A curated collection of our tastes.

I’m Cheating On Chick-Fil-A

Well I’ll admit, Nathan and I attempted Whole30/Paleo in the past…and it was more of a Whole5 situation if I’m being honest. We didn’t eat horribly (we both grew up eating clean, good food) but once we were in college and started making our own eating choices…we discovered that the Christian Chicken (and other combinations of bread and cheese) made more appearances than they should have. Plus, Nathan and I both work full time, so I don’t have the ability to come home and cook an extravagant, full meal without us both starving to death!

Fast forward to Nathan’s birthday at the end of March. He started having some pain and pressure in his stomach. His birthday was on Saturday, he went to the doctor on Monday, and on Tuesday his blood work came back with results of Pancreatitis. Immediately I started looking up ways to get rid of this thing. I’m pretty crunchy when it comes to doctors and medicine, and I try to avoid both at all costs. From all of the research I did…everything was diet based. I went home, threw away basically everything in our pantry and put us both on a strict diet. One week of gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, no processed or fried foods and the pain was gone for Nathan. The following week he had a CT Scan scheduled to assure us that there was nothing more than just the Pancreatitis. The results came back from that, and everything looked great! #praisehands With this condition, once it’s gone, it’s gone. It typically doesn’t flare up or anything.

We started talking more and more about how (surprisingly) easy it was for us to eat clean. Granted, it was at the risk of his well-being and that definitely factored into it. Knowing that my husbands health was on the line made me never want to look at fried chicken again. However, we noticed that any other time we had tried to eat clean, there was a HUGE mental battle. For anyone who doesn’t have this problem…props. But for me, it felt like a war between my stomach and my mind. Once you let that mental block go…it’s smooth sailing. Food is just food. It’s purpose entirely is just fuel for you body, fuel to do the things in life that REALLY matter. But that concept got lost somewhere between GMO and government cheese. Viewing it as just fuel and not revolving our days around it was a game changer for us.

Nathan and I found a few tips that I wanted to share with anyone who is potentially trying to eat well:

1. Make it the new normal. Eating clean didn’t mean we didn’t go on date nights or couldn’t have desserts. We now FREQUENT El Felix and split fajitas, followed by a our absolute favorite new ice cream and a movie at home. Side note: coming from the girl who ate ColdStone EVERY WEEK for six years, this ice cream is GOOD! It’s the only one we’ve found that we now prefer over others.

2. Snack, snacks, snacks. We are both huge snackers. If it were up to me, I would snack the whole day and instead of eating full meals. We found a few of our favorite crackers, macaroons, chips and so on that make it feel more normal than eating Kale chips and pretending like they’re good. If you can’t do any dairy, this brand has other flavors that are delicious as well.

3. Try new foods you didn’t like before. This whole thing completely cleansed my palette. I essentially ate so much processed crap that I never even tasted flavors of real food. Food I hated before, I love now because I can actually taste it! Y’all…that’s how bad it was.

4. CHOICE MEALS. I can’t stress this one enough. I got this term from my sister and love it so much. I hate the idea of a “cheat meal” because cheating is the worst, and who wants to feel that way? She says, “If you’re eating 21 meals a week and 3 of those meals are “cheat meals”, then you’re still eating about 85% clean.” Which is GOOD! Now that Nathan’s health is no longer at risk, we could technically eat whatever, we are just choosing not to.

5. Think about what you eat. Make a smart decision instead of just pulling up to a drive thru and ordering a number 5, 8 count with a large sweet tea because you’re too lazy to think of a better alternative, and it’s what you’re used to. That’s where we were. #preach

6. Last but not least, find alternatives. For some reason I thought I was going to DIE without bread, so i got Ezekial bread english muffins (cinnamon raisin) for breakfast, which are YUM by the way. We also found this gluten free, dairy free pizza…because who doesn’t love to cozy up with some Netflix and a pizza? I know I do.

I switched out coffee for green tea, so i still had caffeine (can’t do black coffee…I’m weak). And most importantly I started realizing that most of what Nathan and I did revolved around food, so we started finding other ways to plan our days than around what we ate. And, although we still enjoy food, it forced us to get more creative with dates and ways we spent our time.

Gracious, this is long and if you got to the end then you are the real MVP. I could probably go on for days about clean eating and how much it has changed our lives, but I won’t bore you with the details. But take it from the girl who was in tears on Day 4 of Whole30 – if I can do it, literally…ANYONE can.



Mother’s Day


Celebrating my mom is EASY. She is the most incredible woman I have ever known. Not only did she devote over 20 years of her life to raising 8 children, but she also stayed patient, kind and humble the whole way through. My dad was in ministry for a long time, and Mom was telling us today that Mother’s Days used to look very different than it does now. Apart from coffee in bed, she pretty much got the kids out the door and to church by herself. ANY ounce of celebration she gets these days is very well-deserved.


This Mother’s Day looked a little different than most, because now most of my sister’s are mothers as well…and they deserve celebrating! We skipped church (#grace) and instead of doing a BIG lunch with everybody, we opted to do brunch at Seed in Marietta with those who live close. After enjoying all of the joys that brunch has to offer, we were ready to chill for the rest of the afternoon. We went back to my Mom and Dad’s house and put together an array of snacks to graze on, got a dessert in the fridge and hung around for a few hours. Once my oldest sisters got there with their families we naturally tried to recreate an Easter picture from 15 years ago (these are the things you do when all 8 kids are together at one time). The rest of the afternoon was a breeze: opening gifts, telling little ones to be quiet because babies were asleep…the normal things that happen when 25+ people are together.


I love my family…and I am so incredibly proud to be related to them. They are the smartest, kindest, most loyal humans I know, and together I think we could conquer the world. But the best part is thinking that we wouldn’t be where we are without the sweet, soft-spoken, warrior that raised us.




Go-To Summer Bag

My mom always taught me about handbags and what seasons are appropriate for which bags. Leather works all the time, straw is for summer, suede is for fall and winter…and so on. Like most things my mom taught me, I never appreciated it until I was older; but all that information is now GOLD. Momma’s are good like that — under-appreciated at times, but always on point.

Summer is always tricky to me. I never want dark bags because almost everything I wear in the Summer is bright. White bags freak me out because I wear dark denim (and there are just some things you can’t cure). Having something that is so easy to get dirty is never ideal in my mind. I also have the constant struggle of everything needing to match, another thing I got from my Mom…it’s a blessing and a curse.

With all of these things in play, I landed on a light grey purse for Summer — and boy, do I LOVE it! When I say it goes with everything, I mean it goes with everything. This particular one was a gift from my sweet co-workers last Summer from the Kate Spade Outlet. It has shorter handle straps (but also comes with a detachable long strap) and is a great medium size bag. I can fit all of my usual items in it, but can also put an iPad in the side zipper. It’s very ideal for the working woman, too. 🙂 I typically carry it all Summer with the exception of my light pink crossbody from Old Navy (see every Instagram #OOTD I’ve ever posted), which is also a GREAT bag to have for weekend errands or traveling!

It may not seem like much, but a handbag is something you take with you everywhere you go! Invest accordingly!