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Happy Birthday, Jessica Jones | 4

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Here we are in 2011, on one of our favorite days of the year... which comes again this Friday! You always like to take care of me, especially when it comes to things like makeup, or pacing myself during a progressive dinner, or not performing a citizen's arrest on the lady who almost ruined your son's birthday party (and then stole my phone). You look out for me. You teach me things.

You're tricky, though.

You're my voice of reason and my teacher, but also my biggest instigator. It's confusing and always out of control: like when you splashed water on me in the Matador bathrooms, but then tried to tell everyone I had a romper malfunction. Or when you told me Tumblr was the best blogging platform, then promptly switched to Wordpress (same thing happened when I finally got a Blackberry... you peaced out to Team iPhone and I was over hanging out on BBM all by myself). Or, when you revealed to me that South America was actually a continent for the first time, and I swore you to secrecy, but then you blogged the whole freaking conversation (an alias of Schmorianne helps NO ONE). Or when you told me it would be funny to scare Paul last year by reenacting the whole "Danger!!" scene from Friends, but then your foot ended up getting cut open by a glass I broke and somehow it all became my fault for being "too committed" to the moment.

You're actually kinda mean.

It's ok, though. I got even during the whole "AN EGG IS JUST A BABY CHICKEN" revelation.

Thank you for the years of laughs, my friend... and you're welcome for many of those moments being at my expense.

Happy Birthday, Jessica Jones | 3

Friends who diet together... die together.

I'm pretty sure that's how the saying goes.

Jess and I have been on our fair share of diets together. We've also started our fair share of blogs about said diets, but that's a whole new post for a whole new day. Seriously, we've done it all. Adtkins, Weight Watchers (stupid celeb endorsements - we believe anything we see in US Weekly), HCG, fasting, juicing, hot yoga. I dealt with her candy withdrawals like a BOSS, and she dealt with my carb-cravings with as much (tough) love as she could muster. In this photo from 2010, we're at our favorite Seattle late-night spot - Taphouse Grill - for a friend's birthday. And the only thing we were allowed to have that late at night? Tea.

Not the pizookie. Not the Caprese pasta. Not the spicy tuna roll I DIE FOR... nope. Just green tea. I don't even think we were allowed any sweetener. Not sure what kind of demon diet this was, but Jess... your cheekbones here are on point (as is my silver eyeshadow). Thanks for being there for me for my dieting fails... and I'm sorry for anything I said to you out of hunger.

Happy Birthday Jessica Jones | 2

2009 will always be "the year of Corianne and Paul", but that wouldn't have been possible without one Jessica Jones.

No, seriously. You think I'm just being poignant in that statement, but no... I'm actually being quite literal. 

She had been dropping hints all evening, almost annoyingly so:

"Paul, Corianne - you two just need to get together. It would be way easier on Jen and I, we can't welcome a new girl or a new guy into this circle."

"Corianne - Paul will share his dessert with you! Paul, why don't you feed her a little bite?"

"Paul, Corianne looks scared. Hold her hand."

So, later that night when Paul and I quietly started talking about "what if" we got together, it just felt right to have her pretending to ignore us on the couch beside us.

(Just kidding. It still feels a bit creepy and like something we maybe should have done over a candlelight dinner, but this is us. This is the same girl that, so far, had seen me through some very personal and emotional times in my life: poor fashion, bad haircuts, my snobby attitude, and diet-induced anger, just to name a few. I felt like nothing is ever off limits).

Happy Birthday, Jessica Jones | 1

Instead of the normal birthday collage, I am going to be featuring my best friend @jessicanjones, the birthday girl, throughout the day. We're getting too old to be able to remember all of our fun memories without a little bit of work, 

so I'm going to start from the beginning and see how I can do.

This photo is from 2008, the year we "re-met". We bonded over the campfire at Dave Matthews Band, which we attended together because of mutual friends at church. When she told me she had an affinity for all the pieces of the Pub Mix I hated (I mean, how perfect is that), and she brought all the magazines I hadn't, I clung onto her like white on rice (hehe).

We got to talking, and discovered that Jess and I actually met YEARS before that - I was the front desk administrative assistant at a real estate office, and she was the personal assistant for one of the agents. I was a crabby, arrogant, bleached blonde with a love for Britney Spears and huge chip on my shoulder between the hours of 8-5pm; I couldn't fathom how no one understood how to do anything themselves in an office setting - are people really that technologically challenged? I mean, you enter your code, your press how many copies you want, you stand on your head for 13 seconds, you clear our your code, and YOU PRESS 'COPY'!

So, imagine my excitement when a super cute, trendy girl walked in. FINALLY. Someone I didn't have to hand-hold through the whole tech process. She was so smart and capable, I just knew she was going to make my life easier. I mean, her Macy's blazer was screaming "business profesh".

Imagine my disdain when she called me an hour later at the front desk to ask me how to check her voicemail.

She didn't even know which line was hers yet (I still remember she was extension 2252), but if she would have thought to pick up the phone on her desk and look at the screen, it displays the extension after a 10 second pause and pressing the * button three times in rapid succession, but whatever... apparently that was too hard to figure out herself. I mean, aren't Asians supposed to be extra smart? Well. She "claims" I never gave her the instructions I said I would, but I still think she's lying. So, she needed my assistance... and that - in addition to re-filling the coffee pot - is what I was paid to do. I stomped back there and showed her, and she didn't say much - but she nodded her understanding. I glared at her one final time and left.

Later Jessica told me she had nicknamed me the mean, squeaky-voiced blonde. We never talked again, although we worked about 10 feet apart for quite some time. I'm pretty sure she avoided me between the years of 2004-2008.

Our friendship is proof that God can restore ALL THINGS.

(Sorry Davey, this isn't about you.)

A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Four years of marriage down, and I think I'm finally coming to the understanding that marriage takes work. The cloud of honeymoon fog has lifted a bit, and the reality of life has set in: anything good in life takes work. Anything. It takes work to raise our kids (uh, it takes a LOT of work to bring them into the world). It takes work to climb the ranks in our careers and earn the respect we want. It takes work to keep our bodies healthy and strong. So, why would I not expect marriage to be just as demanding of our time and energy?

The first year, we didn't work very hard. We skipped rent payments to go to Vegas or buy clothes and things to decorate a place we couldn't afford, we ate takeout many days of the week, we consulted God casually about our marriage, we stayed up too late and ignored our alarm clocks too often, and I cleaned the house because it was funny that I was grown up enough to actually be a WIFE (not because I knew it's what I needed to do to keep our house a home).

Now, FOUR YEARS after we said yes to a lifetime together... we've experienced so much more life. So many awakenings, so many tears, so many laughs, so many celebrations, and so many frustrations. It's sobering and beautiful, all at once.

I'm grateful that you chose me, Paul. I am always thankful for your transparency, your genuine desire to honor and love me above all things, and the hard work you put in in order to keep us strong. The way you interact with our son, the moments you force me to sit down and talk it out, the mornings you walk in with a coffee for me, the hugs for no reason, the work you're doing to build our home, the fact that you purposefully seek out accountability and friendships that help you to grow and improve as a man and husband, the way you worship Him and show others how to do the same: all of those actions are how I know you love me, and they inspire me to do better at showing you that I love you right back. With actions, not words.

They're inspiring me to put down my phone and pick up a book. They're inspiring me to make sure I have done my hair and makeup before you get home, even on days where Porter demands the world of me and I feel like I have nothing left to give (I'm still getting better at this, haha). They're inspiring me to be honest and talk things out, rather than avoiding confrontation. They're inspiring me to be the one to walk over and hug YOU for no reason. They're inspiring me to pursue a healthy lifestyle, so I have lots of life left in our years. Your actions consistently inspire me to seek out a better and deeper relationship with God - even out of frustration ;) - and that alone is worth its weight in gold.

I love you babe. Happy anniversary! Every year with you truly gets better and better. I love the complexity and intensity of our relationship, because it shows me how much we've grown and how deeply connected we truly are.

Quick Dinner: Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon

Monday, September 29, 2014

This brown sugar spiced salmon was so delicious and will become a staple in our weekly/monthly. Such a great way to get the family to eat fish: thanks to Katie Lee for yet another simple & amazing dinner inspiration.

Just mix a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, a tablespoon of chili powder, sea salt and pepper together in a bowl. Pat the rub generously into each filet and bake in the oven on 400° for 10-15 minutes.  The sugars caramelize and whenever that happens, it's like a party on my plate.

So, so good- Porter loved the "chicky" too ;)

Shades of White

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I'm not the best decision maker. In fact, I'll go out on a limb here and say that I might be the worst.

The worst, as in, one of my husband's least favorite things to do in the whole world is ask me what I want to do for dinner. It sparks a full-on mind-numbing mental meltdown on most days (for both of us).  
"I mean... do I want sushi? Spicy tuna kinda sounds good. Do YOU want sushi? I mean, I guess I should have salad. But you know what sounds REALLY good, though? Mac and cheese... wait. We had mac and cheese yesterday for lunch and I feel like I wouldn't be happy if I had it again. Steak? Eh, no, I don't want to spend $60 on dinner. Maybe we should just have cereal..."
I don't mean to. Truly, I don't. But, I'm reading a book right now called "The Best Yes" and I've come to realize that my difficulty doesn't come from not knowing what I want. It's from my fear of being wrong.

Paint is (somewhat) permanent. Once we paint our new house (!!!), we can't go back. Well, some people could. We can't... we're getting an amazing deal from a family contact that enjoys working with us on our home (he's the nicest guy!), but I'm sure he won't be thrilled if we call him back in two weeks and tell him that "Swiss Coffee" is actually too yellow, and I think that "Cascade White" might look better.

I would kill me, too.

So, Paul brought home these swatches yesterday, and laid them out for me. I started sweating. As if it wasn't scary enough, he told me he's already decided on his "top two", and he wanted to see if we were on the same page.

Um, ok. So now not only does my house color depend on my decision, but now my decision is going to decide whether or not my husband and I were on the same wavelength in our wants and desires?

Too much.

But. I just bit the bullet, and pulled out the two that I felt I liked without any further analysis. One of them was his favorite. *FIST PUMP* One decision down...

Now I just need to figure out dinner.

My Iron

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You know those friends that just make life easier? That would be these guys.

As I get older grow up, I become continuously more grateful for the relationships that just work. Sure, relationships take work, but I'm a firm believer that the best relationships are also glaringly natural. Personalities compliment, weaknesses are compensated for, and there's a whole lot of grace and assuming the best. If I am upset, I tell them. If they are upset, they tell me. We're so different, but we appreciate the quirks and traits that each one of us brings to the table.

Jessica is so easy going. I used to feel like she just didn't care sometimes, but I've come to realize that she has experienced a lot in her life and she's just decided to spend her energy on what is truly important. She is refreshing; the epitome of "ain't nobody got time for that". She does what she wants, she rolls with the punches. She doesn't care who rides in what car (that's me that cares about weird things like that), or if we miss our dinner reservations and have to move locations (cue hives, Jen). If she doesn't get a seat with the best view of the water fountains whilst on vacation (hehehe), she's over it in like three seconds. If she accidentally spends part of the mortgage payment on Bath & Body Works candles, it's whatever (ok, she's gotten a bit better at this). She has three kids, a husband, is a business owner and boss lady at her normal 9-5 and just AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT (that = pretty much anything that is dramatic or exhausting without purpose or goal). I don't think you could offend her if you tried (trust me, I've tried. When I pointed out her poor driving skills, her response was a shrug and a "but did you die?" So. There's that.) 

I don't want to make her appear like she just doesn't care about anything. She's also the one that dropped EVERYTHING while we were on vacation in Portland over Labor Day to make sure her kids had everything they needed for their first day back to school this week. She temporarily hated me when I teased her for contemplating going vegan. She is a fiercely loyal wife and friend: if someone hurts me, she holds the grudge for me (even if it's over the silliest thing) until I tell her its ok to move on. If I have an idea, she humors me because it's clearly important in my head (even if she could care less). She's confident and comfortable in her skin and makes friends everywhere she goes (one time, she made friends with a girl at the Applebees in Idaho, because the girl was maybe a little drunk and told Jessica they could be sisters because they both were part Korean. They might even still be Facebook friends? Anyway... yeah, Jess is just that girl).

Jen is pretty much the total opposite in every way. She cares about everything, big and small: about plans, about planning, about making the people she loves happy, about the details. She wants us to be on time for dinner reservations, and if we have to move locations, she is quick to organize a Plan B. She's not one to wing it. She is a hostess, a caretaker, a leader, a mother, and someone that I would seriously hand over the keys to my life and just say: ORGANIZE ME, PLEASE.

That being said, I don't want her to appear rigid or boring. Jen brings life to whatever she touches. And she would seriously do anything for me, anytime I needed her, no questions asked. She is selfless and always all in. Her love language is quality time, and she isn't shy about letting me know this. She is also isn't shy if she disagrees with me, which I love (maybe not at the time, but in hindsight). If she feels distant from Jess and I, she takes the initiative and make plans. She doesn't wait for us to realize we're slacking... she tells us. I absolutely love this about her (so much so that it's making me a little teary to write it out). She knows what she wants, she knows what she needs, and she makes it happen.

Do you know how much I appreciate having these two total opposites in my life? I feel like I can be a perfect mixture of them both- but I probably err on the side of being a hot mess and desperately needing them both to keep me walking a straight line. I'm the codependent people pleaser, so my colors can change (which I don't like). I love that they are who they are, and they inspire me to pick a lane and stay in it.

Fight for the relationships that take some work, because God wants you to push yourself beyond where you're comfortable, but revel in the relationships that don't take much from you and that allow you to just be.

I'm grateful for many relationships like this in my life, but I felt like writing a special blog dedicated to these two in particular, because they've been there for me through some of the most intense, emotional, ridiculous and amazing parts of my life, and they've never faltered in who they are. No matter how crazy I get ;) And THAT's inspiring.

The Best Yes

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last night, we started our "book club".

Jen, Jess, Savi and I are reading The Best Yes together. We are only a few chapters in, but already I can tell that this book is going to help me (us) immensely. I am a  "yes" girl. I have the "disease to please". So thankful for Lysa TerKeurst for writing this book, because not only does it speak to me, but I truly believe it speaks to a majority of women out there.

We met at our favorite local coffee shop, got amazing coffee and tea, and started talking. We closed the place down, which resulted in some leftover pastries from the case, too. SCORE.

It was only two hours, but it seriously felt like we'd just invested a full day into ourselves and our friendship. I left feeling so refreshed and thankful for the relationships in my life: ones that challenge me and inspire me to do better, each and every day.

I strongly encourage those of you reading to connect with your best gals, pick a book, read it together, and meet up once a week to discuss what you got from it. Don't check your phone, or talk about what happened with your kiddos that day, or what you thought of last night's episode of your favorite show. Stay focused, stay purposeful. It pays off in ways you never expected.

Quick Weeknight Dinner (Trust Me, You Want This Recipe On Hand)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Make this next time it's 5pm and you realized you forgot to plan anything for dinner. (Like, daily for me)

I just made it for lunch because I had everything on hand, and omg... it was so good.

Some healthy substitutions I did:
  • Use coconut aminos or organic tamari instead of soy
  • Use less brown sugar. I did barely 1/4 cup; some versions of this recipe call for up to 1/2 cup... just don't, it's too sweet (in my opinion).
  • Use ground turkey instead of beef

Maple Dijon Pork Chops In The Crockpot

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This was seriously the easiest dinner!

• Boneless pork chops (how many ever you want- I used my whole pack of small, boneless pork chops and then doubled the recipe I was following)
• 1 large yellow onion
• 3-4 tbl of pure maple syrup
• 4 tbl of dijon mustard
• 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
• Salt & Pepper

To thicken your sauce:
• 2-3 tbl of real butter
• 1/2 cup flour

I seared a bunch of boneless pork chops in a hot pan. They were pretty small, so I think I did like 12 of them, haha- the whole pack I got at the store. The original recipe I was following called for two large bone-in chops, so I adjusted the recipe a bit to accommodate my massive pot of chops.

Season each chop with sea salt and cracked pepper. I seared them about 2 minutes per side. As they're done, add them to an empty crockpot.

Then, in the same skillet, chop 1 yellow onion and saute until it starts to soften. Add salt, pepper, about 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, pure maple syrup (not the sugary breakfast Mrs. Butterworth kind) and dijon mustard. Stir it up, and cook for about 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and see if it needs more of anything: a little more maple syrup to make it sweeter, a little more dijon for bite, etc. Once the sauce is mixed and heated up a bit, pour the sauce over the pork chops in the crock pot.

I cooked the sauce/chops on high for like 2-3 hours, or until they fall apart when you take a fork to them. SO TENDER!

I removed the chops when they were done, and then melted my butter and added that to the flour in a little bowl, and mixed it all up until it was smooth. I added that to my sauce to thicken it up a bit. (To thicken, add the flour/butter mixture to your sauce in the crock pot once you've removed the pork chops, cover the crockpot and turn up the heat to high until the liquid comes to a slight boil, then it's done!)

Serve over mashed potatoes (fresh!), brown rice, or brown rice pasta. It felt like a cheat meal, but it really wasn't!

Adapted from Eat Live Run.

Currently In The Oven

Sunday, August 3, 2014


It's way, way, waaaay too hot to be roasting vegetables and garlic and eating pasta, right?

Wrong. Shame on you. It's NEVER too hot for pasta. NEVER.

I watched Rachael Ray make this this morning as I was getting ready for church, and I was sold. So, currently, I'm waiting for my garlic and eggplant to finish roasting, sweating like... something that sweats a lot (the only thing I could think of was an inappropriate example).

Review coming soon!

Make Yourself A List

Friday, August 1, 2014

Write it down.

Do something for you, today. Take a breather. Plan out your meals. Inspire. Fix what's ailing you.

Write it down.

Dream your dreams, but list your goals. Call your mother. Compliment a stranger.

Write it down.

You make grocery lists and honey-do lists... but why not make a list for yourself, of completely random things that could improve the heart of your day?

Leave a handwritten note. Read your Bible and memorize a verse. Drink a bottle of water. Print out pictures.

Before you forget, write it down.

Caprese Omelet | 21 Day Fix Approved!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I stumbled upon something new, that might have changed the way I view breakfast. I seriously look forward to this meal every single day!

Caprese Omelet
-2 eggs
-A handful of fresh basil. I love basil, so I am very generous with how much I use
-Parmesan cheese
-Grape tomatoes, halved

Whisk two eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Make sure you whisk/beat them really well. Preheat a skillet (or omelet pan) to medium heat, spray with coconut oil, and pour the eggs in. Pick up the pan by the handle, and tilt the pan around around to ensure even coverage. Cover egg generously with your favorite seasonings- I used fresh cracked black pepper, sea salt and some cayenne... because I like it spicyyyy. [If you want to watch an awesome video on the perfect omelet, I love this one!]

If egg starts to bubble, pop them with a spatula... run your spatula around the edges of the omelet to ensure no sticking. When you can see the top of the omelet start to cook through (a few minutes) add some fresh cheese & basil. Let it sit for another minute or so, and then add the halved tomatoes. Run your spatula along the omelet again, and then fold the omelet over.

Once, when I was eating this really late in the day, I added a Yellow Container (21 Day Fix portion) of brown rice and drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette before I folded it over. Ohhhhh. This added just the right amount of bulk to the meal- I could hardly finish it.

ENJOY! And try to eat it all- so fresh and healthy!

Ignore my ugly feet and chipped polish and kid's toys... this is about the massive 2-egg omelet you could be enjoying.

See! I suck at omelets sometimes, too. This one got a little brown... but ohhhh it was delicious.

My Real Results On The 21 Day Fix

Friday, June 27, 2014

Have I told you lately how much I love the 21 Day Fix?

Well, I do. I'm officially down 22 lbs since I started- and I've lost SO MANY INCHES from all around my body- and I've only done 3 full rounds of the Fix. It's been the easiest thing I've ever done- truly a complete lifestyle change. But, not one of those painful ones that leaves you angry and starving and dreaming about pasta...

I still get to eat spaghetti...

I still get to satisfy my sweet tooth...

I still get to indulge in a piece of toast...

I still get to GO OUT TO EAT in public and not begrudgingly only order a side salad and water.

I have a new appreciation for food, for portions, and for the fuel it is meant to be. It's completely transformed my habits and my thinking, and I think that has been why this program has worked so well, for so many.
It's the best ever, and you are seriously only 30+ days away from real, true results FOR YOU too. Just ask me how! I will help you- nothing makes me happier than celebrating THESE RESULTS with my friends, family, and total strangers (who soon become friends/family). I have an incredible team of Fixers and other coaches that believe in this program like I do. We genuinely want people to experience what we've experienced. If it was just me, I'd be a little hesitant to share and promote this like I do, but it's not just me. People love this program, and there's a reason... it works.

You can order here (click SHOP and search 21 Day Fix- or click the Challenge Pack on the right to order with Shakeology... which is my recommendation. Get the chocolate!), or you can email me to chat at to talk about it a bit more. I would love to help you TODAY.

M•A•C Attack!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today we spent some time wandering around the lamest mall in my state (seriously), and I took advantage of being the only girl in our little family of three and escaped to the Mac store while my boys looked at hats (snooooooooooze).

I meant to just go in to buy Ruby Woo, really, I did.

But I was the only one in the store, and I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the brightly lit and terribly unflattering mirrors (you guys know that they do this on purpose, right? Those mirrors are formulated to make anything other than a Mac-encrusted face look absolutely awful). My dark circles were screaming, even under a layer of Loreal TrueMatch and NYC Bronzer... I know. I'm a walking drugstore-makeup-billboard.

I needed to fix this.

I've heard nothing but amazing things about their Pro Longwear Concealer, so I caved and made friends with the Mac girl. She nodded knowingly when I mentioned "dark circles" and "new mom", and pulled me over to a seat where she showed me the miraculous concealer.

As she dabbed it under my eyes and I watched in fascination ... the dark circles faded away within seconds. It's now four hours later, and they are still nowhere to be seen. Can I get an AMEN? I got so excited she cleaned off my whole face and applied a full face of concealer and foundation.

This is a bathroom selfie I took during Porter's bath time (don't worry, he was safe. Calm down, Mom Police). I'm wearing nothing but some concealer, and some foundation -- and this is about four hours after the initial application.

Oh yeah. I also bought the foundation because I was so thrilled with the concealer. I was all "gimme allllllll the products"!

I probably would have bought more, but Paul and Porter showed up from the hat store and I had to stop. :(

My Mac Haul
Pro Longwear Foundation -- NC20 (aka PALE)
Ruby Woo Retro Matte Lipstick (not shown)
Cherry Lip Pencil (not shown)

What else should I buy on my next "I just need to pick up one lipstick" outing?

My Pregnancy Icon

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

If I looked like this when I was pregnant, I would be pregnant for the rest of my life. Seriously, she ROCKS THE BUMP.

That's all.

This has been a post.

Be Present.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When my patience is tested, I pause to thank God for blessings that leave me overwhelmed. It's so easy to get caught up in staying on top of everything, on being the best mom, wife, employee, manager, coach, blogger... it's all-consuming.

A three year old boy lost his life a couple of weeks ago, and the Instagram community exploded with love and support. This has caused my heart to ache far more than I imagined. I read his mom's blog today, about avoiding "land mines"; the things that remind her of her boy. She talks about the places they used to go, the songs they sing together, his favorite snacks. Land mines are painful, but they are are caused by the joyous memories that they created together. They are meant to help her heal, but it doesn't mean they're any less difficult.

She misses his arms wrapped around her leg. I can't imagine that pain. It literally leaves me feeling nauseous, and I pray for her daily. 

I don't want to link to her blog, only because it drives me crazy when I see people leaving comments on her photos about how they are "holding their kids a little bit tighter tonight". I know it's the truth, but somehow it feels so insensitive to me. I might have even said it... but in hindsight, I feel like it's a huge slap in the face.

I don't want her to find her way here and have to read about me being thankful for my blessings. For causing me to spend extra time each day to memorize the little curves of Porter's face, or write down the cute way he says "osside" when he wants to play in the grass, or nods his head passionately when I ask him if he wants something that I know he does. I've caught myself losing my temper a few times, only to remind myself blankly: "She would give anything to throw away another unsalvageable shirt covered in blueberry juice", to to be startled awake at 5am by a toddler with a tummy bug. Those thing I groan about? She would give her very life for.

Sobering, right?

21DF | 21 Day Fix Guide To Eating Out

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Eating out on the 21 Day Fix is not hard. In fact, I love that Autumn gives you permission to go out and order spaghetti, or a piece of pizza... it's not a perfect world, and you will not always have zip-loc baggies or Tupperware full of prepared, pre-portioned food. So, you make due.

When I go out, I look for a few things on the menu - here are 5 easy-to-remember options for dining out!
1. Look for low-cal options.For example, Applebees has some meals under 550 calories, and those are really easy to further customize, because what you're starting with isn't so bad. I mean, it would be hard/annoying to ask them to hold the cheese on an extra cheesy, three cheese quesadilla... so, be smart on where you start. I went to Applebees recently for lunch, and I had the Napa Chicken & Portobellos.
Now, the portion size wasn't NEARLY what is pictured below... it was much smaller. And if it would have been as big as the photo, I would have eaten half of my lunch and boxed the rest to go. But, it was a great option to start - a grilled chicken breast, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onions and crispy potatoes.

In hindsight: I also should have probably asked them to hold the cheese, or put it on the side (so I could see how much they added, or I could add it myself based on what I know of 1 Blue Container) and I would also ask them to go easy on the oil/sauce. My dish was a LITTLE greasy, but not too bad.

I calculated 2 red (chicken was big), 1 yellow, 2 green and 1 orange for this meal.

2. Salads are your friend.Luckily, there are some great salad options anywhere you go! For example, at Bjs, next time I go, I would probably order the Honey Crisp Chicken Salad, but I would probably order it like this: "On the Honey Crisp Chicken Salad... what kind of lettuce is that? Can I do romaine or mixed greens? I just don't like iceburg. Ok, great, thanks! Also, can I have grilled chicken instead of fried? And can I get balsamic instead of honey mustard... so, I guess it would called a Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad now, wouldn't it?" Yeah. I make cheesy jokes like my dad. :) Anyway. It sounds complex to order, but it's not that bad if you have a nice wait(er, ress).

A couple of notes when it comes to ordering salads, in general:

  • They are almost always too big. Eat your portions and take the rest home.
  • Ask for dressing on the side - I usually have the house balsamic vinaigrette, or something similar, when I'm out. You could also ask for a few lemon wedges, though, and squeeze those over your salad for extra flavor - delicious and FREE on the Fix!
  • Ask for cheese on the side.
  • If you can, add a lean protein! Lots of restaurants give you the option to add chicken, or shrimp, or salmon to any salad - I always add a protein! It fills you up much better.
  • NO ICEBERG LETTUCE. Look for salads with spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, etc. Dark greens are your friend!
3. OLE! Don't be afraid of Mexican!They have the hot sauce, after all. Paul and I love to eat out at our local Mexican restaurant, and they have great options for the Fix. MY FAVE: you can get 2 street tacos (corn tortillas, protein, pico/salsa, hot sauce, lime wedges for extra flavor!), fish tacos (grilled fish, not breaded, and hold the heavy white dressing, add lemon or lime), fajitas (corn tortillas), quesadilla (I love the veggie quesadilla at my local Mex restaurant, and our waiter knows us - so I ask him to go light on the cheese), carne asada, etc. So many options!
  • I ask for a whole wheat tortilla at my spot, too, which is cool. Some restaurants may have a gluten-free option (brown rice tortillas?), which would be a great sub... just ask! Nowadays, you're almost always guaranteed they have a healthier option for people with food allergies or intolerances, so take advantage of that. You have become someone with an intolerance... you are now intolerant of crap, processed food.
  • Get black beans rather than refried, and only eat half the portion of rice/beans that they give you.
  • Just say no to sour cream, and the chips (I know... so hard).
  • Don't be afraid of the guacamole! Add a scoop to your meal for some healthy fat in place of cheese.
4. Come Prepared.Since we can't have sugar or sweetener on the Fix, pack your bag with a stash of Stevia. I always drink LOADS of water when I'm at restaurants (it helps to fill you up so you don't overeat), or plain, unsweetened iced tea if I'm needing a change. To my iced tea I add 1 packet of Stevia. Like you've heard a billion times... if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Put some Stevia in your purse or diaper bag!

5. Check the sides!
Many restaurants have awesome side options (veggies like asparagus or steamed broccoli, a baked potato, brown rice, whole wheat toast, etc). Check it out! Order a few of these and make your own meal. If I went to a restaurant with awesome sides, I would order a small house salad, add chicken... then check the side items for a veggie I liked that I could add to my meal. I would ask them to not add any butter, too :) Salt and pepper is fine. ALSO - get that side of mustard! Great for flavor and dipping your chicken!

The best advice I can give you... don't be afraid to be normal. You're not supposed to lock yourself in the house on the Fix... go on dinner dates, and show people what a lifestyle change is truly all about.

If you have questions, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at - I'm happy to help!

21DF | Lemon Thyme Salmon

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My favorite dinner thus far! Add this into your line-up immediately, if you're a fan of these ingredients.

Lemon & Thyme
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mozzarella (Skim/low moisture or whatever) ;)
Balsamic Reduction

We cooked our salmon the bbq, because the sun came out and we forgot that it was April. It was so easy! Season your salmon with a tsp of olive oil and whatever fresh herbs/citrus you want - we did lemon slices, and fresh sprigs of thyme. And, salt + pepper of course! Then, place it on the grill skin side down, until the fish starts to flake and the white/clear "fat" starts to emerge from the meat. Make sense?

For the Caprese salad, slice tomatoes and mozzarella into medallions. Layer tomato, mozzarella and basil in an alternating pattern, and then drizzle with balsamic reduction. You can make your own reduction by simmering balsamic vinegar over low, low heat until it reduces by half... takes a century, but it's delicious. OR, you can be lazy like me and go to your local gourmet grocery store and buy an amazing pre-made/pure/no sugar added reduction.

I'm just being honest, here. It's a no-brainer for me.

21 Day Fix Totals: 1 Red + 1 Green + 1 Blue

21DF | Cooking Tip

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On the Fix, your teaspoons are like gold.

Peanut butter, or olive oil?

Um. I want all 4 of my allotted teaspoons per day available for peanut butter, please.

When cooking up your veggies, baking your chicken or dressing your salads - I highly recommend these sprays! It cuts down on oil usage SO MUCH - I spray a quick spray of coconut oil over my chicken before it goes in the oven, and, shame on me... I don't count it as one of my precious teaspoons

Shhh. Don't tell Autumn.

Spritz the oil in the pan and over your veggies before you cook them. Instead of pouring a teaspoon of EVOO over your salad to mix with your balsamic vinegar, spray your lettuce very lightly with EVOO spray. Far less ham 1tsp, and does the job.

Save those teaspoons for the good stuff, folks.

21DF | Healthy BLT

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Just... you're welcome. I could eat this every day for lunch.

1 Whole Grain Tortilla
Your green of choice (romaine, spinach, arugula)
4 slices of turkey bacon

For the MAYO =
Plain Greek yogurt + onion powder + garlic powder + sea salt + fresh cracked pepper + a tiny bit of whole grain mustard + a splash of white wine vinegar (or balsamic... whatever you have! Try anything for a fun-flavored mayo) + any other seasoning you'd like. Get creative and experiment a bit.

Spread 1tb of the mayo onto the tortilla, cover with your lettuce of choice, two slices of tomato, and 4 slices of bacon. I usually use 2 slices of bacon for my wrap, and then eat the other 2 straight ;)

21 Day Fix Totals: 1 Yellow + 1 Green + 1 Blue + 1 Red

21DF | A Sample Weekly Menu

Please be advised - these daily options are not my exact allotment of containers. I realize that may not be the most helpful for you, but I wanted to post this sooner rather than waiting for the entire next week to pass so I can write things down exactly as I eat them. So, take this with a grain of perfectly measured/allotted sea salt ;)


If you are a real human, and accept a dinner invitation with friends - I will be posting more about that next week - including some ideas on what to order so you don't blow all the hard work that you've done.

Items I prepare on Sundays: I hardboil a dozen eggs, cook up about 2lbs of ground turkey, and prepare an entire bag of quinoa.

Breakfast: 1 piece of Dave's Bread toast, 1/4 avocado, Tapatio, sea salt + pepper
1 Yellow (toast)
1 Blue (1/4 avocado)

Snack: 2 hardboiled eggs - cut in half and season with fresh pepper + sea salt and HOT SAUCE
1 Red (2 eggs)

Lunch: Bistro Bowl -- Salad green of choice, ground turkey, brown rice or quinoa, second green/veggie of choice (sauteed onion or mushroom, chopped yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes). Season with s+p, balsamic vinegar and HOT SAUCE. Or, just hot sauce if I'm sick of vinegar for the day.
2 Green (one container of salad, and another container of additional veggie(s) for salad)
1 Red (turkey)
1 Yellow (brown rice or quinoa)

Snack: This is the snack I forget most often. I need to be better at grabbing some greek yogurt/granola (1 Red, 1 Yellow) or some hummus/celery or peppers (1 Blue, 1 Green) or half a banana (1 Purple). Those are some delicious, easy snacks to add to your day! What I choose depends on what containers I'm lacking for the day after lunch!

Dinner: SSS (Steak + Sweet potatoes + Salad) - my hubby BBQs some lean steak, and I chop up a sweet potato and cook with a little EVOO, s+p + garlic until browned and a little crispy. You can add some onion too, if you want. Then I make us a side salad: I love arugula, mushrooms & some s+p+balsamic! For fun, grab some whole grain mustard to dip your sweet potato hash in, or throw some chopped nuts or seeds (1 orange) or some parmesan cheese (1 blue) Yum!
1 Red (Steak)
1 Yellow (Sweet Potato)
2 Green (Arugula, mushrooms, onion)

Post Workout//Late Night Snack: Shakeology
1 scoop + 10oz water, 3tsp peanut butter, frozen strawberries
1 Red (Shakeology)
1 Purple (Berries)
3tsp (PB)


Breakfast: 1 piece of Dave's Bread toast, drizzle of raw honey (since we're allowed to add this to our coffee sometimes, I decide to add it to my toast instead)
1 Yellow (toast)

Snack: 1 banana, 2 hardboiled eggs
1 Purple
1 Red

Lunch: Brown Rice Pasta, cooked/seasoned mushrooms & asparagus in 1 tsp EVOO, and parmesan cheese.
1 Green (mushrooms/asparagus)
1 Yellow (brown rice pasta)
1 Tsp (EVOO)
1 Blue (cheese)

Snack: Greek yogurt + fresh raspberries
1 Red (Greek Yogurt)
1 Purple (Fruit)

Dinner: Chicken Quinoa Chili
2 Red (Chicken, Black Beans)
1 Yellow (Quoinoa)
1 Green (Fresh, organic diced tomatoes)
Lots of fresh seasoning - salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, etc
This cooks in the crockpot all day - I don't measure this, but I always eat 1 bowl and just assume these are how many containers it represents. I add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top, too. Refrigerates great for leftovers tomorrow!

Post Workout//Late Night Snack: Shakeology
1 scoop + 10oz water, 3tsp peanut butter, frozen strawberries
1 Red (Shakeology)
1 Purple (Berries)
3tsp (PB)


Breakfast: Coffee (Oops... no food. I really need to remember breakfast)

Snack: 2 hardboiled eggs, a handful of raw kale, hot sauce, salt/pepper, brown rice.
Roughly mash with a fork until it's all mixed up together!
1 Red
1 Green
1 Yellow

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Quinoa Chili
2 Red (Chicken, Black Beans)
1 Yellow (Quoinoa)
1 Green (Fresh, organic diced tomatoes)

Snack: Avocado Toast
1 Yellow
1 Blue

Dinner: BBQ Salmon w/lemon and thyme, brown rice, and Brussel Sprouts & Kale
1 Red
1 Yellow
2 Green

Post Workout//Late Night Snack: Shakeology
1 scoop + 10oz water, 3tsp peanut butter, frozen strawberries
1 Red (Shakeology)
1 Purple (Berries)
3tsp (PB)


Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal mixed with 1 packet stevia + pure vanilla extract, 1 banana
1 Yellow
2 Purple

Snack: Shakeology

Lunch: Brussel Sprouts & Kale, sautéed with fresh garlic and oregano over quinoa & 2 poached eggs and lots of hot sauce.
This is my favorite lunch!
2 Green
1 Yellow
1 Red

Snack: Strawberries, afternoon coffee (black w/a splash of almond milk, a couple drops of chocolate stevia)
1 Purple

Dinner: Spaghetti with Spinach Salad
I use quinoa noodles, organic marinara (or you can easily make your own - tomato, garlic, oregano, some evoo in the blender!), ground turkey. Serve your spinach salad with a another veggie of choice - I love mushrooms - and dress with balsamic vinegar or lemon and EVOO.
1 Yellow
1 Red
2 Green

Snack: 6 chocolate covered almonds,
1 Blue

Post Workout//Late Night Snack: Shakeology
1 scoop + 10oz water, 3tsp peanut butter, frozen strawberries
1 Red (Shakeology)
1 Purple (Berries)
3tsp (PB)


Breakfast: Coffee, Banana
1 Purple

Snack: 3 slices of turkey, 1 hardboiled egg, toast, blackberries/raspberries
Clearly, I am not always a chef. I just grab healthy snacks about 10 minutes apart and that is my "mid morning snack attack".
1 Red
1 Yellow
1 Purple

Lunch: Avocado "Creme" Pasta
1 small avocado, blended with 3 cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh basil, 2tb EVOO, and the juice of 1 small lemon. Serve over your favorite brown rice, quinoa or whole grain pasta. I usually throw a veggie in there too, like chopped raw kale or steamed broccoli on the side.
1 Yellow
1 Blue
1 Tsp
1 Green

Snack: Oops. I usually forget! Fridays are hard because I'm so focused on TGIF!

Dinner: OUT TO DINNER - or -

Breakfast bowls! 2 poached eggs, spinach, sweet potato hash, cilantro/lime quinoa, caramelized onion. Mix it all together and top with... hot sauce! ;)
2 Yellow
2 Red
1/2 Green

Post Workout//Late Night Snack: Shakeology
1 scoop + 10oz water, 3tsp peanut butter, frozen strawberries
1 Red (Shakeology)
1 Purple (Berries)
3tsp (PB)

And since you have your meals down, I've discovered that buying new workout gear keeps me motivated for my at home gym life. All of these finds are under $100... what are some of your favorites?

21DF | Brussels & Kale

I was grossed out by brussel sprouts when I was a kid, until the one time my dad sautéed them in maple syrup, and then I was all "VEGGIES ARE AMAZING!"

Nice try, dad. Good game.

I bought some brussels at Costco after a couple of my favorite health food bloggers raved about them; I knew I couldn't douse them in maple syrup on the Fix, so I prayed that a little olive oil would magically do trick.

It's not quite syrup, but it was freaking delicious. I'm a fan. Newly converted, but a fan nonetheless. Try it for your next lunch. It was so filling, and but didn't leave me feeling heavy at all.

Brussel Sprouts
Fresh garlic, chopped
Olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper + oregano
Topped with a few sesame seeds, for fun ;)

Sautée chopped garlic in a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano over medium heat until tender and slightly browned. Add brussel sprouts and keep cooking. Once you start to see crispy brown edges on the brussel sprouts, add lots of kale and a a few tablespoons of water (just to create some steam). Add some more oregano, pepper and sea salt to taste (I love my seasoning) ;) Cover, and let cook until kale is soft. Top with some sesame seeds and serve hot!

21 Day Fix Totals: 2 Green

21DF | Avocado Toast

Friday, April 25, 2014

This has been a favorite breakfast of mine as of late! Although - how annoying is it that avocados go bad so fast. Ugh. Loathe entirely. This photo I saw on Pinterest killed me, because it's OH SO TRUE.

I toast the bread lightly, and then just add the rest of the ingredients to the top. It's filling and amazing on its own, but you can always add eggs or another protein to make this a well-rounded breakfast option! Some of my favorite options: 2 poached eggs, or 4 slices of turkey bacon (both equal 1 Red)

1 slice of Dave's Bread
1/4 avocado, mashed
A few sundried red peppers, packed in water
Tapatio | Sea Salt | Pepper

21 Day Fix Totals1 Yellow + 1 Blue

I'm having my pasta, and eating it too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If anyone is interested in ordering, 21 Day Fix is back ordered 2-4 weeks - BUT - that is actually a lot better than it's been! You won't be charged until your order processes and your Fix ships, so don't fret.

Here's the link - excited to grow this team and get us on the fast track to HAPPY, HEALTHY BODIES. Summer is coming fast!

I got a lot of messages today about the Fix, so I thought I would reiterate some things: this program takes dedication. It takes hard work, and it takes commitment. You get out what you put in. That being said, I've always been the first person to back off or make excuses, and I didn't allow that to be an option this time.

It wasn't even a temptation, because I liked what I saw each and every morning. I've seen results. GOOD results. Lifelong results - I understand portion control, I understand the components of well-rounded meal - so, even when I'm not "on the Fix", I can make great decisions and maintain these results. Without cutting out my beloved carbs and swearing off cheese.

I'm having my pasta, and eating it too. And you should be, too!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I've seen a few people with these accounts, and I think they're fun! You can ask me anything - anonymously, or with your personal info - and I'll answer! You can even fill out the form here on my blog and ask without traveling to another site. Easy!

Have fun, and be nice.

Lemon & Thyme BBQ Salmon with Truffled Balsamic Caprese Salad

Paul and I are on the second round of the 21 Day Fix, which has been amazing. But frankly, on Sunday evening we were a little tired of chicken, ground turkey, tacos, quinoa, wraps, salads and steaks. I was wanting something totally different tonight for dinner to mix it up, so we ran out and grabbed some Sockeye Salmon to throw on the BBQ.

It was a gorgeous spring day in Washington; clear blue skies and 70 degrees. Perfect grilling weather.

We seasoned the fish with a little EVOO, some sea salt and cracked pepper, fresh thyme and sliced lemon. Grill (skin side down) for 10-15 minutes - or until the meat becomes flakey and the fatty/white stuff surfaces. (I'm not a professional, clearly... if you know salmon, you know what I'm talking about). The skin will be crispy and delicious, just how it should be - and fresh thyme is seriously the best part of the whole dish.

We paired the fish it with our own Caprese salad: sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh low-moisture mozzarella, and locally grown basil (they were the largest leaves I've ever seen, with such a true flavor. I love shopping local!!).

The best part? Instead of spending time slaving over the stove on my own balsamic reduction (ugh, takes foreverrrrrrrr), I decided to check the aisle for a pre-made reduction. I'd seen friends use these reductions before, and I wanted to check the ingredients to see if it could work for us tonight... I needed clean and basic. I found one that got me really excited: all-natural truffle balsamic glaze. No added anything. I'm a sucker for all things truffle, so into the cart it went.

Doesn't this just look perfect!? It was delicious, too. We put the iPod on John Mayer and enjoyed ourselves a little candlelight dinner on the back porch. :) Such a great day!

Add this to your line-up, friends! You won't be disappointed.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What if you had a year to travel, no budget or limitation? We have a fun email string at work each Friday (hence, called Fun Friday) where we ask general questions and read everyone's cool, non-work related answer. For a virtual office, it's nice to get to know everyone a bit more those way

The question this last week was "if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?"

I found myself thinking long and hard about where I'd wand to visit the most, which place I'd want to check off my Bucket List first... and I couldn't just pick one. So, in true Corianne fashion (I'm the world's most indecisive person ever), I changed the rules to fit me so I could not leave any stone unturned. I pretended that I had unlimited funds, and a full year dedicated to bouncing around the globe.

Here's where I would go, for one month at a time:

21 Day Fix - Round 1

Monday, April 7, 2014

21 Day Fix was incredible. Paul and I finished up round 1 on March 30th, and I couldn't have been more thrilled with my results. Down 10lbs overall, and minus 16 inches from all around my body!? I'd been losing it in the places I wanted the most - legs, waist, hips, chest - and not just because I was dropping water weight... because once ounce at a time, I was sculpting and changing my body for good.

What I really should have measured was my face. No, seriously. All of a sudden, I have a feminine, defined chin. Where did that come from?

December 2013 vs March 2014
I look like a different person, right?

We decided to take a week off before beginning Round 2. During this week, we ate what we wanted, but we didn't overindulge at all (ok, maybe once or twice). I stayed mindful of my portions, but I stopped downing entire bottles of water in one breath and measuring out teaspoons of olive oil to cook with. It was a nice breather, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice an immediate change in my body and my energy levels. You truly ARE what you eat.

All that to say, Paul and I are so excited to be jumping in to Round 2 today! We went grocery shopping last night, I did some prepping (made/peeled hardboiled eggs for quick protein/snack, cooked an entire bag of quinoa and 2+ lbs of ground turkey for salads/wraps, etc), and I sucked down my last iced white mocha from my favorite coffee shop in record time. I couldn't stomach a cheat-dinner, because I had a cheat-lunch and felt like absolute crap all night.

Paul and I are also using these days of structure to fill ourselves FULL of what God wants to fill us with - His word, prayers together, time with no phones, reading books, talking, growing, and loving as a couple. This 21 Day Fix is way more than a diet for us - it's a complete and total life overhaul. It's a process - a process that is becoming more habitual each week - but it's nice to stay focused and know that this isn't an overnight change. It takes a conscious effort and we're in it to win it.

And now, IT BEGINS AGAIN! If you'd like to join in with us for Round 3 - you have to order your 21 Day Fix now, so you'll get it in time. Visit my site to order (oh yeah, I'm a coach now!), or email me at corianneburton (at) gmail (dot) com. My site is

I'm happy to help you with meal planning, check in with you on your workouts, and answer any/all questions you have. I truly love this program, and I'm happy to take people along on this journey with me.

#21DayFix Me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I'm a serial dieter.

Atkins, HCG, raw, juice, "eat-kind-of-clean all week and then binge on the weekends" (no joke, I actually thought that would work).

I have a friend named Chelsea, and I watched her total transformation from Day 1. She never harassed me to join her, she never stalked me and tried to sell me... what she involved herself in was so impressive, I started to want it. I started to realize that it wasn't about building a following for her, she just genuinely loves what she does - and has seen her body/life/mind completely change as a result. So, a little over a week ago, I tracked her down and told her I was ready.

She'd been waiting for me. ;)

What had sold me was all the before-and-afters I was seeing of the 21 Day Fix. It looked amazing - totally attainable.

There are a few reason why this program appeals to me:
- It sounds short term. I work so much better if I have the finish line in site... even if that just means it's the finish line for round 1, I still have a finish line. Just like when I was laboring to bring my son into this world, I so badly wanted to know when it would be over... how many more pushes? How much longer do I need to suffer through contractions to give birth without an epidural? I love that there's a finish line with this program, but every time you cross the finish line, there's an upcoming Monday that awaits a fresh start.
- The meal plan is foolproof. Not gonna lie, the color-coding system seemed a little intense at first, but it's really not bad. And, there are lists of foods that you can have. Figuring out how many containers of each color you get is simple. And guess what? Bread is on that list. Whole grain pasta is on that list. CHEESE is on the list! Portion control is key, and that makes me beyond happy. It's ALL about portion control... learning to eat for fuel, and not for fun. 
- Workouts are only 30 minutes and can be done in my living room (and all the working moms say "aaaaamen.")
Paul is doing it with me, which is wonderful. He doesn't need to lose any weight, but he needs to get healthier! Americanos aren't a complete diet. ;)

We are on Day 2 now, and I'm loving it so far! I also did an extra Yoga class last night (two a days? Who am I?) and so I'm feeling the pain today like no other. Today's workout is called "Dirty Thirty". Safe to say, I'm shaking in my Nikes.

Stay tuned!

Pan Seared Chicken With Olives. Except Not With Olives.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I made this dish last night, and it was delicious! So much flavor!

Pan Seared Chicken With Olives

My modifications: 
  • I didn't use olives. Instead, I used mushrooms.
  • I didn't have any chicken broth, so I omitted that from the sauce as well. I just used the juice from the rested, cooked chicken.
  • I didn't pound out my chicken, I just cheated and bought the thin-cut boneless/skinless breasts.
  • I didn't let them marinate for 30 minutes. I mixed up the marinade and poured over the chicken, then flipped the chicken around a few times to be sure they were evenly coated. Then they sat for a minute while I prepped the ingredients for the pan sauce, and then heated up the oil in the skillet.
  • I didn't use dijon mustard, I just used plain ol' yellow mustard and it was still good.
Other than that, I followed the recipe perfectly, and it turned out so well. Of course, I had a major recipe win when hubby is out of town all week. I'll be making this again upon his return so he can ooh and ahh over my domesticatedness. ;)

A vacation with kids is not a vacation at all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I live for vacations. Which is a little troublesome, since I feel like we don't take many. Haha... but, we planned this vacation a few weeks ago, to celebrate my husband's and Jen's birthdays in a snowy little town called Leavenworth, and to say we were all a little excited was an understatement.

Not only was this our first vacation as a group in quite some time, but this was the first time we were escaping together WITH OUR KIDS.

We questioned whether this would be a vacation at all, actually. Jessica and Davey's boys are older (meaning, they can use a toilet and put themselves to sleep), but Porter and Lincoln are 14 months and 9 months old. They still nurse, they still wake up a few times during the night, they are obviously still in diapers and need to be entertained and watched 24/7.

So, basically, this was a different experience entirely.

Here are a few ways vacation with toddlers is not a vacation at all.
  • Stairs. Omg, do you guys realize that most houses are - by nature - BABY DEATHTRAPS? And this genius of a mother (talking about me) doesn't own a baby gate... because, you know, I like to live on the edge. The house we stayed at was three floors, with like a billion flights of stairs. I had to get creative, creating blockades with unused ottomans and dining room chairs on their sides. Porter is like a moth to a flame when it comes to stairs. He will drop anything he is doing to climb up some stairs; if he sees an opportunity, the stairs are like a irresistible, shining beacon of fun and imminent danger. He will RUN to them. So, when I successfully block off all the landings and I am thinking to myself "WINNING!", he scales the wall and climbs up the banister. I. Am. Not. Kidding.
  • Babies Don't Care About Sleeping In. Porter and I came downstairs at 6am a few mornings we were away, and were promptly greeted by our friends Jen and Lincoln. Oh, hey guys. No sleeping in for you either? Not gonna lie, I was a little jealous that the Jones boys were still sleeping (as were their parents). I pretended to be all panicky when Porter started playing his xylophone outside of Jess and Davey's room, but I was secretly all "muahaha" when Jessica flung open the door and stumbled out half-asleep to the bathroom. I mean, I know she's earned her sleeping in (three kids later and blah blah blah)... but if Jen and I are awake and sucking down coffee, you will be awake and sucking down your lemon water, Mrs. Jones.
  • You Can't Take Kids Into A Bar. When we were sledding, some kind stranger - (actually, I'm not sure who told us - I had retired to the car early because I had a frozen Porter Popsicle. So, yeah, I just waited in the car for everyone else to finish having a blast. Yet another reason why this vacation is now different, but I'll just keep moving for the sake of word count) - so anyway, so stranger told us that this little hole-in-the-wall down the road has the BEST pizza in town. Well, turns out, it was the town bar. Jen, Jess and I stayed in the car with all the kids while the guys ordered and waited for our to-go pizza. That in itself is super annoying - especially with a cranky toddler needing a nap and not at all pleased to be sitting in an cold, non-running car.
  • Vacation Language Isn't A Thing. We have this joke about saying and doing whatever we want on vacation - after all, it's vacation! If I want to have Doritos for breakfast, I will. We talk about married things, we laugh at inappropriate jokes, we play intense games of Heads Up and Catchphrase and - err - Uno, and... things can get heated. A few of us hate losing (Paul), a few of us cheat (Jessica), and a few of us may have mouths like sailors (Me, Jen). I know, you're shocked. Well. Kids don't understand the good nature of this, and pretty soon Jackson Jones is wandering the house telling the little kids to stop being "so damn loud. That crap is annoying". Oops.
So yeah, anyway... bottom line, I joke around - but it was a blast. I loved hanging out with our families and making so many new memories. One of my favorites: the older kids played Xbox downstairs, and told us a few times they were going to go "pwn some noobs". We were like... "what are you even saying."

Jess got really nervous, but didn't want to make her kids feel like she didn't trust them, so we did what every logical parent in 2014 does: we Urban Dictionaried it. Turns out, it is to completely obliterate your opponent in any event where there is competition, though the term specifically originated from Online Gaming. Very similar in nature as "owning new players". Phew.

You learn something new every day.

Our cabin for the weekend!

Personal Inventory: Comparison, Change & Other Grown Up Issues

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have had versions of this very post saved as drafts in my blog for quite some time, but I'm taking the time now to actually sit down and organize my thoughts, put it all out there, and press publish.

I'm a diehard people pleaser. Like, to my core. Nothing upsets me more than thinking about letting someone down, or meeting a low expectation that has been placed upon me. I give myself stomach aches overthinking and overanalyzing everything, and being a mom has magnified this trait in me even more.

Here are three areas I'm working hard to conquer right now.

The Burden of Social Media
Last night, I actually wondered how much happier I would be if I didn't have Instagram, and I didn't see all these mothers that have their entire families on raw, whole food diets on a daily basis. If I didn't have to scroll through pics moms who make homemade play-doh and get up at 4am every morning for french-press coffee by their huge window while they faithfully and obediently read sixteen chapters in their Bible.

Instead of feeling inferior, I'm going to make it my goal to let it motivate me. Without those moms who post about their raw/whole food diets, for example, I wouldn't be making a conscious effort to make myself, Porter & Paul fresh juices and smoothies each day. I may not do it for every meal, but once a day is a huge leap in the right direction for me. My fridge is stocked with more greens and produce than it ever has been before, but only because I made the decision to be encouraged rather than defeated.

Growing Up & Letting Go
It's always been a struggle for me... change. I always thought of myself as a "go with the flow" kind of girl, but I'm not at all. Recently, I've seen this in my relationships. Truth is, friends are going to walk away, I have to be ok with that. Priorities change - mine included - so I can't be surprised or hurt when priorities change for others, too. The ones that are in my life for the long haul will become clearer and clearer over the years - this has already proven true. Relationships should get easier, not more difficult. If they become difficult, something has to change - or, maybe something already has. Either way, when change does come... I. Have. To. Accept. It. I have to thank God for the vision to see beyond the heartache or frustration, and keep moving.

On the same note, there are people in my life who have been there - steadfast and supportive - for years... and I didn't even notice. It saddens me for a minute, until I realize it's never too late to nurture those friendships. Take inventory of your relationships now and then - you may be surprised at what you find.

Becoming My Biggest Fan
I make underhanded comments a lot... to myself. It wasn't until my husband brought it up (that he hates when I do it) that I really took a good hard look at the way I talk to myself when I didn't think anyone was listening. "This looks disgusting." "My hair looks horrible." "Nothing looks good on me." "I feel so gross." I say those things a lot. Way too often.

I realized that if my husband hears me, then that means that Porter hears me too. Soon, he's going to understand what I'm saying, and I don't want him to think his mother is unhappy with herself. He deserves a strong, confident mother than knows her worth and not only walks it out, but speaks it too. Truth is, for the hundreds of things I want to improve, there are a hundred and one things I love. I just don't address those audibly.

I should. I should smile at myself more in the mirror, rather than wrinkling my forehead or turning sideways and looking at myself from every angle for fifteen minutes before I leave the house. I should be proactive about my image - if I hate how I look when I don't get dressed in the mornings, I should pick out my outfits the night before so it's ready for me when my alarm goes off.

What about you? Have you ever felt like the pressure to be the "perfect mom" is magnified by the hugeness that is social media? What about the waves of change that inevitably come... how do you deal? Do you give yourself enough credit, or are you your own worst critic? Feel free to comment below; I would love to hear some feedback on these grown-up-issues that don't have to do with wave spray or BB cream ;)


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