Saturday, January 24, 2015

From the Internet to My Kitchen

Good morning! I have to start by saying the number of times I have sat down in the past few weeks to write a deep, thought-provoking post has been astronomical. I don't know what my deal is but I just can't seem to produce anything worth publishing…so here we are.

Today I would like to share with you some of my recent reads and finds from the around the internet. 

The winner may surprise you!

Alright, I LOVE this. Because when pronouncing words like "quinoa" is hard, we need these diagrams to make other healthy things easy! 

Pearls of Wisdom via Clean Eats, Fast Feets
Need a laugh? Read on. 

I made this last night for dinner and will now be penning the meal in my recipe book (yes, I have a recipe book and yes, I love that I'm 25 and have one). 

My DSLR battery was dead so I apologize for the poor iPhone picture quality! 

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad via Organize Yourself Skinny
I made a batch of this last Sunday and used it throughout the week for my lunches. I put a serving on Flatout Bread, rolled it up and ate it as a wrap! If you are looking for a new recipe that you can prep and use for the week ahead, I highly suggest giving this one a try.

Victory for a charged camera battery! For the shredded chicken, I followed this crockpot recipe.


I partially blame my lack of creativity for an underlying health issue that has been taking place for about a year. Without going into too much detail, I have had numerous doctor visits and will be seeing a specialist next week. FINGERS CROSSED I begin to acquire some answers! I would greatly appreciate if you put me in a small area of your thoughts and prayers! XoXo. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Trades of Hope

Today I interviewed Jodee Iten who is a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope. I have known Jodee since I was little and our families are close friends. Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty in 11 different countries around the world.

When was Trades of Hope started?
Trades of Hope was founded in 2010 by two women and their two daughters. The founders have met with people from each of our 21 artisan groups in 11 different countries (including the USA) to provide beautiful fair trade, handmade jewelry, scarves, handbags, and home decor. The Home Team is in Palm Coast, Florida and we just reached 1,000 Compassionate Entrepreneurs throughout the US.  The company is looking to grow, so if you want to join a company basically from the ground floor and help women around the globe, now is the time!

Who are you helping and how are they being paid?
We help women in 3rd world countries out of poverty so they can feed, clothe and educate their families; in Haiti women often have to give up their children simply because they can not feed them; keep women out of the sweatshops & sex trade; and many women who have overcome difficult health situations like women who are cured from leprosy, but are still shunned by their families or women who have been attacked by acid. It is hard to imagine what all of these women have been through and struggle with each day! Most women in 3rd world countries make $2/day. Our artisans are paid their asking price which is typically 2-6x what they would normally make (ex. $10-$14/day) and are paid using fair trade guidelines. The artisans are paid per piece and paid upfront.  So if TOH has a sale, it is our company that is taking the discount and the artisans are still being paid their normal pay. In 2014, Trades of Hope employed 6,585 artisans and it is said for every woman in poverty she will bring 4 family members or people in her community with her and we impacted 26, 612 lives!

Why did you join Trades of Hope?
I had hosted an online party for a friend last June and I fell in love with the mission of the company, helping women less fortunate than me, yet are still mother's just like me, and I loved all of the jewelry I ordered. I have been a stay at home mom for 5 years and was looking for something I could do for myself, work flexible hours, yet still stay home with my 3 children! I joined in August of last year and I have LOVED every part of my journey with Trades of Hope so far!

How can you be involved with Trades of Hope?
JOIN- We are always looking to grow our sisterhood and spread the mission of Trades of Hope and ultimately make a larger impact on our artisans around the world.
HOST- You can host an online Facebook party, a catalog party or an in home party and invite your friends and family to help make an impact.
SHOP-  You can shop from someone's party like Carrie is having or from my website any time.  Each purchase makes a BIG impact.

If you want to be a part of Carrie's party from Jan 16th-Jan 26th you can shop at:

If you are interested in learning more about Trades of Hope you can contact Jodee at:

Jodee Iten
Cell: 704-560-5864
FB Page: Jodee Iten - Trades of Hope

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Therapeutic and Sports Massage

Disclaimer: While this post is sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I've had my fair share of massages, some more enjoyable than others, but this was my first therapeutic and sports massage. I was clueless as to what to expect. Would she stretch me into a pretzel? Would I feel sore after? How would I feel the days following the appointment? 

When I met Anne, I instantly felt comfortable and welcome in her studio. After a few minutes of getting to know each other, I filled out paperwork and we talked about what I wanted out of my massage. I'm pleased that she took the time to listen and write down the areas that I wanted her to focus on. This made me feel like she truly wanted me to get a positive experience and leave feeling satisfied. 

So what makes a therapeutic and sports massage different than your normal massage? Anne targets people that are in chronic or acute pain due to injuries, repetitive movement, bad posture, etc. I could really tell the difference when she "worked her magic" around my knee and ankle muscles. It felt SO good to get some of my running injuries worked on. 

If you live in the Denver area, I highly recommend seeing Anne for your next massage (first time clients receive $25 off!). She followed up with me the next day to make sure I wasn't experiencing any pain and if she could change anything for next time. In a world where we are always on the go, it was meaningful that she took the time to talk with me about my time at her studio. 

For more information about Anne and her services, visit her website! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A New Favorite Winter Activity

As you can tell, the blog has been pretty quiet for a while. I spent my two-week vacation around the holidays in Minnesota (perks of working at an elementary school!) and decided to take a much needed writing break to really focus my time and energy on family, friends, and Christmas cookies.

As much as I enjoyed sleeping in and getting coffee with friends and daily naps by the fireplace, I was a little ready for my routine again. Although yesterday has never been a part of my routine, I'm thinking I wouldn't mind making it a weekend thing…every weekend.

My roommate found a killer deal on LivingSocial for snowshoeing, so yesterday morning we drove to Frisco and took advantage of it. Umm…I LOVED IT. Like, why had I never done this before?!

It was a little chilly when we started but once our hearts got pumping and we "climbed" a couple hills, it was perfect. 

Whenever I'm in the mountains hiking or in this case, snowshoeing, I have to continually remind myself to "look up" because hello, look at what I'm walking amongst. Pure beauty. It's easy to keep your eyes on your feet so you don't crash and burn, but I don't ever want to forget these views. 

The trails we took were great for newbies like us and we even took a couple detours which put us on a little more challenging trails that felt like we were walking on the Stair Master at the gym. Overall, my first snowshoeing experience was a blast and I will most definitely be doing it again!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Memories Over Messes

I've always been more about making memories than making a mess of wrapping paper and bows and ribbon. Spending time with a person rather than with a plastic toy has and always will be more meaningful and memorable to me.

Last year I took K to see the Nutcracker Ballet and it's a night that we still talk about from time to time. The tutus and music and dancers are topics of conversation that bring smiles to our faces and words of "what a fun night that was" out of our mouths.

So this year we floated around ideas for our "night out" and decided on going to the Denver Zoo Lights, dinner, and a sleepover (which she was ECSTATIC about). I heard great things about the zoo lights so I was looking forward to our night just as much as she was! 

I didn't take any pictures of the lights but if I had to pick one word for what they looked like, it would magical. I felt like I was walking around a Hallmark Christmas movie with all the twinkly, pretty colored lights, music playing and signs for "Hot Cocoa This Way" every few steps. 

I never knew a little girl could change my life the way that K has. I count my blessings every night that I get to spend time with her everyday. The opportunity to see her grow into such a mature, responsible, charming young woman has been a gift in and of itself and something that will forever be engrained within me!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You Sick?

I'm on day 4 of riding a roller coaster of sickness. I stayed home Friday from work and watched, what I thought, was every Hallmark Christmas movie possible. On Saturday I started feeling better, despite a newly sore throat and smokers voice to follow, so ventured out of the house and ran errands until I had to sit down at the grocery store because I felt faint and hot, so back home to the couch it was. I woke up Sunday feeling the best I've felt in a week so went to church, cleaned the condo, and did some laundry. I had all intentions of going to work today and I have my packed lunch in the refrigerator to prove it. I got as far as putting on my mascara before I had to sit on my bed because I was seeing stars and both my ears were throbbing.

This bug that is sticking around is a sneaky one as I've felt better a number of times and then…BAM…it bites me again. So how do you know you're sick?

1. When you always start your morning with coffee so when you can't even finish a cup…you know you're sick.

2. When you use your hair as an eye mask because the thought of getting off the couch and getting yours in the bedroom seems too daunting of a task…you know you're sick.

3. When you have watched so many Christmas movies that you begin to see that they are all the same actors, just cycling through the different movies…you know you're sick.

I see you Candace Cameron.

4. When you have also watched so many Christmas movies that you know the plot before the first actor appears on screen. A snobby, high-profile woman is engaged to an attractive business man until she is plopped in some remote location due to whatever circumstance and falls in love with a kind-hearted mountain man who happens to run a children's shelter or is a volunteer firefighter…you know you're sick.

5. When you are bored enough to make a list like this…you know you're sick.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Dip

I brought this dip to my work Christmas party last night and it was a total hit! After taking one bite, everyone was asking me what was in it and how to make it. 

With simple ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make, this is the perfect appetizer to bring to any party or occasion. Bonus points: 1/4 cup is only 117 calories!