About Danielle Lewis

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mimosa cupcakes


How do you solve the dilemma of wanting a brunch-y beverage but having to work? Mimosa Cupcakes!

We said goodbye to another fabulous staff member on Friday and had a delicious work breakfast to send her off. I went with mini cupcakes this time around because they’re cuter and with less calories and sugar, are a more appropriate morning indulgence.

I’ve made this recipe before, but I messed up with my frosting and it turned out yummy but runny which is no bueno for frosting. I ditched the cream cheese (sad, I know) and went with a mimosa buttercream instead and it came out perfectly!


Champagne Cupcakes

I followed this recipe. Since they were minis it only took about 10 minutes to bake and made SO MINI! 😉

Mimosa Frosting

  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 TBSP prosecco or champagne
  • 2 TBSP OJ
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter until creamy, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add your liquids, mix and say cheers!


the five stages of moving in with your significant other

While I’ve lived away from home in a dorm room, an apartment, a townhouse and even a beach house, during and after college, I always ended up back at home. Today marks one and a half weeks since I’ve officially moved out, and in, with my boyfriend. My heart is so full of joy. I’ve found myself walking around wondering what is going wrong that I’m forgetting about, but nothing is. I’m really not trying to brag here, just getting across how I do not know how to be still and let things be good. And it took me quite a while to reach this place.


some of our new decor curtesy of target

  1. Hesitancy. When he first moved to Virginia about eight months after we got back together, I thought we had to move in with each other immediately. I didn’t think it would be reasonable for me to ask him to move here just to date me. As his job hunt ensued, I started to get a little bit nervous. What if I was making the biggest mistake of my life? I did not want to be the girl who made herself so incredibly vulnerable with such a big risk of having my heart broken. We could live happily ever after, but we could also break up. Or, even worse, I could go to hell for being a heathen. When I told him how I was feeling I expected the worst but he respected my decision and moved into his own apartment, instead of in with me. It took me six months to feel comfortable enough to seriously reconsider the idea. The first week into April, after many heartfelt conversations, I knew I was ready. I can’t say I’ve done very many things in my life at a time when I truly could handle it; this feels so meant to be.
  2. Overwhelming Emotions. It was pretty terrifying to surrender having my own space and then to tell people about it. I’ve always been one to care about what others think, more than I should. I didn’t want to be judged and risk losing respect or love from people close to me. I also didn’t want to make God angry. I’m really not an overly religious person anymore, but it is a scary thought, to tick off the creator of the universe. I’m not going to go any deeper into my thought process on this specific topic, but I came to terms with my decision and truly do not believe cohabitation with the person I want to spend my life with is wrong. I so badly want to justify my reasoning, but for once I am going to keep my mouth shut on that one. I’m trying to teach myself that it is okay to have people be disappointed in you or not agree with your decisions. I wake up every day and put my best self forward (if I slip up, said cohabitator makes me take a step back.) I was genuinely surprised by the excitement most friends and family shared with us, as well as my own lack of panic. This is a giant step in our relationship and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!
  3. Responsibility. It kind of felt like getting washed under a big wave that crashed into me unexpectedly when I thought about the financial burden I was undertaking right at the time I’m going back to school. You know that feeling? I’m a freak in the ocean, so it may just be me. I could have stayed at home but the commute and minimal time with my boyfriend were not things I was willing to carry over into my new chapter. I’m also going to miss things being taken care of, regardless of if I do them, which is probably the most beautiful thing that occurs while living under your parents’ roof. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend is very responsible and pretty neat for a boy, so I’m not too worried, but there are a lot of every day tasks that I was not doing and am now in charge of again. I suppose that is an inevitable part of growing up.
  4. Organization. With the apartment already being fully furnished, the largest thing I had to bring was my desk. For three straight weeks I pestered people to help me tote bins and shopping bags to and from my car. I think it took about 10 car loads… and I scaled down. By some kind of miracle, all my stuff fit in his closet that he so graciously reorganized to give me 75% of space. It has been so much fun/comical trying to figure out how to blend our styles together to decorate our place. I donated most of my pink belongings to my brother’s girlfriend and he has promised (politely been forced) to keep the Marvel items to a minimum. I think things are going very nicely.
  5. Contentment. We are settled in and love having a place we call our own. Hosting people is so much more exciting now too! I can’t forget to add that we have a pool now. I have been wanting a pool for my whole life and I cannot wait to stroll several feet out the back door in my bikini where relaxation is waiting for me. I’m ready to soak up the sun and enjoy every second of summer!!

It’s obviously too soon to tell if moving in together was the “right” decision. I’m feeling pretty optimistic though. Of course the step before moving in, that I was raised to understand as normal, does cross my mind but that wasn’t it for us a) because he’s in charge of the ring-giving and b) because we’re two broke twenty-somethings who are still in school. That has been established as happening in our future, which I’m of course thrilled for, but I’m actively focusing on the wonderful present. As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent way too much time wishing my days away.

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This is in no way me saying go move in with your significant other or that it will be great. This is me saying, follow your heart and do not let what others think of you keep you from finding your own way.

how always waiting for the next big thing can keep you from enjoying every day

I was stuck inside of a crystal glass cage that was slowly getting smaller as I pounded the walls with all of my might to break free; it didn’t budge. That’s how last week felt and I think that describes anxiety, but I wasn’t a psych major. The whole problem was, I was a dietetics major and on April 3rd, I didn’t get matched to a internship.


Okay, so this isn’t a good example of enjoying the little things but it’s a picture where I look really happy and that’s the point. 

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I actually handled the situation a lot better than I expected at the time. It helped a bit that my brother’s girlfriend had to ride back from DC with us where we had all spent the day trying to distract me from the 7pm notification time. Even though we’re close, I felt bad crying in front of her so I just casually let a few unnoticed tears fall until she got out of the car and I sobbed, angrily.

The amount of support I got back from everyone who had been rooting for me made me realize a few things. 1) I have an INCREDIBLE support system to fall back on when I need them to lift me up and 2) I must be a pretty amazing person even if these internships can’t see it because all of these people believed in me. The kicker was that I was on a director’s list, I just didn’t get matched because they over-list applicants and the computer does the dirty work.

I had a week from hell trying to fill out applications for second round, made up of programs with openings for people who did not get matched. I was also trying to figure out what my next move was if I didn’t get an internship. How much longer was I going to keep at this unreachable dream in front of me. It was a whirlwind of emotion and a lot of depression A couple hundred dollars and all of my buttons pushed later, I got an email.

I got an offer.

And I accepted.

So this is the part where it seems I should tell you that if you work hard enough your dreams come true. I feel like that’s what happened for me but I am confident if I didn’t get one I would have mended my broken heart with the support of the amazing people I get to call my friends and family. My boyfriend and I picked up a few scratchers the night before the email came through. I of course picked out the ones decorated with cute little cupcakes. Right before I scratched mine off I looked up at him and excitedly said, “if I win something and I don’t get an internship, this is what I pursue next.” I won two dollars, and we did not cash it in. I’m a big “sign” person and I feel that me accepting that life will go on is why I got accepted, I’m keeping that as a reminder. I feel like I was being taught a painful lesson. I learned from it and got my way, so it is a win, win.

The program is distance so I won’t have to leave the area which I am super grateful for because my poor boyfriend agreed to move to anywhere in the US with me to help me achieve what I needed to move forward with my career. He’s really the best.

Even though I have all this exciting stuff happening I’m pretty overwhelmed by the amount of things I have to get done and the financial burden I’m about to endure to get through this internship. I absolutely know it’s worth it but it’s going to be a challenging year. I thought that when I got accepted that I would be bouncing off the walls with pure joy for the rest of my life. It’s funny how that works, our brains think that once you achieve this, than that, and then finally get there everything will be great and you will find happiness. But that’s not the case.

We need to find joy in every single day. One small thing, as simple as your cup of coffee is acceptable. If you keep trying to pass every second of the days you’re waiting for the next big thing, you’re literally throwing your life away. I see that now because I’ve spent the last year and a half in misery because I wasn’t where I wanted to be financially, mentally, psychically, geographically, spiritually, occupationally. You name it, I was unsatisfied.

The growth I’ve experienced is pretty incredible and I’m really proud of myself. My therapist recommended I give myself a little mantra if you will – something to read every day to remind me that things are better than they appear some days and to keep moving forward while I also let myself enjoy the exciting stuff that is happening.

I tried this a few years ago and it really didn’t stick but I’m giving it another shot.

“Do not harbor negative thoughts. You are wonderful and you are loved. You have earned your successes and your failures do not define you. Soak up the sunshine and smile. Enjoy the little things happening around you each day and never let your fear of being hurt keep you from letting others care for you. You are beautiful and if you look past your imperfections you will find perfection is never what you were striving for anyway, it was an outward symbol of your self worth but you have nothing to prove to anybody. Do you and never give up. Now go out there and make the world a better place just because you’re in it.”




what to do when you’re waiting for the day when everything will change

Four days. In four days everything will change. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit but that’s how it feels. On April 3rd at 6pm I will log on to a site where I paid a computer to (fingers crossed so tightly) match me to one of the dietetic internships I applied to. I’ve been waiting for this day since I decided to pass on applications in February of 2014; since I got denied one of the four slots available for the Virginia WIC Dietetic Internship last July; since I paid $46 to fed ex some checks to internships because the day applications were due/everything needed to be postmarked was a federal holiday.

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Cap Mac food truck in DC. Cheeze-It crumbles. Need I say more?

Waiting is difficult. I have little to no patience and as each day goes on, the harder the waiting game becomes. I was explaining this whole situation to my therapist the other day and she wasn’t quite understanding how important match day is. I told her that I want to become a dietitian so badly that just thinking about it sets a fire within me because I’ve never wanted something so badly in my entire life. She gave me a wide-eyed look and said, “I can see that.”

I’ve done literally everything in my power since graduation to overcome the giant boulder in my way that is having graduated with a lousy GPA in order to become a competitive internship applicant. I feel so deeply that I deserve this and I couldn’t want it anymore. I’m absolutely terrified of being rejected for the second time because at that point I may need to face that this is not my reality at the moment and reassess what in the world I’m going to do with my life. I constantly have to keep reminding myself that if I don’t get accepted it doesn’t mean that I’m not good enough period, just that I’m not good enough to be a 2016/2017 intern. I seriously don’t want to have to swallow that pill. Again.

I have been trying to occupy all of my time so that I don’t go crazy thinking about every second passing bringing me closer to the announcement. I’ve found myself constantly checking my planner to see if I can somehow fill it with more things to do. Yesterday I made a list of what happens if I get accepted to an internship, for each one, as well as some back up plans. That helped for about 4 hours.

If you’re ever in a situation like this, here is a list of things I’ve found helpful in calming me down and passing the time.

  1. Go to a food truck festival. We hit one up this weekend in DC and despite the frigid windy weather, some bangin’ mac & cheese and a few glasses of wine made me forget all my worries. Not to mention watching some veeerrrry drunk people make fools of themselves by pretending a giant foam mustache was a trumpet and grinding on a girl who may or may not have wanted to be within a 50 mile radius of said drunk person.
  2. Run. Not away, just for exercise. Leave all your trouble behind you as each foot hits the pavement.
  3. Take a relaxing bubble bath. This was my plan Monday night but I ended up spending 4.5 hours on food prep. That also kept me occupied, but that’s a weird thing to put on this list.
  4. Volunteer in your community. You will leave glad you passed some time being a good person. I have an event coming up Saturday where I will be, of course, talking about healthy eating as part of overall stress relief for child abuse prevention month. I’m pumped that prepping for that will kill some major time for the rest of the week.
  5. Candlelit yoga. A calming environment leading up to the few minutes of bliss where you get to lie there in perfectly still Shavasana. Great use of time, also wonderful couple activity if you’re into being cute.
  6. Plan something new and exciting. Me and one of my besties are going to run a 10K in June and I spent a good amount of time yesterday preparing a training plan because I’ve never run 6.2 miles before and don’t wanna be left in the dust.
  7. Reorganize and declutter. It’s always refreshing. Just don’t pack away clothes for one season before the next starts thinking you’re ridding yourself of it cause the cold air is still kicking my butt for that one.
  8. Read. My girlfriends and I have completed our third book of 2016 for our book club. I’m learning a lot and feeling smarter already.
  9. Listen to podcasts. They’re free!! I’ve been hooked on podcasts for the last several months, starting with Serial, about the Adnan Syed case. It’s been extra fun because I’ve been binging every time I’m alone in my car to catch up on past episodes. Podcasters are extremely articulate and I’ve found myself articulating better as well! I’ve never been great at speaking, everything gets super jumbled and comes out wrong, but I’m getting better. I’m also saying the f word a lot more because one of the podcasts I listen to does. I’m seriously like an impressionable toddler.
  10. Everything happens for a reason and you can’t change the outcome at this point so keep that chin up and keep moving forward!

funfetti Easter cupcakes

Last weekend we were supposed to have our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Unfortunately, we got rained and snowed out. It’s totally my bad, I decided to pack up all my winter clothes last week and put them away in the basement for the first time in my entire life. I basically asked for that to happen. Because I can’t predict the future, I had to have cupcakes ready, which worked out perfectly because for the first time ever I’m publishing a cupcake recipe with adequate time for readers to bake them for their own festivities!!


Me counting my eggs after last year’s event. I won. 

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Funfetti Cupcakes

I’ve been using this recipe every year for my boyfriend’s birthday and he was dying for some. It’s his half birthday this month so that was fitting. I didn’t want the typical sprinkle colors to take away from the beautiful pastels of Easter so I looked for some pastel colored sprinkles. Target hooked me up!

Follow this recipe for the cupcakes and double it to make 24. You have to line the pan with cute Easter-y liners first tho!

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 TBSP milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
  • pastel green food coloring

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping edges of bowl as needed. Add milk slowly, then vanilla. Add the fluff. It gets a little sticky and is pretty thick but it’s perfect for piping cute little grass designs if you wanna go for the green!

Ice cooled cupcakes and top with non-cream filled Cadburry chocolate eggs. I always store my cupcakes in the fridge but these should be fine at room temp!


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Enjoy! And Happy Easter!!

when life gives you lemons, I mean gold coins

Last weekend while I was cleaning my room, my dad walked in and asked me if I had a place where I store keepsakes. My grandfather had given him an envelope of coins for me years ago and he just happened to remember it on this particular day and gave them to me. I like to focus on the task at hand so I set the envelope down and continued putting away my laundry. My boyfriend, however, jumped up and started investigating the collection. A few minutes later I glanced over at him to find the strangest look on his face. I demanded to know what was going on. Apparently one of the coins was a fifty dollar coin, one pure ounce of gold. You can google what that’s worth. I immediately started to find out where to sell it, yes I would love to keep an ounce of gold but ain’t nobody got time for that, I could really use the cash.


Double rainbow at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. 

Despite being ecstatic about what just happened, I felt super strange. I couldn’t believe that this gold coin had inevitably been coming my way and that once again, after passing away, my grandfather was looking out for me. My aunt ended up buying it to keep it in the family ’cause she understood why I needed to sell it but didn’t want it to disappear quite yet. I think it was better than winning the lottery (not sum-wise, of course) because I didn’t enter for this prize, it just stumbled into my presence one day.

Later in the week I went to a dietetics professional meeting and in the center of the table sat a small, deep purple violet, with the plastic wrap still around it. I had a hunch that it was going to be a door prize. I was taken aback for a moment because of the fact that it was a violet – that was a plant my grandmothers (yes, both of them) always had around. Early that week I had been talking and thinking about how much I miss my grandmothers, especially the one on my dad’s side, who I was very close with. Not much to my surprise, I ended up with that plant and started to feel anxious. I was getting nervous that all three of my deceased grandparents were looking out for me and sending me a message all in the span of three days. I was terrified someone was going to die, like it was some kind of bad omen. I’m clearly a really bad gift receiver.

I realize now, a week later, that that was a beautiful gift from my grandparents who are still loving me and looking out for me. I know some people would scoff at that notion but to me it’s a pretty incredible feeling and it came at such a good time (I realize anyone can die at any time so I’ve dismissed that initial fear and am trying to accept my gift wholeheartedly.) It’s very easy for me to be a glass half-full kind of gal for others but when it comes to my own issues I absolutely see that it’s half empty at first. I always think the worst and this experience forced me to just accept that in life there are good and bad things, but sometimes good things are going to happen and I just need to accept it, not anticipate doom.

The third major thing that happened was just the other day. I came home from a weekend away needing to do some food shopping to prep for the week. I opened the fridge to check out what I needed and noticed that it was completely stuffed with food that mostly did not belong to me. I was pretty irritated because I had a long list of items that need to be refrigerated and now had nowhere to put them. Regardless of how grateful I am for being able to live rent-free, I want to be independent and have a refrigerator I can use however I want to without worrying about other peoples’ space or my food disappearing because my stuff was perceived to be old and tossed or somebody got a hankering for my food. I was shocked when my dad and stepmom suggested buying a new refrigerator. I immediately thought of a ton of other things that money could be used for and how utterly ridiculous it would look to have two refrigerators in the kitchen. We already have two Keurigs (long story.) I’m a very visual person and hate when things do not look right.

Right: the definition of how things should be that I or society placed in my head, therefore holding me back from contentment at almost all times.

Regardless of my resistance they went and bought a refrigerator immediately. It was a whole scene… how many Lewises does it take to install a refrigerator? 😉 After my insecurities and frustrations subsided I was pretty overwhelmed with gratefulness because it’s a much more functional situation for our not-so-normal family unit.

I’m really tired of wasting my time worrying when all those moments could instead be filled with peace and happiness. Now, I have this tiny plant exuberating love and comfort every time I see it, some major stress relief paying off bills with my ounce of gold AND a nice, spacious refrigerator where my food is safe.

Enjoy the big and little things and don’t let worries keep you down.


what I learned from my struggle with an eating disorder

I received an email about a 28 day challenge for fitness and clean-eating and despite a pretty high price, purchased it immediately. I felt the motivation and jumped on the opportunity before my excitement could pass. The workouts (from Cassey Ho, the fitness guru I mentioned in my last post) are high intensity interval training, so they’re short but they get the job done, leaving you with an elevated heart-rate and fatigued muscles. The meal plans are full of fruits and veggies and whole grains like quinoa and oats as well as lean protein. Dairy is replaced with almond milk and lots of leafy greens for calcium as well as no products containing gluten. I usually hate “diets” and don’t see the point of cutting anything out unless you have to but I figured it would be kind of cool to see what happens. I get a lot of stomach pain and am confident it’s related to my diet but have no idea what it’s from.


truly enjoying some quality west coast fast food last summer

I was so pumped up about this challenge that I even managed to recruit my boyfriend to join in. I’m encouraging him to modify some stuff so he doesn’t have to do girly workouts or suffer from filling up on foods he despises/starving from too low of calorie consumption. We shopped together for groceries and started our challenge Tuesday. We did a lot of meal prep the other night and while we were cooking our quinoa we thought about how amazing some parmesan cheese would taste in it. I wanted cheese so badly but we can’t have it in this meal plan. Day one and I was already suffering. It only took me a few minutes to come to the realization that I was restricting myself from something I love and (in moderation) is healthy for me for no reason. We have a bad habit of munching on cheese while we’re preparing dinner, and when I say munching I mean we eat entirely too much cheese. I know most days I eat way more saturated fat in the form of cheese than I should. So we compromised. We added a little parm to our grains but didn’t snack on it beforehand. It was a healthy decision for our minds and our bodies. The other fact that lead me to this decision was that I consumed a large mac and cheese from Panera Bread on Sunday when I was hungover, and sopped the extra cheese up with a baguette. I clearly don’t have issues with cheese or pasta in my belly.

You’re probably wondering why I’m going into so much detail about my insane obsession with cheese. Stay with me, I promise there’s a point.

It’s because it frightened me that I got so into something I was doing, basically for fun, that I was afraid to eat a food that wasn’t on the pre-made list. Yes, in order to get results from a challenge like this, I have to be strong and not give in to having whatever I want whenever I want it. No, I do not need to be afraid to live because I decided to do a 28 day challenge. I’m not going to stop eating dairy or gluten after this challenge and with my body in the shape it is already I know I have room to indulge a little. I do have further goals with my fitness and nutrition levels, toning up more and eating cleaner on most days. But to accomplish this four week task to the level of perfection I always desire, I would have to attend zero social events or awkwardly just not eat when I’m out with my friends at restaurants or have water when they’re sipping wine. I can still make healthy choices but I do not need to let this challenge consume my life for the month of March. As a nutrition and dietetic technician, registered with extensive background on nutrition, I could have written up my own meal plan. I do it all the time. It’s just something I enjoy doing, challenging myself and getting better results. What I don’t enjoy doing is being scared of calories.

It’s really difficult to find a balance on the seesaw of eating. If you push too far to one side you end up overweight; too far to the other, you have an eating disorder. At least that’s how it’s always been for me. I had a very unhealthy relationship with food the entire time I was in college. It all started because I gained a few pounds from taking advantage of all the delicious food ready for me at almost any given time freshman year while living on campus. That same year I took my very first nutrition class and learned more about the basics of nutrition. It was all I needed to develop a quick obsession. I was eating too much and then I wasn’t eating enough. I was working out six days a week no matter what got in my way. I thought I was fat and was striving everyday to not let it get anymore out of control. And that was the norm for me. I talked in a previous post about how my real weight gain (not the weight gain I saw when I looked in the mirror while in reality I was tiny – that started years before) started after my boyfriend and I broke up and that I eventually started eating until I got sick. I didn’t mean that I ate until my stomach hurt and I threw up. I mean I ate foods I was craving to fill the emptiness inside of me and then felt atrociously guilty for adding calories to my already too-fat frame and would make myself throw up. I would lift my shirt in the mirror and stare at my stomach or notice it jiggle with every step I took. How could I do something to risk gaining another ounce. Throwing up was the only option I had to right my wrong.

The first time this happened, I was alone in our college townhouse on a sunny afternoon. I can’t remember why I needed the ice cream in the freezer as badly as I did, but I ate a lot and I ate it fast. And then I desperately needed to erase my action. I will spare you the nasty details but if you’ve never made yourself sick before, it’s not anything like throwing up because your body needs to when you have the flu. It’s messy, it hurts and it teaches the message of you can eat anything you want because if you change your mind, you can just throw it up. I never thought I would do it again, but I did. Anytime I felt desperately alone and miserable, food could fill that until the switch flipped and I had just done the most unthinkable thing I could have imagined to myself. It made me even angrier every time. I wished I could just starve myself but I wasn’t that strong. I loved food too much. I was the weak, chubby girl who gorged herself with food and threw up in private.

One night when I was home on one of the breaks before I started binging, I got fast food with my mom and brother. I ate a cheese steak sandwich and some cheesy fries. Immediately afterwards I burst into tears because I couldn’t believe I had just done that. I remember how weirded out my brother and mom were. Nobody understood why I was the way I was about food. I was offended when healthy options weren’t offered at family functions. I couldn’t believe people would force me to eat so unhealthfully, didn’t they know what it did to me? Why wasn’t the guilt so heavy for them that healthier options were chosen?

Because I started making myself throw up and was drinking to the point of falling over from intoxication 3-4 nights per week, it became difficult for me to keep anything down. I began to throw up every time I drank or when I felt nauseous or full, or simply hated my calorie consumption. I started to get scared that somebody was going to notice or that I would damage my teeth or my hair would start falling out. All the horror stories we were warned of as young adults in high school health education classes and then later in my nutrition classes began flashing through my mind. That could not happen to me and that was somehow enough to make me stop. It was so hard not to throw up and to just accept what I ate. Soon after making that mental change I was able to start making healthier decisions with my food and stop binging on a regular basis. Thankfully, it’s been almost two years since I stopped torturing myself with food and the disposing of it. However, the miracle of my life falling into place and experiencing pure happiness like you see from the skinny models on the covers of magazines did not occur. Happiness doesn’t come from the outside. It comes from the inside.

While I never told a Dr., let alone many people about my problem, I know that it was one. It’s pretty embarrassing to admit that this was another category added to the list of things I abused when I was in such a bad place. And that is why I had to be quick to snap myself out of thinking I was doing something wrong by eating some cheese this week. Once you’ve been low and broken, it doesn’t take much to get back to that place. I’ve promised myself not to let that happen.

My eating disorder was a spawn of many greater problems that luckily for me didn’t end up having any detrimental affects on my health or become a known fact to my friends and family (until I spilled the beans in a blog post years later.) That makes eating disorders even scarier -they can happen to anyone and might not even be detectable. Food is meant to nourish us and we need it. We should never be afraid to eat something or hate ourselves for fueling our bodies. Yes, making healthy choices is important and I will never back down from believing in being healthy and in shape, but with all areas in life – you must obtain balance so that you don’t fall. Love yourself, and you’ll be one step closer to finding it. That’s what made the difference for me.

when you get your first critic

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throw-back to my bestie in some stunna shades

I have spent plenty of time in utter disbelief at the things random strangers comment on social media pages of public figures and celebrities. I’ve been following Pop Pilates creator, Cassey Ho, for the past six or seven years now and have watched as she’s become famous and accomplished so many incredible things because she followed her dreams and didn’t let people bring her down. She makes sure to take a minute in her blog every now and then to call situations out in order to refocus on the importance of what she was doing in the first place.

So what does this have to do with me?

Last week at the end of one of my nutrition classes that I teach, I got a survey back which stated nothing I had spent four hours teaching over the course of a few weeks was new information or of any help and that this person would not recommend my class to others. It’s perfectly fine if that person feels that way. I am not saying I’m the world’s best teacher or that I know everything but I spent a LOT of time preparing for those presentations and that was my second time teaching the series. To put myself out there and talk about something I am so passionate about to help others only to have something like that written about me sucks. I am a living, breathing example that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to being healthy and I do not need others to validate me in that. That being said, for a few hours….. it did.

I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling that washed over me when I read that review. I’ve never felt it before. It was a mix between disappointment and sheer embarrassment. At first I doubted myself and then I got angry pointing out ways that what was written couldn’t have even possibly been true. I was sulking for a few hours trying to come to terms with what this meant or how to fix it. When I woke the next morning I panicked because my body seemed to know that something had been wrong like I was never supposed to have gotten a good night’s sleep under these circumstances. Shortly after I truly woke up and was mentally functioning, it became humorous to me. Laughter is often the best medicine…even if it’s only used to cover up insecurities. It works.

It never one time crossed my mind that I would ever be in a position to have a bad review written on me. I never even realized that it comes with the territory. When you open yourself up to doing things for others you’re in the line of fire for anything and everything that was disliked whether or not it has anything to do with your relative performance. I find it comical that I had just opened up in my blog about how much public speaking terrifies me and then this incident occurred. I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to quit right then and there and hide behind a safe job for the rest of my life where none of that would happen again.

I have had to force myself to realize that I’m better than that. That review changed absolutely nothing. On top of that, others in the class did learn and give me a positive review. I also got paid and my boss was happy with how the series went. As a people-pleaser, it devastates me to upset people but over the past year I’ve noticed a change in my attitude, even if it takes me a second to get there. Within reasonable limits, it’s extremely important to stand your ground and be the truest you that you can. If I let this one bad review get to me, I wouldn’t be a functioning human, let alone someone who can make a difference in the world on some scale (even if it is a small one) which is what I’m determined to do.

A week later, I do not have hard feelings at all towards the person who wrote my negative review. I’m actually grateful. This experience has prepared me for this to happen again in the future and for it to not get me down. I realized it’s actually pretty cool for me to be in a position to even have someone write a negative review on me – it means I’m being heard. It also gave me motivation to make the next time I teach/do whatever I’m doing better than it’s ever been before.

Haters gon’ hate.

I really don’t care. And neither should you.

red velvet valentine’s day cupcakes


I baked last week, because Valentine’s Day. If you’re thinking these look delicious, just wait for this description (way too long to make it the title.) Red velvet cupcake + dark chocolate ganache + cream cheese frosting + chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-covered Oreo. I also passed out cute little pizza- pun Valentines to my coworkers and mailed some to my girlfriends. I have to show you how adorable these are. Who doesn’t love a cheese pun!?


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Red Velvet Cupcakes 

I used Hershey’s Red Velvet Cake Recipe for my cupcakes. They baked at the same temperature but only for about 22-25 minutes. I always gently press the top of the cupcakes to check. If they spring back up, they are ready to come out! Once they are cooled, core the centers, about half-way deep.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Warm heavy cream on a double boiler, until almost boiling. I don’t have a double boiler and a stainless steal bowl placed over a stainless steal saucepan works just fine (or you can cheat and just warm the cream in the microwave!)  Pour warmed cream over chocolate and whisk until combined and smooth. Refrigerate until set, but still soft. Place a generous tablespoonful into the center of each cupcake and then make the frosting!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream softened cream cheese and butter together. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add vanilla.

Chocolate & Sprinkle Covered Oreo

  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • festive sprinkles

Melt chocolate in microwave. Do this in small batches for small time increments, like 30 seconds to prevent chocolate from burning. Dip half of Oreos in chocolate, lay on wax paper and cover in sprinkles. Let set until chocolate hardens. This task is much easier with two people and, thankfully, my valentine joined me for this baking adventure!

Frost cupcakes, add Oreos and store in fridge if not serving immediately.

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thoughts you have the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday

I couldn’t have been more pumped for Super Bowl 50! Luckily, I knew which year it was because they are no longer using Roman Numerals. Peyton Manning is my favorite NFL player and the Super Bowl is always more exciting when your team makes it to the end! I was ready to go at 6:30, festive bow in hair and drink in hand!


My family and I enjoyed some typical treats: meatballs, wings, chips and salsa, homemade guac and my dad’s special touch suggestion lead to some delicious beef enchiladas. I don’t like to just drink beer so earlier in the week we found a recipe for Beergaritas. I despise the sound of ice in the blender so we just mixed the liquids and poured over ice. HOLY S%$! they were strong! So strong that nobody in the house wanted more than one. Except me. Cause tequila >>>. We laughed pretty hysterically at the commercials and I of course cheered louder than anyone about the half time show and the Broncos getting the win. My dad angrily declared he was boycotting football next season. I’ve heard this threat before yet we were watching the game together, so only time will tell. Love ya, dad!

Today I’m a little hung-over. I tried to stay hydrated last night but I knew that when I woke up and didn’t have to pee I was doomed. These are the thoughts going through my head after last night’s events.

1. When will I be able to recover from the puppy monkey baby?

2. Where do I sign up for Beyonce school so I can learn how to drop it that low and not fall down?

3. Who invented Beergaritas and why did I choose to drink so many?

4. Why isn’t the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday?

5. Can you ever have too much guac? Cause I could have eaten that whole bowl all by myself…

6. If Peyton Manning retires after drinking a lot of Budweiser and contemplating life decisions, who will I root for?

7. When can I go see Coldplay in concert?

8. Is a Super Bowl baby a real thing? I’m not sure you could pay me to sing on national television about when my parents created me.

9. Why don’t they include built-in bathroom breaks so you don’t have to miss any of the game or commercials?

I definitely enjoyed the night but I certainly do not feel enlightened/more intelligent in any way. Wouldn’t have missed it though because I have FOMO. Slightly sad it’s already over. Happy the reign of terror the holidays have on my body will be coming to an end after the Valentine’s Day chocolates are gone. Of course then there’s only a month until St. Patrick’s Day.

I hope those of you who indulged in Super Bowl Sunday are surviving one way or another. If you called out sick or were smart enough to ask for the day off, I envy you.


In case you were dying to have the recipe for my fabulous guacamole, I’ve included a very simple recipe for you! 😉 Sadly there are no pictures because it was demolished almost as soon as it was made.

Homemade Guacamole

  • 4 ripened avocados
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 -1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt/pepper to taste

Cut/core/dice avocados, tomatoes and onion. Mash avocados with a fork, add lime juice and stir. Add remaining ingredients. My family likes to eat these with Tostitos but I prefer pretzel thins. If you want to go the healthier route try baby carrots!