Ok, Ok. I know Fall doesn't OFFICIALLY start until September 21st, however, to me, September 1st is officially the start of "Mandi's fall". Crock-potting stews, slowly getting out the decorations and planning all the family activities make my heart full with glee.
It's been a minute since I've blogged anything substantial. My mother-in-law had to go in for a major surgery, and then it was final edit week on the magazine, and truth be told I was a little sleep deprived and overloaded, and though I normally use Nosh & Nurture as an outlet, I just needed a little space and a little quiet.
Which brings me to where I am today.
Mr. Charming and I decided to get a little distance from life and work and come up to a cabin in the woods. He is blissfully outside creating a fire bow (I have yet to really know what that is, something survival-y that deals with making fire), while I sip coffee, taking in the creek and blogging. It feels like such a treat to blog when I don't have a stack of post-it to-do's.
The coffee is my mug is a rare treat, a vegan decaf rice milk vanilla latte from Raven cafe in town. It's delicious and the only time I drink coffee is in the woods. At home it's hot water infused with vitamins.
I cooked my homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast while Mr. Charming straightened up the cabin. My sister, her fiancee and my niece are all coming up for the day!! We are doing couples and family photos by the creek before heading to the square for a picnic and ice cream (dairy free for me, in a gluten free cone that we snuck into last night) and I am SO excited!!
Mr. Charming haven't done professional photos since our wedding and Ashley and Scott have yet to do their engagement shoot.
Speaking of family, we are currently on a mission to adopt a puppy to add to our little family. We have it narrowed down to a schnauzer (his top pick) or a french bulldog (my top pick). They are hard breeds to come by out here and we want to rescue/adopt instead of supporting breeders or puppy mills. No thanks.
I have a delicious recipe for September that I will hopefully put up today. I am getting hungry just THINKING about them. It's a hearty lunch or meal that is little's approved!!
I am off to change for a morning hike. Though it's still summer, for a little while anyway, it's a blissful 70 degrees here and I thank God for this beauty and these moments.
Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend! And welcome to all my new readers and subscribers! Happy to share my little journey and these healthy recipes with you! :)
I LOVE FALL. It's quite possibly my FAVORITE time of year. Well, Christmastime is my ultimate favorite, but Fall, with the perfect outdoor weather and the anticipation of family get togethers and the smell of yummy baked healthy fall treats... it just makes me all warm & fuzzy inside.
Another reason I am SO excited for Fall this year is because of some of the amazing blog conferences I will be traveling to attend.
And I wanted to take a minute and give a shout out to the Blended Conference, taking place right here in Arizona for choosing me as a winner of a free pass!! I am so honored and excited to have won and can't wait to attend this awesome conference in October. You can find out more about it at and get tickets at http://www.blendedconference.com/. I will also be blogging about my experience, as well as doing live social media from the event so make sure to like Nosh and Nurture on Facebook and Twitter and follow me on Instagram at @MandiLeigh.
I will be posting some amazingly, yummy Fall treat recipes for the whole family, as well as featuring some nut-free desserts and cookies as requested by Miss Karly. Watch for those this month!
I also recently reviewed two wonderful products in the Honest Co. cleaning line. See my review of the Multi-Surface Cleaner as well as my newest review on the Dishwasher Tabs.
Have a blessed weekend everyone!
I was three years old when I picked up my first microphone. I was light, and it was heavy. I didn't want a plastic one. I wanted my dad's full metal, shiny, Shure microphone. I would sing into that thing all over our house, even if I got tired and had to drag it behind me. I wrote little ditties that made no sense, directed my own little music videos. It was just in me.
It's funny how, at the tender age of three, I thought it was figured out for me. I remember being around five years old, humming myself to sleep, the melodies so perfect and spot on to what I'd heard on the radio. I felt in those moments, God was teaching me how to sing. Then, when I was nine, I was at a sleepover with girlfriends, singing Motown and they stopped and told me that I should be a "real" singer when I grew up because they couldn't do it like I could. It wasn't until I was 16 that I put every ounce of my being into a love in my life that is/was music. And from 16 to 28 I didn't stop.
Music felt like it started to become ALL that I was, or maybe I became all IT was. I never saw any other single purpose for my life, and I was so stubborn to listen to any other possibilities. Until God started opening my eyes to new blessings, and to new life.
One day I stopped telling God that this is what I was meant to do, and I allowed him to fully come into my heart and show me that maybe His way really is better.
Did I think I'd meet the man of my dreams when I visiting home between tours? No. Not in a million years.
Would I have written into my own story that not more than a few months into being a newlywed my body would start shutting down on me and I'd have to give up most of the foods Mr. Charming and I fell in love with while we were falling in love? No.
Did I imagine that I would stop recording in the middle of my sophomore album to immerse myself wholeheartedly into being the wife my husband deserves and working hard as the best journalist I could be, while LOVING every second of it? I honestly didn't a few years ago. I didn't think there was anything else meant for me but what I was struggling to do at the time.
But these non-choices, these things that happen... they ARE part of our story. We are responsible for some of what happens, but ultimately God is the editor-in-chief, the main author of our book, the end all be all of what lies before us, and we have to just open our hearts and minds to the beauty of this journey.
I thought I would spend my entire life creating beautiful music and writing beautiful stories...
And then I take my husbands hand, look forward into the unknown future, and I realize, that's just what we're doing.
It's a rainy Tuesday. I like rainy nights when Mr. Charming and I can just stay home and watch a movie or write. On this particular drizzly Tuesday, Mr. Charming is shopping for archery accessories and I am working on blog promotion and this here post. I just enjoyed a bowl of So Delicious Vanilla Coconut ice cream with a quinoa flour chocolate chip cookie and it was mighty tasty. It's been an up and down week, I have felt on and off with some of my issues as of late, and my mother in law was in the hospital. Good has happened to and I know that's what we are meant to focus on. I haven't done a Tickle Me Tuesday post in a while, and I thought since I had the time to do so this evening I would.
1. Drizzly rainy nights and Brady Bunch reruns - I get alot of flack from watching old TV from my family and friends. But I don't care what people think, so it kind of works out nicely. They get to make their jokes, and I get to enjoy my shows. Mr. Charming enjoys classic TV as much as I do which is reason number 324,066 God allowed us to meet & fall in love & be married. So I'd have someone to help support my fantasy of being a 50's housewife. (when I'm not out working and being a equal and all).
2. Blogger Conferences - I was going to announce this in a seperate post, and I will when I write a special post about it, but I won a ticket to a blog conference I've been saving up to attend and it TOTALLY made my day. Right after I won, I took some time to do my devotional and recharge and then Mr. Charming came home and surprised me for lunch. This Tuesday totally rocked.
3. Travel Plans - I adore making travel plans. Mr. Charming will be traveling this fall quite a bit for my writing and for our anniversary and we also booked a romantic cabin in the woods to get away and enjoy the quiet and nature for a bit.
4. New Babies - Love when my family members and friends welcome new bundles of joy. I know I've mentioned my friend Karly on here before and our Godson, Elijah. She just welcomed her second baby boy into the world on Sunday. Little Liam and I am so excited to meet him.
5. Working With Family - I am still over the moon that my sister is working as part of my writing team at the magazine. She is doing such a fantastic job and I am so proud of her. I'm excited to launch some our other work endeavors this year as well!
I hope you all had a beautiful Tuesday. Remember to always focus on the positive! I'd love to hear some of your amazing moments that happened today! Feel free to share in the comments section.
This was my first day off in, well, I can't remember how long, and it technically wasn't a full day off. After an amazing day with Mr. Charming, I put in two hours on a freelance e-commerce writing project I took on. Other than that it was a day off. And it was lovely. Excited to be refreshed and gear up for a week of editing as we head into Fall fashion season. It was a smooth workweek, my writing staff has been amazing and productive, so this weekend I wanted to celebrate a little.
Mr. Charming's family got some sad news of a family member passing, so we've said a lot of prayers and are looking forward to church in the morning. After a little retail therapy with a girlfriend of mine yesterday, stocking up some of my pre-fall wardrobe, me and Mr. Charming splurged and bought ourselves some archery equipment.
And that is how we spent part of this drizzly Saturday. And it was blissful.
And what is a better way to wrap up a cool & rainy evening after shooting bows & arrows than to bake something delicious?
Mr. Charming had mentioned we had a bundle of organic banana's about to go bad and he told me to come up with a banana recipe to use them. I immediately craved a muffin of some kind. And then I craved chocolate, so I went to the internet to find a good recipe. Most of the good banana muffin recipes called for a ton of sugar and coconut flour. Both of which I don't care for, so I came up with this almond flour/oat flour muffin with unsweetened cocoa powder and honey and they came out amazingly well.
Foods been on my mind a lot lately. And not just because I've learned how to savor it, and what to savor. But because sometimes I feel I need to defend this lifestyle I've chosen. I saw an amazing open letter posted by a woman recently, and I've altered it below to fit me, and my story... and I hope that one day, those that support me, or simply don't understand my lifestyle, will understand that I do this because I have too. Because I respect my one body and because I want to thrive, not just survive, and inspire others, and my family to eat right, and live a active and healthy lifestyle.
I am not eating gluten-free as part of a fad or Hollywood diet.
I am not eating gluten-free to annoy anyone, or to make it hard for you to host a party or a dinner for me.
I am not eating gluten-free to be the center of attention or to make all party and dinner conversations about me.
I am not eating gluten-free so that I can spend my entire paycheck on supplements, organic food and special flours.
I am not eating gluten-free to constantly worry if what I am going to eat will make me sick.
I am not eating gluten-free to constantly worry if my waiter really did listen to what I ordered. and I am not eating gluten-free because I love to analyze every food label.
I am eating gluten-free because under the care of my doctor, medical tests showed that doing so was making me very sick.
I am eating gluten-free because I value the body God gave me and I make my health a priority
I am eating gluten-free because that little protein that you can enjoy in your breads, cakes and cookies makes anxious, and angry, harms my digestion and gives me cold sores. It causes me muscle pain and could lead to infertility issues in my life.
I am eating gluten-free because I want to be healthy & happy to be the best me I can be. Isn't that reason enough.
If anyone ever has any questions, I of course am an open book. I'm not a doctor, I don't know everything, but I do know quite a bit, having studied this for three years, and I know enough to know this is the best choice for me. I guess I'm putting this out there to those of you that have friends and family that have food allergies, intolerances, or celiac's disease. We kindly ask that you don't judge what you don't understand.
And though sometimes people look at me with sadness in their eyes as I pull out my packed lunch, I let them know they don't have to. Some people are so very kind and accommodating, and I so appreciate that support. But I took the challenges presented so far, on this journey with God that will go up and down, and I try to make it a wondrous adventure of making the most delicious food I could.
And you know what? I've ending up not only eating some of the most enjoyable gluten-free food I thought I could.
I've created some of the most delicious food I've EVER had. These banana fudge muffins that were so perfect on this drizzly summer evening.
And with that, I wish you all a blessed and amazing weekend.
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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