As I was talking about before, I feel like the site may need a change, but I am feeling idecisive so I'd love your help! Please look at the two photos below. One shows a snapshot of the current design, and the other, is a snapshot of the design I'm toying with the idea of changing too. Let me know which you prefer! :) Thanks!
Easter weekend was absolutely beautiful. We woke up early to attend sunrise service with some family and our friend Sheldon at our church. By 6:00am we were on the lawn outside listening to beautiful music and just basking in the sunlight that our God created. It was a beautiful message of how Jesus spoke to those around Him after he had Risen. It was so amazing just listening and picturing the immense feelings those must have felt, that got to see Him again. And it's beautiful to know that one day we will too. I was telling Mr. Charming on the way to church how moved I am by how He has changed my heart. That Easter went from family and bunnies and chocolate to getting excited to wake up and be near the cross at 6 o'clock in the morning. It's a very peaceful, life changing, forever kind of thing.
After church we went back home to relax for a bit and we cooked a big brunch together. Organic eggs, turkey bacon, sweet potato patties and fresh avocado were enjoyed next to the fresh colorful flowers Mr. Charming surprised me with upon me embarking on my new journey with the Summer 2014 issue of the magazine. We also went to Sprouts to get Easter dinner food and So Delicious changed their ice cream recipes to not only be dairy free, but GLUTEN FREE. I'm not really partaking in sugar right now, but on a splurge day THISISSOEXCITING. Thank you So Delicious for being so delicious and recognizing the needs of us special people out there who miss cookies too.
After a quick nap and a filling breakfast we headed to Mr. Charming's sister's house for a day of game playing and this delicious veggie "pasta" that I whipped up with some EB butter and turkey lunch meat. It was SO good, I went back for seconds and will be making it again. We played Carcassonne board game, which is SUPER fun and SUPER addicting. We are big board game people. Mr. Charming and I later found the Carcassone app for our iPad and are super excited to have a new vacation app game! Click on the photo below to get the perfect veggie pasta.
That evening for dinner, we drove to my mom's (who lives almost 2 hours away, so it felt like a mini-roadtrip) and spent time with her and my dad, my sister, her fiance and my ever-adorable niece Peyton. I'm bummed because I forgot the camera at home, so the photo journal of my day ends with the veggie pasta goodness. We made stuffed sweet potatoes and spent hours and hours looking through old photographs of me and my sister growing up. Going over those old memories was such a refreshing recharge to my soul. Sometimes you get so caught up in the "busy" you forget how much you miss spending time just "being" with family and those close to you. Mr. Charming and I are going to try to make a trip out at least once a month just to spend quality time like that. Enjoying each others company, relaxing, and maybe finding more old photos.
I've been contemplating changing the layout of the blog for a while now. I adore most of it, but sometimes the all green background makes me want to switch things up. On one hand, it's unique and totally goes with what we stand for. Green, natural, organic. On the other hand, most blogs are white and I know that that makes content easy to read. So I'm debating. I almost changed it tonight, and have a layout in mind, I just haven't committed.
I did however put up some awesome recipes today for you all.
Apple Cider Cabbage
Maple Thyme Carrots
Roasted Beet Salad
Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie Soup
I also posted an awesome cardio workout today for Fitness Friday.
This week has been a busy one for Mr. Charming and I so far. He's been hard at work at his new office, and on his off time he's being doing a lot of photography. His latest newborn session was so fun to shoot, baby Harlem was such a good baby and her photos came out so cute!
I've been a busy bee with writing, as our magazine is going into production of our Summer 2014 issue, and I am proud to announce I will be editing this issue! It's a dream come true and I'm so honored to be a part of the team I am on. Writing is a large part of my world. And I'm blessed that I can wake up each day and create stories about things I'm passionate about.
I missed week two of ballet this week (way to be, I know), but in my slacker defense, a lost dog had wandered into our yard and we were able to get him scanned for a chip and we returned him home for a happy reunion! It made me really think about getting another puppy. Now that I am working from home more, I would love a little companion for our black lab. He adores being social and I think it'd be good for him. He's pretty much our child. He also eats gluten, grain and soy free. It's helped him SO much. His thyroid levels were pretty much non-existent last year, so along with his medication, we changed his diet. He lost a lot of weight and is super fit and healthy, runs daily, his skin issues cleared up and he generally has more energy now. The vet commented that he doesn't look or act like an 11 year old dog, and that makes me happy. To know we can take the best care of him while he is here with us. Some photo adorableness for your viewing pleasure.
I hope you all have a blessed Good Friday and take time today to thank Jesus for what He did for us. I spent the morning with my devotional and enjoyed this yummy Berry Coconut smoothie recipe I concocted this morning. I usually stick to fruits, but I made sure I packed it with spinach this morning to get some folate into my body.
Have a happy and blessed Easter everyone!
Earth Day is April 22nd, 2014. What does that mean, you ask? Well, unofficially it was always a day I tried to at least plant a tree, or attend an expo, most often than not though I ended up just using less water or electricity. This earth is our temporary home, and I believe we do have a responsibility to keep it clean, and help provide a good future for our children, and their children.
Officially, Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
I've put together a list of some things we can do to help give back, that helps not only our Earth, but those around us as well. And of course, I threw in some yummy Earth Day inspired treats! I would love to hear what you do for Earth day, or what you plan to do this year. Comment and inspire others to make a difference.
One of my favorite picnics that I look forward to every year is our annual family Easter picnic. The whole family gets together with all of the kids and we eat and visit, lounge in the sun, play bocce ball and volleyball and the kids hunt eggs. God blessed us with a nice cool breeze, so even though them temps crawled up into the 90's it felt perfect.
Our Easter picnic is usually a pot luck style picnic, and since I can't partake in most of the food I packed my own lunch. My lunch consisted of:
Turkey wraps with cabbage and Annie's french dressing on gluten free tortillas
Apple Slices with Barney Butter (adore their portable packets!)
A fresh avocado
Plenty of Water for being out in the sun
I did however, bake some Cherrybrook Kitchen sugar cookies to share! They were scrumptious and were a hit at the park!
On the way to the park I enjoyed an anti-inflammatory smoothie so I'd be full if everyone decided to play before lunch. It was so nice to catch up with everyone and just enjoy being outside. Being outside is definitely something I've tried to do more, especially since living in Arizona you have to cram in as much outdoor time as possible before May hits and it skyrockets to over 100 degrees. Although, I cannot complain, I do much better here than I would in snow. I don't know how some of you do it, my best friend was stuck in her house for days, snowed in. I guess you could get a lot of spring cleaning done.
Speaking of spring cleaning, Mr. Charming and I have been doing a lot of that around here lately. I'm thinking of putting together a post on some spring cleaning tips, but I must first complete some of my to-do's and be proactive in spring cleaning myself before I start giving out any kind of advice. It's a time consuming, sometimes days consuming, task that can be overwhelming without any plan of attack which is why I break it down by room and only do certain tasks per day, as to not feel overwhelmed.
I hope you all have a beautiful and wonderful Easter celebrating that Jesus is alive!! :) We are looking forward to sunrise service with family next weekend. And for an extra Easter treat, make sure to check out the Easter contest announced below!
A lot of food got cooked up in this house today and also, my sweet tooth is raging today. It's days like today where my body reminds me it's not running optimally. Brain fog, fatigue and sugar cravings do not make a girl feel particularly productive. Started the day with a breakfast of pancakes topped with warm berry compote, organic maple turkey sausage and scrambled eggs... that was enough to set it off. I wanted to cook Mr. Charming a surprise breakfast in bed and I haven't had pancakes in MONTHS, as I've been doing more protein focused breakfasts and detoxifying smoothies. For lunch I had a protein smoothie and a salad, but throughout the day I snuck a Berry Vanilla bar, some fruit, a square of dark chocolate and some coconut milk ice cream. Not horrible offenses, as the only item with actual sugar was the dark chocolate square, but whether its natural sugar, fruit sugar, cane sugar or starch my body sees it the same way. Because I'm super special like that... yay.
On a positive healthy note, Mr. Charming and I have rejoined the gym, reclaimed our home gym (it became a guest room during the holidays) and I took my first ballet class! I adored it! We did a lot in the first class and I realize I STILL have a hard time doing pirouettes across the floor without getting insanely dizzy. Even though I spot. So, I don't know... hopefully that will improve. I'm excited to gain back some more of my flexibility and I love workouts and hobbies that allow women to feel empowered. Those of us who nourish and nurture ourselves work hard to take care of the body that God gave us and I want to use His blessings for good. And dancing feels good!
To offset some of my sugary binge today, I made a deliciously healthy dinner that I am super proud of. It was scrumptious, and though I was hesitant to make the soup for Mr. Charming because it was really green and super healthy, he actually ate it all! For dinner I cooked up garlic chicken tenders, fresh green beans and a broccoli, onion and leek soup. It was super creamy without having ANY milk!
Mr. Charming had a newborn shoot scheduled tonight with the adorable little Harlem. She did so good, and was such a perfect little angel, she even posed for a couple! Spring is busy photo season for him, with a full schedule of grad photos, engagement sessions and newborn shoots, we have a sessions almost every Saturday and Sunday until May. It's fun being able to assist him and watch him be creative. I adore photos, and photography, and though I'm intimidated by everything his massive camera can do I'm thinking about learning a little more about the in's and out's to work as his second shooter some day. I love rockin' my iPhone 5 foodie photos, but it would be cool to be able to shoot more professionally.
Speaking of which, I know I talk about how proud I am of my wonderfully, awesome, amazing friends quite often, but since we are speaking on photography I just want to give a shout out to some of my girls & my hubby for the amazing professional photography work they do. If you are looking for amazing photography I would suggest any of these four. Seriously, beautiful, beautiful work put forth by these lovelies.
Mary Spease - Dream Aloud Photography - One of my dearest and best girlfriends from California, she is based in La Jolla, CA she specializes in wedding, family, couples and newborn. She is still developing her website, but the link will take you to her Instagram, follow her and tell her Mandi sent you so you can be notified of her website launch.
Kristi Klemens - KLK Photography - I met this beautiful woman when I was performing in Hollywood. She actually emceed a concert I did, and has shot me before for publicity photos. It's crazy to say she is now a world renowned wedding photographer and also specializes in engagement and boudoir sessions. She is by far one of the best photographers I've ever seen, and she is a sweetheart too.
Mr. Charming - Douglas Photography - My darling has been a photographer since highschool, and has been professional for the past 7 years. Starting out he specialized in entertainment and fashion as the staff photographer of my record label, NVE Records, he now shoots family, newborn, engagement, event and wedding photography. I adore his vision and the way he views things so differently than the normal eye. It's inspiring and I love watching him work.
Winter Collins - Winter Wonderland Photography - Based in Corona, CA, my friend Winter is the absolute best when it comes to dreamy, adorable children's photography. Her extensive selection of props and her creative mind in staging, puts forth the most adorable and whimsical shoots. When Mr. Charming and I start popping out some littles I will make a trip out to CA just so she can shoot them.
Speaking of photography, Photoshop calls as we have got to get some newborn editing done so Harlem's mama can see some adorable sneak peeks. More recipes and goodies coming this weekend, including some Easter Picnic cookies and some tips on building your own blog!
I just had the most delicious bowl of pasta. I had leftover pork chops from last night so I chopped them up and tossed them over buttered rice pasta, fresh tomato basil sauce and warmed spinach. Paired with a chilled glass of pure blueberry juice (my replacement for no longer drinking wine), it was truly heavenly.
Mr. Charming on the other hand enjoyed an ultimate dude dinner, haha... Blue Moon beer with fresh orange, and a buffalo chicken salad. We are also on a 'FRIENDS' kick again.
When I lived alone this was pretty much all I watched. As a touring musician, I wasn't home much to get into TV shows that were on because I could never keep up with them when I was traveling overseas, so I got into TV on DVD and I've never gotten out of that. I think I've seen every episode of the 10 glorious seasons the show ran, about 50 times. No joke. I'll watch Season 1-10 and start again. I think it's that unbelievably amazing of a show. Rachel and Ross forever.
I have some awesome Friday goodies for you. Are you excited? I am. I also want to make these Chocolate Cocoa Nuggets right now. Which brings me to some of the good stuff I have for you. New recipes added today, such as...
Also, the new Fitness Friday post is up now. It's a great list with tips on how to find your perfect workout buddy. Which reminds me that I shouldn't have seconds on the pasta. But, but it's just so delicious. Oh, workout buddy? Where art thou to pry the fork from my hand? Nom nom.
Enjoy your weekend everyone! Remember to sign up for the newsletter. We will be doing our first giveaway this month, and one of our first prizes will be an awesome book to help fight candida and gives general information on eating healthier overall!
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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