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Simple Veggie Salad

Recently I have been making big salads for lunch and this recipe is one that I’ve really enjoyed. Very easy, fresh, simple and light. Add a protein of your choice and enjoy!

SIMPLE VEGGIE SALAD

  • 1 handful of mixed spring lettuce
  • 1⁄2 avocado
  • 1⁄2 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1⁄2 red bell pepper chopped
  • sliced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • dash of olive oil
  • OR this Primal Kitchen Dressing
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Big Bear Weekend: The end of an era

This weekend Luke and I headed to Big Bear with two of our favorite couples from law school (both husbands were groomsmen in our wedding). It was something we had talked about for months but only nailed down plans the week before and I’m so glad we did. I think sometimes we like to romanticize long weekends with friends but we’ll make up excuses so that the trips are never executed. I’m so thankful this group didn’t go that route.

Law school is a unique season of life and while I only have the insight of a spouse (no, I was not the one in law school). I do feel as if I have been just as much a part of the late night studying, the early morning flashcards and of course the Bar Prep Luke so diligently took on. It’s draining, taxing and at times feels never-ending. And then all of a sudden, three years later (or two and a half if you’re Luke) you’re graduating! This trip was dedicated to our graduates and I loved celebrating them. As Elle Woods would say:

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When we were deciding on where we would go for this trip it was hard to narrow down our options, which is another reason I love California. We can go to the beach, the mountains or the desert!

Decisions, decisions.

The group (minus Luke) had been to Big Bear, a small city in San Bernardino County, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, earlier this year and loved it. We decided it was time to go back. It’s only about 2 hours from our home in Calabasas and is an easy drive without traffic. We left early Saturday morning and arrived at our cabin around 9:30am.

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I’ve never liked the A-Frame look but this house won me over. It was the perfect spot for our getaway. It had a spiral staircase that went from the loft to the main floor and then down to the lower level. It had a hot tub, lakefront views, a boat dock for Luke to fish on, three bedrooms and two baths with a foosball table and a patio for us to enjoy.

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It’s always so exciting to get to a new place, unload and begin to take it all in. I love what a change in scenery can do for my creativity, mood and dreams.

This weekend we hiked a mountain. I watched our dogs chase each other with big doggy smiles on their faces. We put our feet up. We cooked delicious food, made even better by the company. We laughed and sang songs. I learned new games and new facts about my friends. We fell asleep to snowflakes and woke up to a blanket of white over the previously green mountains. We exchanged stories and worries and dreams. We celebrated our comradery and talked about what the future held for each couple.

And as fast as the weekend came and went, I feel as though it was the first pause I have had in a long time. I don’t know what the factors are that made it feel that way but I’m glad to look back and recognize it.

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The other two women on the trip, Abby and Ellie, have become my best friends during this season and I’m going to miss them terribly when they move to Dallas and Austin. Abby is spirited, smart, quick, caring and fun. Ellie is kind, gracious, stunning and sweet. She knows just what to say when I’m sad and knows how to make me feel special. Maybe one of the factors of feeling that pause this weekend was the reality of their upcoming moves and how that will change things for me.

Maybe it was listening to their dreams and realizing mine still have them here with me.

Yes, I think that’s it. Maybe I’m trying to grab a hold of these last few months that suddenly seem so fleeting. I was soaking in every Mosie and Maui moment (our dogs). And as snap happy as I was with pictures I think I had that same urgency to capture every moment in my heart because friendships like this don’t come around as much as I’d like them to. This group goes together with ease and we’ve had something so special. Maybe all of those factors is why I was finally able to hit pause.

Whatever it was, I’m thankful that at least for a moment, I was cooking with my friends and calling the boys in from the dock for breakfast after fishing.

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Protein Pancakes

This recipe is one that Whitney and I found years ago and we still love it! I find pancakes with eggs, sugar and white flour to be far to heavy for me so this is a healthier, lighter option.

PROTEIN PANCAKES 

  • 1 packet or scoop Perfect Fit Protein
  • 1⁄2 banana, mashed
  • 1⁄2 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1⁄4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Cook like regular pancakes and enjoy!

26 Lessons I Learned by 26

Last week I turned 26 years old. Which is strange because I feel like just last week I was celebrating my Golden Birthday, 25 on April 25th. Turning 25 was fun, it still felt young, it was my first birthday being married and my twin sister, Whitney, was here with us celebrating.

Turning 26 was very different. A week before my birthday I received an early morning phone call from one of my best friends to tell me her sister had died in a car accident. Four days later was the funeral of Nancy-Jane David, who felt like a little sister to me in high school. I haven’t shared any of this on my social media platforms out of respect for her family but they have since shared and will continue to. We had all been together just three weeks before at Georgia’s bridal shower. I had not seen Nancy-Jane in a year or two and one of my main takeaways from that shower was NJ. She was stunning. She was smart. She had everything in life to look forward to. She told me about her plans to continue grad-school in New York City. I encouraged her to do so and we laughed about a few memories we had from when I lived there. I remember in recapping the excitement of the shower with my mom and gramma, my need to express to them how amazing Nancy-Jane was and how happy I was to see her thriving. What a beauty! Inside and out. 

Ever since I heard the news I have not stopped praying or thinking about Nancy’s family, my second family in high school. And as my birthday rolled around, I felt it to be completely unfair. How can I grow another year older when someone we have loved so much will never be 26? This felt and still feels heavy on me. It’s not something I can fully express. 

Luke organized a surprise dinner party for me with some of our friends in Malibu and as I expressed my gratitude for them, I told them what I had been thinking all day. “This year, perhaps more than ever, I am thankful to grow older, because I recognize not everyone gets to be 26. I cherish today in their honor.” 

I feel almost an urgency to write the below. I want to be able to remember what God has been teaching me, to see and recall how He is moving in my life and in the lives of others. We will not know this side of heaven why some of us live to be 21 and others 105, but I do know this, I will see Nancy-Jane again in glory thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Georgia so eloquently has said, “All is well NJ.”

26 LESSONS I LEARNED BY 26

  1. Life is short and meant to be cherished.
  2. You should definitely move across the country a few days after your honeymoon.
    • My mom and mother in law won’t necessarily agree with this first lesson (I love you both!), so I am here to explain briefly. One of the most exciting and challenging things Luke and I did in our first year of marriage was move me across the country. The “leave and cleave” move that law school required allowed us to create our own family unit and bound us together early on.
  3. My husband, Luke, is a renaissance man. During my 25th year of life and our 1st year of marriage he sang and led worship at a funeral and then 2 weeks later, he did so again at a wedding. All while studying for the California Bar Exam.
  4. A growing family is a huge blessing.
    • I never thought much about my husband’s family before I got married, I think when I did think about marriage I thought solely about my husband and kind of obsessed over him (and how tall he would be). I could have never dreamed up the family I would gain through marriage. I have the most incredible mother and father in law and gained three little sisters. I like to say little even though the oldest is just a year or two behind me. We also gained a brother this year through my twin sister. She married an amazing man named Jeff who has quickly become one of Luke’s best friends.
  5. Holidays change as you get older but it’s always for the better.
    • A big takeaway from this past year was thinking back on holidays and how they change with a growing family. Don’t be worried. It’s fun to have new traditions and people to share them with.
  6. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
    • This lesson I have learned by living far away from family, specifically my mom and sister. Living on the opposite coast of Whitney, I call her at breakfast and she is eating lunch!
  7. Focus and invest in the friendships that lift you up and encourage you.
  8. Different life stages require different friendships.
  9. Tame your tongue.
    • I could try to fully explain this lesson but instead I’ll share this link. 
  10. Prayer is powerful.
  11. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  12. Choosing to be grateful can cancel out anxiety, frustration, worry and fear.
  13. Her success is not your failure.
  14. Delegation and communication are the two key components of a strong operating startup.
  15. Face to face communication (especially in conflict) is always best.
  16. Document moments but don’t let that take you away from being present.
  17. Traveling is the perfect way to broaden your horizons and can give inspiration that helps you dream bigger. See more here.
  18. Mom knows best. *These are in no specific order, or this one would be higher up!
  19. A healthy lifestyle is a moment to moment choice.
  20. Balance is a continual journey never a destination.
  21. Don’t forget to give yourself grace.
  22. As much as you work and play be sure to rest.
  23. Dogs really are man’s best friends.
  24. Beach walks can be healing.
  25. Show up.
  26. The best is yet to be!

Whole 30 Cobb Salad

Recently, I have been enjoying a homemade Cobb Salad during my lunch break.

One of my favorite perks of working from home is having the ability to make my lunch and use my kitchen during my lunch break. I love being in the kitchen. The best part (in my opinion) about this lunch is the whole 30 approved Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing. I got mine at Erewhon Calabasas but if you don’t have an Erewhon nearby it’s also at Whole Foods.

Whole 30 Cobb Salad

Ingredients:

  • Living Lettuce (Or any type of greens)
  • Purple onion
  • Tomato
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Bacon
  • Shredded chicken or sliced turkey
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Avocado oil
  • Avocado Ranch by Primal Kitchen

You can adjust your serving size to whatever you need but I usually like to fill a plate with greens and then use kitchen shears to cut them up so I can have lots and lots of them. Then I will do 2 pieces of bacon, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/4 chopped yellow bell pepper, a few cherub tomatoes and a dash of Avocado Ranch dressing.

Top with salt and pepper, enjoy!

Vanilla Protein Smoothie

This morning, after my workout and catching up with clients, I decided to go ahead and run a few errands. Usually, I’ll make a veggie omelette each morning BUT today I needed something quick to get out the door.

My Vanilla Protein Smoothie was the perfect option.

VANILLA PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Recipe:

  • 1 cup frozen spinach (I get a bag at Costco and keep it in my freezer.)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder from Traders Joe’s
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy! Preferably on the beach and not in your car running errands. 🙂

Easter Weekend 2017

It’s the morning after Easter! I hope you and your families had an amazing weekend. 

We were up early and headed to Santa Monica where we attend Vintage Church LATo our family, Easter is a day of celebration but something that we focus on every day. The resurrection and new life we find in Jesus Christ! He is risen!

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And can I just say that all of the volunteers and staff at our church truly outdid themselves this year. It was gorgeous! Their main decoration piece was flowers… and you know how I love flowers. 

Yesterday afternoon we had joined friends in Westlake at Luke’s bosses house. It was so fun for me to get to know everyone he’s working with and their families. We are kind of Pepperdine obsessed!

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We wrapped up the day with a beach walk with our dear friends the McCollum’s. Soaking in all the time we can with friends who are graduating and moving in May.

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