God truly blessed us when He created the bond of best friends. Special people who come into your life that you love like family, that in return love you as such. I have been blessed with many special people in my life, from countries all over the world who I've been able to call friend, who have taught me things about myself, who I've been able to touch, but there are also certain people who just stick. Who just get you, who make life lighter, better, funnier, easier, lovelier. I have two of those people in my life outside my immediate family. My Miss Jessica and my Paul.
Jessica and I met 15 years ago. Woh. That's crazy to type out. Where does time GO?! We bonded over a Britney Spears concert (don't judge, I was a teeny bopper and aspiring popstar. So, you know.) And we have been best friends ever since. Ups, downs. Relationships, oceans between us, and now with her living in Oregon and me in AZ, I miss her like crazy every day. But then...
Lucky me, she came to visit Mr. Charming and I last week and we found a restaurant I could actually eat at! True Foods, in Scottsdale Arizona has PURE, WHOLE... well, TRUE food. The waiter even steamed FRESH ALMOND MILK for me, instead of coffee. :D Jessica questioned where else I could ask for that and not be seen as crazy? Why No where! Which is why this is officially my new fave place to take company, and Mr. Charming on date night! I also ordered sweet potato hash with onions, organic eggs and red pepper turkey sausage. Mmmm.
My other bestie celebrates his BIRTHDAY tomorrow and I so wish I could be there to toast him on his special day! Wishing this year brings him more success, love and happiness than he could ever wish for. I met Paul in L.A. when I was 21. He auditioned to be my back-up dancer (and booked, because he's, um, super fabulous and uber talented) but it's his charisma and amazingly kind heart that make you fall in love with him. I am so blessed to have him in my life and can't wait until I can visit him in New York City where he is making his dreams come true dancing his heart out. Miss you Paul! Living out my dreams singing and red carpets are just not the same without you.
More & more, as I grow, I realize its the LOVE in people, of your relationships that can really make your life happy or bland. I am blessed to have people that make life electrically exciting and wonderous. Make sure you don't get so caught up in life that you miss moments with those that matter most.
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, 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!
Five years ago when I turned 25 I felt as though I went through the "quarter life crisis" phase in my life. I freaked. Stressed out to the max that I was turning 25. That my twenties were halfway over. That I was now officially a grown up. I looked at my long list of dreams and goals and realized I had done some cool stuff, but not nearly what I thought I would have accomplished and I didn't want to tell people I had reached 25. And last year looking forward to this milestone birthday, even then I was thinking.."it's best to keep this under wraps."
That partly could have been the woman in me. Mixed with the background of growing up in the music industry and never wanting anyone, Disney or the like, to think I was ever post-pubescent so I could actually book work.
But as I turned thirty last week, I can proudly say I'm loving the woman I am. The place I am in. The accomplishments God has helped me to achieve and the dreams He still allows to linger freely in my mind and in my heart so I can keep striving and keep creating.
So, here I am. Thirty years old. Working away at those said dreams, building a home and a life with the man of my dreams. My Mr. Charming. Hoping one day we will own our own home. Raise our own babies. Make a difference in this world with this precious life.
But one (birth)day at a time.
So, about the party. It was amazing. Mr. Charming helped me to create a night to remember. I am the queen of themes, every year I theme my birthday bash as I always like to welcome the next year in style and this year to say goodbye to my roaring 20's we themed it as such.
Beer served in bathtubs, flapper girls galore and casino games for all it was truly a stylish and glamorous soiree. The only unfortunate part of the evening was that I had to work the day of the party so I wasn't able to prepare a healthful Nosh & Nurture fitting menu, as we had to feed 50+ dinner & dessert. So the vegan cupcakes went unmade, and I was on a no-sugar kick. Although I was having SUCH a blast playing poker alongside my dad and taking fabulous photos with my friends that I barely noticed that the plate of carrots and broccoli was all I had munched on all evening. Mr. Charming made me a turkey patty and a side salad so I didn't pass out (thanks, honey!) And my box of gluten-free chocolate cake mix still sits unmade in my pantry. I plan to get to it soon. But you know what, being with those I love made my birthday. THEY were the icing on my cake.
With mine & Mr. Charming's hectic schedules sometimes we realize it's been weeks since we've been able to connect with family. Those are the times I get to recharge. To get love, to give love. As much as I advocate eating well, supplementing and physical fitness... quality time with loved ones ranks very high on the health-o-meter as well in my book.
Check out the deliciousness that was part of the festivities.
Getting together for games not have to equal beer, wings and pizza like American TV portrays it to be. My brother-in-law fired up the grill and we made grilled organic chicken and steaks and I tossed together some spinach, avocado, sea salt and apple cider vinegar for a heart healthy tangy salad. I added a little cinnamon applesauce on the side to mix up flavors and we enjoyed a meal together that was not only good for us but that gave us energy to endure a late night session of board game play.
For dessert I had a leftover piece of my gluten-free apple pie that I will debut on here next, with a mug of hot vanilla almond milk! It was SCRUMPTIOUS. I would LOVE to hear what your favorite board games are? I'm always up to try new ones. My birthday is next week and there is a game called "Wordie Wars" that I want so bad since I LOVE word games. (go figure) That's all I asked for, haha. Well that and gift cards to buy pretty clothes. Because what true girlie girl doesn't LOVE new clothes?
A big part of what's gotten me through my struggles and life changes are the people in my life who understand me who know me and who genuinely care. God has brought some beautiful people into my life (truth be told He's also removed some people from my life who weren't so healthy for me) and I count my blessings that I have a safe space to talk about my issues and just 'do' life in general with.
One friend in particular is Miss Shana. She's the host of our bible study and she's one of the most genuine, kind hearted, loving people I've ever met. Her and her husband do amazing ministry work, have raised two beautiful children and have a marriage that couples can look up too.
This post is related to nourishment in the way that, a lot of people in my life have labeled me "the freak at the table" in a sense. They either don't understand or don't try to understand why im taking care of myself in this way, or eating the way that I do now. And I don't expect everyone to jump on board. However there are a few people in my life who just support me. They don't ask why, they see me getting better, or they themselves have been helped by food and supplementation and they can understand.
Tonight Shana took time out of her crazy busy life to bake me sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, gluten and grain-free cupcakes so that I could share in having a treat at bible study. It's the little things like this that just touch my heart and I appreciate her so much.
I know first hand the time and preparation my diet takes, and for her to do that just makes me love who she is even more.
I totally planned on taking a photo of the DELICIOUS (yes, they were amazing,and I ate two before dinner) dessert, however, I ate them up and then remembered my plan to photograph them.
I will get the recipe though! And post it if she allows me to share. Because I WILL be making these on a special birthday occasion in the future.
Cherish those in your life that care for you in little ways. They are the ones who make the biggest impact
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.