History + Menu

This Friday Josh and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary. It feels like it has been so much longer and at the same time, feels as though we have just started our lives together. Neither of those being negative feelings. It is as if my life did not really start until we met, that everything that happened before Josh did not matter and of course was never as meaningful. Throw kids into the mix and life has passed us by at lightning speed. The days and weeks feel like they drag on, but looking back I feel like we just found out that Anderson was on the way.

Josh and I met on December 12th, 2013.

I went out for a girl’s night before Christmas break and ended up going to the restaurant/bar that he and his brother owned. I was tired of dating. I was through with it all. I tried dating guy’s with similar interests and backgrounds. I tried dating a Yankee once, for sake of opposites attract (they don’t). Just done with it all. Throw in that local drunk yelling at me across the bar, some of the vilest comments I have ever heard, I was over guys in general and especially that night.

The night we met, I told Josh and my friend, that I would marry the next guy that I dated. I was done dating and would not do so unless we were going to get married. My mom told me that I would have to settle at some point. That there wasn’t going to be a man that had everything that I wanted. False. I had found my counterpart that night and we have been together since the day we met.

Just a piece of advice, if you feel like you are having to settle then you need to keep moving. You don’t need someone in your life to make you happy. Josh is not in charge of making me happy, that is my job. I don’t need him to prove his love to me daily to make me feel validated and happy. If you are unhappy, it is your job to fix it. Your spouse can cheer you up when you are sad, but that is not fixing your unhappiness. Flowers, sweet notes, chocolate, etc. don’t change things they are just a bandaid for the real issue. Those things don’t cure your unhappiness, they temporarily mask it.

Josh and I have seamlessly rolled with the punches of life, constantly backing each other up and cheering each other on. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and I feel like that is so evident in our day to day activities. From meal prepping to parenting to work to working out. We push each other, keep each other motivated to be the best we can be and are always there for one another. We hear other couples talk about their arguments and we just can’t relate. It isn’t that we don’t disagree, we don’t always agree, but we don’t argue. We don’t fight. We don’t belittle each other. We are honest and up-front, very cut and dry when it comes to our thoughts and feelings. Fighting and unhappiness take too much energy. It is so much easier just to say what is on your mind and be done. Life is hard enough, spending it with someone that you have had to settle for sounds miserable.

We were engaged on May 2nd, 2014.

When you know you know. I always thought that saying was ridiculous until I found it. It irritated me when someone would tell me to stop looking for my significant other and dating “Joe-Shmoe”. You really do just know when you know, when the right person walks into your life it will be unlike any other relationship you have ever had. There was never any moment where I felt like I was having to try and impress him or be something I was not. I was myself and he either liked that or he didn’t. We were either going to work or we weren’t. I am a glutton for trying too hard and giving too much to make something work. If I have it in my head that it can work, then I am going to stubbornly drive it into the ground, watch it crash and burn before I admit defeat. I have yet to have to try to make our relationship work. It just works.

We got married on October 11th, 2014.

This was the best day ever. We had so much fun planning the wedding, creating it, and relishing in every moment. While we were hunting for wedding venues, one of the owners of a venue gave Josh and me a piece of advice that we have modeled our relationship by. She simply told us to do one thing a day that makes the other person’s life easier. We focus a lot of our energy on making things easy for each other. It can be something as small as having my lunch bag packed for me or cooking my breakfast. It is one less thing that I have to think about doing when I am rushing around in the morning. The love-notes tucked away in my lunch box haven’t stopped. They have become more meaningful and grateful. We are good for each other. We look out for each other. We are best friends. We are everything and more that I imagined marriage would be.

Anderson was born on September 26th, 2015.

We found out we were pregnant with Anderson in January 2015. For some crazy reason, I thought years of birth control would take a long time to get out of my system. False. He was born via an emergency c-section. I actually went into labor at a CrossFit competition and ended up having him later that afternoon. After much back and forth with misdiagnosed dilation (6cm is way different than 9cm), prematurely getting my water broke, and his dropping heart rate we had our first baby. He has been my little love since I first laid eyes on him.

Scarlett was born on January 11th, 2018.

She was also born via c-section, but this time was taken early because she was registering on the smaller size. 2% on the growth chart small. I am still unsure why I didn’t have the clarity to say no, we are keeping her inside of me longer to have more time to grow…either way she was taken 3 weeks early and has been trying her best to catch up since then, eating everything she can.

No other babies are on the way, as of right now. We definitely want to expand our family, but want it to be in good timing. Life is complicated, but it is rolling smoothly right now. That is usually when wrenches get thrown in and you are tested. No one has life easy. Everyone struggles with something and their struggles are relative to their lives, not yours. You can’t compare your relationship to mine or even your workout time to mine. Comparing your life to someone else’s without knowing their struggles is not fair. Saying your life/day is harder than someone else’s is selfish. It is all relative to that person’s life and experiences.

Just because I have not experienced the same kind of loss as you doesn’t mean my hurt is any less significant. We all have a wrench thrown into our seamlessly ideal days from time to time. Some are huge and alter life completely and others are small barely noticeable. How you respond to these are key. Are you supporting your spouse/friend/family during these times? Are you alienating people when these moments happen or are you taking charge and handling your business? Making sure you have people in your corner that you haven’t settled for, to back you up no matter what the case makes a difference. Be selective with those that you choose to have in your corner. Not all are worthy of being there.


New Food Review:

Indian Coconut Curry Cauliflower: I can tell that I will be making this A LOT when the cold weather comes to visit South Georgia. The only thing I plan to change next time is adding in more ginger. I love the way ginger tastes in curry dishes.


M E N U

Sticky Ginger Sesame Chicken Meatballs

California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado + Rice Bowls

Zesty Shrimp and Sweet Peach Salad

30-minute Chicken Fajitas + Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

Steak Fajita Bowl


Sticky Ginger Sesame Chicken Meatballs

I have a lot of love for any recipe that uses ginger and rice. I always add way more ginger than what it says to. It is just so flavorful and good! If you haven’t ever used fresh ginger don’t be intimidated, it is so good and easy to use. It usually pairs with garlic and the two cooking down together will make you want to eat that meal right then!

I can’t wait to do a review of this meal next week! I am sure that it will be a hit.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
2 green onions, finely chopped, plus more for serving
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
*more for extra flavor
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
black pepper
1 head broccoli, cut into florets or 1 winter squash, seeded and sliced
into 1/4 inch wedges
*broccoli 
2 tablespoons sesame oil, or extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil 
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (equal amounts of apple cider or orange juice are great substitutes)
*apple cider
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (make sure to use GF, if needed)
2 tablespoons honey
*1 ounce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
*rice vinegar 
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, using more or less to taste
steamed rice, sesame seeds, and pomegranate arils, for serving 
*1/2 cup cooked rice per bowl 

California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado + Rice Bowls

So. Much. Food. For less than 400 calories you can’t beat this meal. I upped the number of vegetables and lowered the amount of avocado. I love the creamy avocado sauce mixed in with the rice, vegetables, and chicken. I was a little impatient and didn’t let the marinade sit long on the chicken. I put the chicken on a sheet pan, sprayed both sides with low-calorie olive oil, and seasoned up. I love it when a marinade has tons of fresh herbs. I skipped mixing the herbs and seasonings with olive oil and used lemon juice instead.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
CHICKEN
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
*chicken breast 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*lemon juice 
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
kosher salt and black pepper

THE RICE + VEGGIES + AVOCADO
2 red bell peppers, cut into fourths
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
*2-3 zucchini 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit olive oil 
2 avocados, mashed very well
*3 ounces, less than medium 1 avocado
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
2 cups cooked basmati rice
*jasmine rice or your preference of rice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
*omit walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta, goat, or blue cheese
*non-fat feta or goat cheese

Zesty Shrimp and Sweet Peach Salad

Oh, this salad gets me so excited for supper and lunch the next day. To say I loved this salad is an understatement. I have used the zesty seasoning so many times since then and it never disappoints.

The first time I made this dish, I did a mixture of shrimp and chicken last time, which was a great cheap way to get more protein in. The chicken was great, but the shrimp were right on the money. So good. The lemon and lime zest mixed with the spices, and one ounce of honey…such a good combination! This time I am going to use backstrap. It is super lean and we have a good bit of it saved up in the freezer right now.

To be 100% honest it is SO frustrating trying to calculate the macros for this dish because there are so many separate parts to it. I put everything into one recipe on my app, but keep all the ingredients separate to divide evenly to each salad. It is tedious, but worth it to get the exact macros. When I made this dish before, the macros were 286 calories, 42.2 grams of protein, 20.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.7 grams of fat. I did add some extra shrimp for the second day because the calories are very low and the shrimp was amazing.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined 
*meat of choice 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
*zero calorie olive oil spray
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon honey
*1 ounce 
zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime 
kosher salt and pepper 
4 thick slices ciabatta bread 
*omit 
6 cups mixed greens spinach or arugula 
1 peach, thinly sliced
*245 grams (split into 4 servings) 
2 ears, grilled corn, kernels removed 
*1 cup sweet corn 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved if large 
AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE 
1 avocado, halved and pitted
*3 ounces 
1 cup fresh cilantro 
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded, if desired 
juice of 1 lime 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*4 Tablespoons 
1 pinch of kosher salt 

30-minute Chicken Fajitas + Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

Typically I use pork butt to pair with this bowl, but I don’t already have one in the freezer so I am going to stick with the chicken. This is one of my favorite salsas to make and it would pair well with shrimp, chicken, steak, or pork!

Tomatillos can be hard to find around here, but you can substitute with jarred salsa verde. It really hasn’t made much of a difference when I have had to substitute, other than I like the fresh-roasted taste. I added all the ingredients in the blender with the Verde, topped it off with pineapple, and it was still a great salsa. I am going to hopefully find some tomatillos this week and roast them in the oven with the vegetables. I only used 1/3rd of a cup of pineapple in each bowl this week, but plan to use more.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit 
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6-8 small flour tortillas, warmed
*1/2 cup cooked jasmine rice per bowl 
*limes for topping 

ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE
6 small tomatillos, husked
*salsa verde if no tomatillos
1 jalapeño
4 green onions
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
*add garlic 
1 cup diced pineapple 
*1/2 cup per bowl

Steak Fajita Bowl

I have made this recipe before and I mainly like it for the marinade…but I plan to change that up a little bit too. Nothing ever really stays the same when I cook it. I am not going to use it as intended for skewers, but I am going to make it into a steak, veggie, and rice bowl.

I plan to let the steak sit in the marinade overnight and cook it on the stove in my cast-iron pan. I will sear the vegetables with olive oil spray, salt, and pepper. I don’t want the vegetables to get super soft since they will be reheated to eat later, so I will give them a good char with the cast-iron pan as if they were grilled.

Make sure you check to see the changes I am making to the marinade and to the amounts used of other ingredients!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
about 8 metal skewers (or wooden skewers, soaked in water for 10 minutes)
*1/2 cup prepared rice per bowl 
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
*omit oil 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
*1 ounce
*smoked paprika, cayene, lemon zest, lime zest, salt, pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
about 1.5 pounds boneless top sirloin steak center cut, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, diced into bite-sized pieces
*2 green bell peppers, 1 red bell pepper 
1 large zucchini, diced into bite-sized pieces
*1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash
about 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced into bite-sized pieces
*1/2 cup per bowl 
salt and pepper, for seasoning to taste, if desired
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil for garnishing; optional
*cilantro  
*rice

E N J O Y !

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