Gratitude List


I find myself being very happy lately. I’ve seriously had multiple moments in the past few days alone where I had to stop, take a look around me, take in a deep breath and just be amazed at my life.

I wish I could say this was because I won the powerball or something but honestly I’m just happy and I feel incredibly lucky to have this happiness in my life.

I thought I’d share a gratitude list with you today and try to capture it all before I forget!

Living in Colorado – I was hiking with the pups on Saturday and I had to stop for a moment to take it all in. Even after living in Colorado for 5 years now it continues to take my breath away. I cannot believe that a view like this is right out my backdoor! This is a hike at the top of our neighborhood that takes 2 minutes to get to…2 minutes! It’s our Saturday tradition to go up and hike in the morning when the world is beautiful and quiet. Well quiet except for the panting ;)

Steve – I just love my husband so much. Our relationship is stronger and better than ever and I am very grateful to have found him. He makes me laugh every day and he also laughs at my jokes which is just as important to me. He makes me feel safe and loved and needed. Okay…mushy moment over. photo 3

Fall – I don’t want to jump the gun here but FALL IS HERE….FALL IS HERE. It’s my absolute, hands down most favorite time of the year. We are planning to drive up the mountain and see the changing aspens on Thursday and I cannot wait. Fall means school and college football. It means pumpkin spice lattes and comforting chili. It means a crispness to the air that is cleansing and refreshing. Fall feels like more of a fresh start to me than new year does.

School – speaking of school I am so glad to be back. My work situation isn’t the best right now and having school in my life keeps me happy, motivated and fulfilled. With each week that passes I am more and more sure of my decision to go into nursing. Plus, I’m finally feeling confident and together this year – it only took a whole month!

Vacation – not to dismiss school so quickly but we are going to the beach in approximately 2 months, 19 days, 6 hours and 2 minutes. So yeah, I’m a little excited.

Being inspired in the kitchen – yes, this is something to be happy about. For a while I just didn’t want to cook or spend time prepping food but I’m back in the swing of things. Food is my passion and I love to create healthy new meals that keep me feeling good.

Recipe for TIU

The pups – last but certainly not least. I love these two goobers more than I could put into words. They make me so happy every day. When Hula grows up she wants to be just like Franco.

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Remember, happiness is a choice. No matter what is going on in your life you have the power to choose happiness every day. I hope you do.

Brussels Sprouts & Orange Quinoa

Hello! I actually have a bona fide recipe for you today. And it’s a good one! I’m submitting it to be featured in the new update of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, so wish me luck. This is a great dish to start making as Brussels sprouts and oranges come into season. But if I’m truly honest, I enjoy this combo year round because I can’t get enough. It’s great to make in big batches for lunch during the school/work week and puts a unique spin on the grain & bean combo that us vegheads love. Recipe for TIU Brussels Sprouts & Orange Quinoa Makes 3-4 servings and keeps well for a few days.

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup cannellini beans
  • 2 oranges, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Quarter and roast Brussels sprouts in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa on stovetop. (I have a rice maker that makes perfectly fluffy quinoa on the white rice setting, best investment ever!)
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and voila. Yumminess at your fingertips.

3 servings is right around 400 calories of plant-based goodness. Let me know if you try it!

What I want to be when I grow up

For the life of me I cannot understand how it is Sunday at 7pm. I swear I was just writing this post about my crazy schedule and BAM here I am a week later doing pretty much the same thing.

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I promised I would recap my workouts and by workouts I mean I took 5 of the last 8 days off ;)

  • Sunday – off
  • Monday – Tone It Up Stair Circuit & 3 rounds of back to school workout
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – mile walk with the pups
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – HIIT the Beach from Beach Babe DVD 1
  • Saturday – 2 mile hike with the pups, Tone It Up Stair Circuit, Inner & Outer Thighs and stacking wood.
  • Today – mile walk with the pups

Sometimes shit happens. And in this case shit was visiting with family, going to class, working 10 hour days at the hospital AND working 32 hours on top of that. Yes, I believe that qualifies as shit.

Oh and snuggling. I did lots of snuggling this week.

photo 3

Good news is that I’m already 2 weeks through the roughest part. Bad news is that I just realized I’m going 7.5 weeks without a single day off, not 6.5 like I originally thought. I’m trying to enjoy the craziness this semester. Instead of “putting my life on hold” while I’m busy with school I want to continue to live it and be happy because Nursing School is 2 years of my life! That’s just too much life to put on hold.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to be when I grow up (which I’m not sure will ever really happen!). Of course I want to be a nurse…Hell, I’m not spending all my money and energy on this whole school thing for nothing…


No I did not get bangs again…..Recycled selfie

If there’s one question I hear a million times a week it’s “what kind of nursing do you want to do?” Patients, instructors, nurses I’m shadowing with and especially nurses that are my patients (love them!) are all curious as to my future plans. My big joke is that I’ll take any nursing job that pays once school is over.

And while that is partly true, I do have a specific career goal in mind…one that is actually very possible for me!

I want to be a diabetic educator. Moreover, I want to work closely with patients on how to manage their diabetes both through medication and lifestyle choices. I want to teach cooking classes to diabetic patients who are unsure what foods to eat. I want to lead fitness classes for patients who want to start exercising for health. I want to work one-on-one with patients to really change their lives for the better. I want to be a health coach of sorts for diabetics and non-diabetics alike (I’ve already started with my Aunt and I’m really enjoying it!).

So that’s my plan. Right now I’m just working on my RN. I plan to test for my personal trainer certification in December. And then I plan to start on my Master’s within the next couple of years and get a concentration in Diabetic Education. I’m not sure what kind of certification I want for the nutrition bit, but that’s something I’m really looking forward to. In the end I have a whole lot more schooling to do but I know I’ll enjoy every bit so I can’t wait!

Will I be able to start in this field right out of school? Who knows. If I can’t I know that I really enjoy MedSurg and would love to do that for a couple of years while I keep collecting certifications and degrees. However, there is a program here that I’m very excited about that would actually be the perfect opportunity. Only time will tell.

Before After June 2014

If you’ve been reading long enough you know my story and know that my passions are food and fitness so I’m sure that this comes as no surprise to anyone. I’m excited to continue my journey and happy to have you along for the ride!

Anyhoo that’s enough randomness for a Sunday night. Tell me…what do you want to be when you grow up? It’s never to late to start living the life you really want!