granola Mommies - I start to expose a little glimpse about the journey to our future littles.
Sugar Shakers - We are delving into the introduction to our Sugar Shakers challenge in 2014! Click on over as I explain why I believe sugar is toxic to our systems.
One of the ways that I intentionally work on our marriage is by "dating" my husband. By taking time to set aside "date nights" when we could easily slump down on the couch with dinner and a tv show, we show each other that we are still a major priority to each other. That fun and excitement is still part of who we are. It was when we first got together and its what keeps thing fun and interesting now, 7 years later, and 2 years into our marriage. Now, don't get me wrong, I adore nights when we cuddle up and just talk or watch endless marathon hours of Once Upon A Time or Big Bang Theory... but this was our two year anniversary, so it called for something extra special. I planned a surprise Get Away for Mr. Charming, and when he arrived home, waiting for him was a suitcase, GPS coordinates and a note.
While he happily packing and heading to the resort, I prepared a healthy lunch for us. I whipped up some deviled eggs, a salad, cut up apples and grapes, and almonds... all served with dairy free dark chocolate. It was the perfect little combination for an in-room picnic. The room was gorgeous and it was too hot outside when he arrived for a picnic outside! He also stopped on the way and surprised me with roses. *swoon* I think I'll keep him.
It was a weekend of romance, delicious food, (get the yummy pasta recipe pictured below here) and adventure! I wanted us to try something new together and so I set us up to go horseback riding at a local ranch and it was SO much fun! We also took the opportunity to hike a beautiful trail, swim and hit the gym.
All in all, a beautifully perfect way to celebrate my best friend, my husband.
So, as I've mentioned before, I am an avid believer that retail therapy can be helpful in many ways. It can be good cardio (if you hit enough stores), stress relief (if shopping is your cup of tea), and it triggers our carefree, creative mindset. Of course these are attained by doing so in a responsible way. I'm not telling you to go blow your whole paycheck at the mall to feel free. But just treating yourself to something pretty once and a while can do wonders for a girl. Mr. Charming and I make sure the tithe and bills are paid, that we save a little for a rainy day and buy healthful food, however, sometimes, one of the things I need is to shop. To just detach for a while and shop. Mr. Charming understands this about me, and I in return understand his love for all things tech-y and gadget-y. Clothes and home decor are my specialties. Yesterday, Mr. Charming and I are redecorating quite a bit to make our space feel more like "us", I went to my favorite home stores and got some new place settings, rugs, and decor to compliment the furniture pieces I am refinishing at the moment. (which I am so excited to share with you all when it's finished and it is a HUGE money saver!) I also got Mr. Charming some props for his photography business some cute fall clothes for the both of us, and some cute props and backgrounds for my foodie photography for Nosh & Nurture.
Whil shopping is fun & lovely.. I wanted to move onto the Proverbs portion of my post. As I stated earlier this month I am focusing on being a more well-rounded woman. I adore my career(s), always have, so I had bit of a rocky start with adapting to the balance of housewife and career woman on top of my many, exhaustive creative endeavors that make my soul flourish. Connecting with God has helped me with this in so many ways so I wanted to touch on each portion of the Proverbs 31 post a little more in depth from time to time.
#1: Faith. When I get busy I am the first to admit that church falls to the wayside. I hope this changes when we are parents as I want to instill its importance in our children's lives, because I love our Lord with all my heart. Though I know, like with any habit, if I don't do it now, I can't expect to set a great example for my future children. However, God isn't only in church. He's in us, so I do make a point to do morning devotionals every day, couples devotionals at night with my hubs and stay active in prayer. Don't beat yourself up over how much you do or don't do. God knows our stories, our reasons, our excuses, and our attempts. He loves us no matter what, but I feel its important to make an effort so that we can grow. Share how you stay active in your faith day to day. I'd love to hear inspiring feedback!
Which means I am counting down to fall. Eighteen days to go. I'm seriously counting. I wasn't kidding. I live in Arizona, which means each day that creeps closer to fall means I am closer to hiking again. Running outside. Picnicking in the park. Playing mini golf with Mr. Charming. Basically, not feeling like I'm going to die if I roll down the windows in my car only to be hit in the face with an oven-like heat.
So... a few awesome things in September. The new featured recipe is now on the site! Zucchini pancakes which are scrumptious and are free of gluten, dairy, egg, grains, nuts and are completely vegan!
Cold & flu season seems to have hit our house early this year. Oh joy. So Mr. Charming and I are stuck on the couch with an abundance of movies and veggies and supplements. Ok. and I snuck 2 gluten free chocolate chip cookies. But it was only 5 grams of sugar and I ate REALLY clean. Like, all week.
To help better prepare your immune systems for the magic that is school and workplace germs, the following supplements and vitamins seem to work quite well.
*Remember to always discuss any regimen with your doctor before starting new medications, vitamins or supplements
Stay healthy & be well!
Mr. and Mrs. Sniffles.
So, at it's conception I started my little blog here to post recipes. Recipes of food that was safe for me, and others who can't tolerate dairy or gluten, to enjoy. As it started to bloom and I started cleaning up the environment around me, I branched out into incorporating fitness and ways to clean your home without all the harsh, gross chemicals. After getting my certificate in natural beauty my love for organic, all natural ways to do my hair and makeup and skin care inspired me to add that. And so on.
Yet, as I look at my life and all the wonderful little puzzle pieces... one of the things, if not the main thing, that makes me most happy, and healthy to my core, healthy in my heart, my soul, is love. God's love, love I pour out to others, love that others pour onto me and this man right here. My husband's love. My Mr. Charming.
I've opened up about my story. I go through these things in my life for a reason and I adore helping others make healthy choices, so I felt like, if I didn't share our story I wasn't sharing a big piece of me with you all. My best friend and I got married September 17th, 2011 and I adore this man. He supports me in all that do. He cheers me on to go for my dreams, he will go to twenty grocery stores in a day just to see a smile on my face when I finally find that perfect gluten free treat I'd been searching for. He holds my hands on the days that are scary and celebrates with me on the days that are amazingly God-gifted and beautiful. I pray that I can one day give this man all the little babies his heart desires, which is one of the reasons I stay on this journey to figure out my health stuff so that I can be strong and healthy to have a family. I thank you all for reading. For being a part of my little journey. I love being able to share and inspire and in return learn and be inspired from all of you.
I will be sharing more of our journey together here on my love page, as well as other ways we can inspire and love one another!
This week has definitely had its fair share of ups & downs. It mentally exhausted me. I cried a lot. Tried not to worry too much. Spent time with family and let my soul laugh and rejuvenate I got to spend some much needed one on one time with my husband. And I wrote and worked, a lot. In a nutshell I went in for some tests, that looked as if they may be worse than they were, however, my Dr. is amazing and wanted to be thorough. So I am alright kiddos, however, I have been feeling sicker lately. A mix of hormonal stuff and I think grains were getting the best of me and I am on a mission to be grain free by Christmas. And a long term goal to control my candida.
And this goal has really been a challenge for me. Because I like rice with stuff in moderation. I gave up gluten, dairy and corn cold turkey. Didn't look back, even though I still dream about cheese sometimes, but for some reason letting go of rice and sugar (even in the healthy, organic honey kind of way I consume it) hasn't been as cut and dry.
But my candida hasn't cleared and I know that it poses a real health danger. Fungi can lead to all kinds of worse health problems like my little scare this week so I want to do everything in my power to put the healthier fuel in my body, the fuel that God created for me to consume, that my body can handle. This week when I had a crazy chocolate craving I sat down and ate this. A big bowl of spinach, smothered in apple cider vinegar. I can't let it win.
So, this week I am planning to attempt to create "rice" out of cauliflower to serve as a side dish. I will let you know how it goes, Mr. Charming isn't a cauliflower fan so I shall attempt to make it as "ricey" as possible with sea salt and a little coconut oil. A happy moment highlight, I spent the weekend at my sisters house and my picky-with-food two year old niece loved my lasagna and it made my heart happy! Wishing you all health, healing, love & happiness. Take it one day at a time. The great ones make it all worth it.
So, I am obessesed with fall and winter. Yes, I ADORE the beach and cute summery clothes, but it pretty much ends there. Even living on the beach, summer has always been my least favorite month. Except for my birthday. (June 20th, woot woot!) I adore birthdays. And celebrations. Parties of any kind really. Anyways. I wanted to make something that tasted like fall but that was healthy. I'm really excited to make healthy dishes for the holidays this year and wanted to start testing some out. Mr. Charming and I woke up the other morning and while he was cooking us up some organic eggs I made us coconut flour pumpkin muffins. Next time I will use almond flour, because for some reason I still can't get down with the strong sweetness in the coconut flour, but these were fun and would make a good addition to a Labor Day BBQ. (and even cuter when made with stars & stripes cupcake wrappers.) You can find the recipe here.
Anything warm and fluffy. Or warm and savory. Or made with pumpkins. Or squash. Or turkey. Makes me want to curl up with an old movie and countdown the days until Christmastime. <3 What's your favorite time of year and why? Send me your favorite Fall recipe and if its allergen friendly I will add it as a guest post! If it's not, I can show you how to adapt it to be!
Friday Flashback Fact: I grew up in an Italian household. My dad is pure Italian, (and if you've seen my gorgeous olive skinned sister Ashley, you'd see the proof) As kids we got delicious homemade meals every night of the week. We grew up with lasagna, ziti and spaghetti and meatballs (as well as salads, grilled chicken and every 80's kids staples macaroni and spaghettios). All italian meals were homemade and all traditional Italian recipes by my dad. As I grew up and moved out on my own to Hollywood and hosted my own dinner parties (another huge love of mine), my go to dish was spaghetti with homemade meat sauce and my sisters famous ziti is still a huge hit with our family. So you can imagine when I had to give up gluten and dairy in one fell swoop I was devestated over the loss of my beloved italian food. It reminded me of home and my dads homecooked meals. Having to sit out with my salad at family events hasn't been the same. And though my health comes first, and I would never cheat, I was determined to create a safe alternative that could maybe at least resemble my childhood favorite. I was perusing the store one day and I found these gluten free lasagna noodles and had seen a recipe that used white beans as "ricotta", and although that recipe included other elements I can not tolerate, I thought I'd wing it with my own version.
Look how PRETTY it looked even before it was cooked! You will find the link to the recipe at the bottom of this post, and it's also Augusts featured recipe. After Mr. Charming mashed the white beans with egg and spices for me I got to layer my little creation in a baking pan. I used nitrate free sweet turkey sausage, an organic tomato basil sauce from sprouts, the alternative "cheese" mixture, lots of spinach to get my greens and of course, the gluten free noodles. A perk of using rice lasagna noodles was that I didn't have to cook them first! They came out PERFECT in baking.
Above is how it looked before it went in. Make sure to use A LOT of sauce. Since the noodles are NOT cooked prior to baking, it will use the moisture from the sauce to soften your noodles.
I will tell you in the year and half that I have been eating gluten and dairy free this has to be one of the BEST dishes I've made. Mr. Charming even said it tasted JUST like lasagna and that you couldn't even tell I used white beans instead of cheese. We cozied up with a movie and each went back for seconds. Ok, thirds. Sometimes you just have to indulge. We will be making this again and I look forward to bringing this to my next Italian family dinner! For the recipe, click here.
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.