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Four of My Favorite Easy & Healthy Snacks

By Food No Comments

Y’all, I am terrible about eating too many snacks! It’s definitely where most of my calorie intake comes from. Over the last few years, I have tended to get things like Oreo’s, chips, Jalapeno Cheetos or ice cream to munch on. The first year that we moved to Arizona, I downed so much ice cream as a coping mechanism for being so far away from family. It’s very very easy to get lost in eating sugary foods, especially if your upset or stuck in a pandemic like we are now. But I’ve been wanting to be better, to make better decisions, and that starts with thinking about how I’m snacking. So today, here are five of my favorite healthy snacks to munch on!

1.) Sliced Tomatoes

Here me out on this one! Slice some tomatoes into medium thickness and arrange them evenly on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto each slice of tomato. I would do equal portions of each as I think both are needed for this snack. Then I sprinkle goat cheese on top of each tomato slice. I try to arrange it so I will have goat cheese in every single bite. Absolutely worth the extra time to sprinkle them on carefully! Without doubt one of my favorite snacks and definitely a healthy option!

2.) Pre-Cut Vegetables

When I’m feeling motivated and really want to be healthy this is a go to option! I have done this a few times and have been so grateful for it. I get veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and celery at the store. Cut them into bite size pieces and place them into separate containers. I’d personally go for getting one container that can hold all the veggies in separate sections, but any container will work. Then when I’m feeling hungry I grab the containers, throw some on a plate and dip them in some ranch dressing. Now I know that ranch isn’t the healthiest thing for you, but compared to eating chips or cookies I count it as a win! Plus its a good avenue to start getting your daily veggies in.

3.) Berries & Yogurt Covered Pretzels

I like to think of this as a version of a parfait. Yogurt covered pretzels have less calories than chocolate covered pretzels and when combined with some good flavored berries it hits all the taste buds. You can set these out as a cute berry board and go munch on items when you get that craving for something sweet or sweet and salty. I was thrilled with this berry board and think it was a great snack idea for the week!

4.) Pepperoni and Cheese

This one came directly from my dad! He has always been drawn to snacking on meats and cheeses. Especially when you wrap some cheese in the meat, it’s been a staple among cooks for years and its definitely a great snack. I like to get pepper jack squares (thick square cuts of cheese) and pepperoni or sausage for this snack. Wrap the pepperoni around the cheese and eat. No artificial colors, sugars, etc; just good old fashioned meat and cheese. If you are feeling on top of it, pre-wrap the meat around the cheese and hold it together with a toothpick. I swear this helps curb your appetite twice as fast as well. It’s more hearty that the other snacks and has always been a go to for me!

What are you favorite healthy snacks? Or just your favorite snacks in general! Let me know in the comments below!

My Year and A Half Living Full-Time in a Trailer

By Lifestyle, RV Adventures, Travel No Comments

We are finishing our time in our trailer and honestly it might be the most bitter-sweet thing I’ve ever experienced. I have loved every moment living in our travel trailer! It has grown my marriage, allowed me to experience so many unique places in the country, while also allowing my husband and I to stay together while working and finishing school. It’s done everything we needed and more and to let it go will be one of the hardest things.

Next week we are heading up to the Midwest to grab our things in storage and move to Pittsburgh to get settled before my husband starts his job at the local hospital. We are excited about the changes and its definitely the next right step for us. But its also so hard to let go of the year and a half of travel and memories that we have had in here. My husband will be the first to tell you that living in a trailer has been amazing. We will absolutely be buying one in the future and may even retire in one we loved it so much!

One of the best perks and the one I will always mention is how much its grown our marriage. Our travel trailer is 32 feet long so there is no room to hide! We have had to learn how to work together better than we did in the past. We were together all the time, had no family or friends around and lived in a confined space. So we had to learn to be more patient, be more understand, let go of anger, and to be extrodinarily kind. And honestly we have fought far less in the last year and a half because of these lessons that we learned. We work together and enjoy quality time together in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without getting out and trying something new.

Travel trailer life pushes you to go outside and adventure, to not sit in front of the TV but to be active. Because the space is limited, we were forced to get out more and honestly we really learned how little we need in terms of possessions and a house. While we are moving to a bigger place, its not near as big as what we used to believe we needed. The goal will be to continue to limit the amount of items that we need and maintain a lifestyle of staying outside and active.

With all that being said, I want to highlight my top five moments from this adventure and hopefully inspire you to get out, try something new and maybe even buy a trailer!

1.) Our First Outdoor Movie – On the Side of the Trailer

My husband and I saved up all our money from Christmas and some of our savings to purchase a new projector. We were able to get the projector in January(a month or so after moving in) and used the side of the trailer to project the movie onto. We had our small electric outdoor fireplace, drinks, blankets and perfect chilly weather. The Greatest Showman played as we sang along and enjoyed just the perfect night together. One of many outdoor movie nights that we have been able to enjoy while roaming the country. It was one of those moments that was so simple but so perfect at the same time and was just a great outcome of our trailer life!

2.) Birthday Adventures – Seattle Addition

Our first big road trip from Seattle was the first time really getting out feet wet traveling with the trailer. The drive up was full of craziness between being extremely cold one nights sleep at the truck stop, singing and chatting the whole drive up. We loved every moment in Seattle and fell in love with the beauty of the area. So when my birthday came along, I was given free reign to choose all our activities without complaint! And I utilized every moment of it. We traveled to two of the major parks in the surrounding areas (3-4 hours away from Seattle each). Meaning that my poor hubby drove about 10 hours round trip that weekend so that I could go exploring and enjoy the views! He was such a sweetheart about it and I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday view.

3.) Drive to Washington DC

Honestly, this was the craziest day of our trip. This was the shortest distance that we needed to travel, only about 5 and a half hours. But it ended up taking us double that amount of time to get there. To start, we had endless issues getting the awning to go back up. Some small mechanism decided to break down the morning we were supposed to leave and it took us hours to get it up and ready for travel. Once we got the awning up and went to check out I noticed a giant hole in the siding of our travel! One that I had never seen before! It turns out the day before while mowing the grass areas, one of the staff hit a rock that went straight through the siding of the camper. So we had to deal with that and get an agreement for them to pay the repairs before we could head out. Then as we were driving we had a cabinet door fall and several other issues on the drive. But the reason it is ranked as one of my top memories is because it was a crazy day but we handled everything with grace, love and support. We didn’t argue, we just dealt with the issues and moved on! To me it was a sign of how much we had grown in our marriage in such a short time.

4.) Cooking In The Trailer

Some of my favorite memories are trying to figure out how to cool in a 20 year old trailer. There were many things that don’t work the same as modern technology. For example, the oven does not heat evenly, everything is centered to the front right so you have to be mindful of that when you are working. I burnt several items trying to cook things evenly and not realizing how burnt the bottom was getting! But it was unique and different and we spent this time together learning and growing. I tried endless new recipes and learned to clean (slightly) better than before by having such a small kitchen. It pushed me to be better about cleaning up quickly and more efficiently.

5.) Christmas Eve 2019

I was having a really hard time this Christmas being by ourselves and being in south Florida. The weather was 85 degrees out, beautiful and sunny but it didn’t feel at all like Christmas. I wasn’t able to skype with family on Christmas Eve and it was just all weighing on me. But my hubby was so kind and stepped up to make me feel better. Sitting with me while I cried, playing board games with me, and getting up early on Christmas to take photos with me at the beach. Sometimes its the small things that we do for others that mean the most.

Quarantine Series – Is it possible to be positive in the middle of a crisis?

By Lifestyle No Comments

I have seen a lot of posts recently about how the gravity of what’s going on has really weighed on everyone’s hearts. Its caused stress, anxiety and depression. As someone who has experienced all these emotions for a good chunk of my life, I can relate and empathize with everyone’s feelings.

It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the noise and the black hole of despair and panic. Many times it happens so gradually that you don’t notice it’s happened until its consuming all your thoughts. And being stuck in your home, while keeping yourself safe, is adding to the stress and anxiety in your life. But take heart and think about all that we have overcome in the past! We have overcome personal, social, regional and national catastrophes as a nation. And through it all we have come out stronger than we were before. Life is always going to throw things your way, it’s always going to have ups and downs. And as stressful and disheartening as those moments are, they teach us lessons. They teach us to be kinder, loving, smarter, and more confident. If we were to not face trials in life, we would not grow and succeed.

Staying positive through tragedy, embracing change and knowing that the future is bright is all you can do. Embrace the change, embrace the good and the bad, embrace the present and look to the future full of hope. Life will be crazy and the anxiety will run high at times. But you can find joy in the midst of anxiety. It is possible to feel all the emotions at once! Let them run — be positive while still being anxious. Be joyful while still feeling the pang of sorrow. It is when we suppress them that they can take over our lives. Be okay with things being stressful, anxious, overwhelming. But also be okay with joy and light being present as well. You can feel all the emotions and its okay to do so!

However you are feeling in the midst of this pandemic, remember that its okay to feel the emotions. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, but don’t be afraid to be positive as well. You aren’t negating the things going on in the world, you are just choosing to be a light in the midst of that darkness!

Confident Women- 5 Steps to Becoming More Confident

By Lifestyle No Comments

Today is all about helping you be the most confident woman you can be. There are such extreme views on women, both from progressive and conservative minds.

You are told who you should be, how you should act, what you should buy, and what your career path should look like. But there is rarely a conversation of how you become more confident in your life. And if you focused on being more confident, how much stronger would you be in all the other areas of your life. Being your most confident self will lead you to the places you always wanted to go, but will also help you to stay grounded. Becoming more confident does not happen overnight. It is not something a simple makeover will do for you. To truly become more confident you need to change some of your lifestyle habits.

So today we are going over 5 steps to a more confident life.

1.) Show Up and Exercise.

I don’t care how you exercise, I don’t care what intensity or how pretty you look doing it. What I care about is you showing up. Show up for yourself. Exercise isn’t just healthy for your physical health its critical for your emotional health. Confidence comes from within and how can you feel good and confident if you aren’t taking care of your body? Again, I am not saying you need to be a size two with a perfect ‘model’ body. I am saying that you need to give your body the exercise it desperately needs. Your body is made to move and it needs to move to function at it’s highest capacity. So treat it well and show up for yourself. My workouts are never pretty : its ugly, its tough, I fail over and over again. But when I show up, my body and mind feel 100% better. Do this for yourself and no one else and watch your confidence begin to grow.

2.) Make Small Diet Changes

I can tell you right now that I have never been able to make immediate long term diet changes. I’ve never been able to say, no more carbs, and keep it up. The only thing that has ever worked is to make small choices as often as I could. Small choices where I choose the healthy option. When I give in and eat 10 Oreos when I shouldn’t have, I don’t get mad at myself, I just push myself to make the next choice healthy. Like eating salmon for dinner instead of a burger. Small choices will lead to bigger life changes. So be okay that you will occasionally fail. Be okay that these changes won’t happen overnight. Just start each day with a fresh mindset knowing that you can always make the next choice a healthy one. And remember that confidence comes from within and taking care of your body is the first step.

3.) Five Positive Affirmations

Every day say five positive things about yourself. It doesn’t matter how crappy you may feel that day. Be positive in that moment about who you are. Telling yourself what is good about yourself once a day will slowly help you see past the negatives the world puts in your mind. Your mental health is just as important as physical health and the brighter your mental health the more confident you will be. Confidence really comes when you believe in yourself and believe that you are worthy.

To get you started here are a few of my affirmations.

1.) I am worthy of good things.

2.) I am beautiful just the way I am.

3.) My worth is not defined by others.

4.) It is okay to to put myself first and to take care of myself.

5.) My future is whatever I want it to be.

4.) Speak Kindly to Others

Speak kindly to others. I have noticed that when I am harsh or angry toward those around me it makes me far less confident. Because confident people don’t need to tear others down or be mean to those around them. Confident people invest in others, speak kindly to those they meet and treat others with respect. Confidence is being the best version of yourself and knowing that confidence is being confident in who you are not how others see you. When you do encounter situations where you have been hurt, angered or mistreated; step back. Step back and reevaluate the situation. Step back, call a loved one and remember that life is bigger than that person who mistreated you. Kindness is always the best option, even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.

5.) Be Content

Be content with who you are right here, right now. You have worked hard to get to where you are. Be content with where you are. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have goals and plans for the future, it simply means you are content with where you are right now. When you accept where you are today you will develop extreme confidence. Who wouldn’t have confidence when they accept themselves where they are? Instead of constantly judging themselves against what they don’t have. Instead of looking to others for their contentment, look inward. Once you do, you will see the confidence start to grow. Choose to look at your blessings and be content with what you have right now.

You have all the tools you need to be confident. All it takes are a few changes every single day. Once you start making these changes, you will slowly start reaping the rewards. Confident people are developed over time. Be gracious with yourself and remember that you can do this!

xoxo-Kayla

Everyone Hates Me

By Lifestyle No Comments

“Everyone hates me. No one wants to hang out with me. My coworkers don’t want me around.”

There is a small voice in the back of our minds trying to convince us that the world is against you. That you are small, insignificant, unworthy and unloved. It’s the voice in the crowded rooming saying you’ll never be enough. It’s the bang of self-doubt when you are around your friends or loved ones.

This voice affects each and every one of us in different ways. It may be telling you that you will never be able to live out your dreams because you are not talented or pretty enough. It may tell you that you don’t have ‘real’ friends and that those who hang out with you do so out of pity. It may be a rush of anxiety when you face a new situation, telling you that you are and will be a failure. This voice. This negative, lying voice. This voice is trying to stop you from being the best that you can be. It wants you to believe that you are unworthy and unloved.

The problem with this voice is when we believe it! We believe the lies we are being told, we believe the media when they say we aren’t good enough or talented enough. We believe that we are less than we really are.

But I am here to implore you to push aside this voice. To push aside the negative thoughts. To believe the best about yourself and not hold back out of fear or anxiety. If I could leave one thought with you it would be to you remember WHO YOU ARE.

You were made in the image of an almighty and loving Creator.

You were made to do great and powerful things.

You were made to bring light and goodness into the world.

You are worthy of more than an anxiety filled, stressful life.

You are completely and totally loved. You are loved more than you will ever know.

Most of all, have faith in yourself. Believe that you are capable, intelligent, worthy, loved and strong.

Remember, today and everyday, who you are. You are worth more than you’ll every know. Be proud of yourself. Speak positive and kind words about yourself. But most of all, remember how loved you truly are.