Post Vacay Clean Eats

I absolutely love to travel, experiencing the many fun and unique things you can do in other places from culture to food.  But, what I do not like about travel is how I often feel upon returning home; swelling from long plane flights, belly bloat and just plain feeling fat … it is miserable!

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Audley, Bradley and I returned from San Diego late Sunday night. While I still battle my weight (I always will), I have settled into a pattern of maintenance that keeps me feeling healthy, energetic, and happy for the most part.

An occasional “cheat” type meal fits into my lifestyle just fine, but after an entire week of spicy Mexican food, rich desserts, home cooked full breakfast each morning and a stop at In and Out Burger my body was not at all happy with me.  I have spent the last three days doing a little intermittent fasting (do a little research as it is good for you to add to your health and wellness routines from time to time), trying to detox and make my gut happy with me again.

Another way I detox is to eat really clean whole foods with ingredients that I can pronounce.  That means I prepare and cook everything that goes into my body and on our table using fresh and organic ingredients.

The easiest of all recipes is egg whites and oatmeal.  I carb-cycle (three low carb days followed by a day with two meals of heavy carb), so this delicious one-pan meal, that is so filling and satisfying, is a favorite of mine.

It’s also super easy to make and can be so versatile.**

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Ingredients are very simple: 4 egg whites (separate these yourself, do not use the ones in a carton), 1/2 cup McCann’s Oatmeal, 2 Tablespoons Navatis Cacao powder (I found this at the Vitamin Shoppe), 1/2 cup water and a little stevia if you like it sweet.

Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the oatmeal and egg whites reach a custardy state, stirring continuously while it cooks.

{This will stick if you aren’t paying attention.}

Top with strawberries and serve up pretty.  It’s almost like a dessert, so you never know that it’s good for you!

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**I did mention that this recipe is versatile, so here is another option:  Leave out the cacao powder and instead toss fresh diced fruit of another variety in your oatmeal.  Peaches are so good, as are any type of berry!

Your body will thank you for eating so clean and your tummy will thank you.

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I have learned from experience food can either destroy you or heal you.  It’s all how you eat and use it!

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Seasons of Change

On January 04, 2006 I hit publish on my first ever blog post.  My husband, Audley, and I had just returned from watching Georgia play in the Sugar Bowl and I wanted to share the experience with my family.

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After living in five states with our four children and in the process of moving again blogging was a fabulous and easy way for the grandparents and aunts to “Keep Up with the Jones'”.   I could share picture and thoughts on the little things in our lives from sports to holiday celebrations from a distance.

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The first picture of my kiddos ever posted… we had been camping.

One day a friend asked me to share a recipe through the new social media platform of Facebook.  It wasn’t a difficult recipe, but sometimes pictures are useful, so I opted to share it from my blog.  A short time later, Audley and I restored an old dresser from the 1880’s.  Since my mom wanted to see pictures, I also shared it from the blog. This was the beginning of dabbling in the blogging world.  Soon I was reading other blogs on the web, discovered they were reading my musings as well.  Rhoda from Southern Hospitality was one of my first connections and I still adore her!

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I knew Rhoda through her blog, but met her the first time in February 2010

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First time I ever experienced a group blogging event… This night in Atlanta was so much fun!

Over the last eleven years I may have changed formats, just a little, but dabbling in blogging continued as did my life with an extremely active family of four!

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We’ve had band and a drum major, competition color guard, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, swim team, wrestling, track and lacrosse.

We’ve enjoyed youth group, mission trips, traveling and experienced four more moves with Audley’s always changing job.

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Jamaica mission trip with two of my girls

There have been three graduate from high school, two become brides and one signed to play college lacrosse.

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Samantha & Justin’s wedding day

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MacKenzie and Michael’s wedding day

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The most recent picture of my four together; back in May

Personally I went back to college and finished my bachelors degree, battled obesity, and spent the last four years (prior to our February move) working outside the home.

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College graduate with a degree in Public Relation

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Fighting for my life!

This leaves just our son at home to begin his senior year of high school followed by Marine boot camp as he has already cleared MEPS.

In just under a year, Audley and I will be EMPTY NESTERS!

So what now?

To be honest, I’m not sure. Over the years I’ve written about family, food, decorating, travel, faith, marriage health, and life.  I’ve never monotized and don’t know if people found anything I’ve written to be useful, but it’s been a great way to occasionally express what’s on my mind and help my family keep up with us. For now I think I will definitely continue to write.  Maybe Fiddle Dee Dee will become more than just a place for me to occasionally muse.  decisions of which direction to take are often challenging, especially when you are at a crossroads. What I do know is it’s a true season of change and I hope that you’ll stick around for the journey!

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What I’m Reading

In a time where we all love our iPods, iPads, iPhones and Kindles, I still find so much comfort in curling up with a good book.

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A real book.

One purchased at Barnes and Noble.

{They see me at least once a week for a coffee and a read}

This time of year when the leaves have fallen off of the trees and the air is a bit chilly, wrapping up in a patchwork quilt and taking a break from the world is such a great way to relax as the holidays approach.

I am partial to non-fiction, autobiography and historical fiction, so here is what am I reading now!

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1. The Queens Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal – This 6th book in the Maggie Hope series, is a combination of WWII history mixed with mystery, action, and a bit of romance to keep you thoroughly involved until the end, and looking forward to what is coming.  I love this whole series and highly recommend you check it out!

2. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines – Any fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper will love the story of how the Magnolia brand came to be as well as learning a little more about everyone’s favorite reality couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines.

3. Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder – We’re all familiar with the Little House on the Prarie series, but did you know those were not the books Laura Wilder orginally wrote?  Pioneer Girl is her original manuscript that her publisher deemed too dark for children. Now it has been published for all of us who enjoyed the children’s series to read as grown-ups!  There are also a lot of pictures to accompany the story as well which makes it well worth the read.

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4. Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado –  I know Christmas day is not really Jesus birthday (the Bible doesn’t tell us when he was born), but that doesn’t mean we can’t focus on that wondrous event!  Max’s newest book reminds us that Christ came from Heaven, yet was just as human as you and I which was so important!  His purpose to rekindle your connection with Christ especially around the holiday, is a definite encouragement to your spirit!

5. Life in Season by Vanessa Hunt & Heather Patterson – I’ve met some incredible people over the years through blogging and knowing Heather Patterson has been such a blessing! Heather and her sister Vanessa have written a wonderfully, uplifting book that encourages you to find joy in each season of life. Inspirational devotions combined with crafts, recipes and gorgeous photography make this a book you’ll want to read again and again!

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What are you reading right now?  I would love suggestions to add to my fall and winter reading list!

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Out & About with Kustom Klutch

This week begins a new season of life for me.  For the first time in three years, I am a stay-at-home-mom.  When I went to work three years ago it was out of sheer boredom and loneliness, as we were still relatively new in town.  With Macy’s deciding to discontinue Elizabeth Arden (which eliminated my job), Audley and I decided together it was a great opportunity for me to return to our home.  My teenagers are actually thrilled over this, as is my husband, but mostly I think I’m relieved to have turned the page on that season of life.

So, I have shed the Macy’s black and brought back a little color to my life!  For me, blue and white is the quintessential color combo of summer.  Recently for an evening out with Audley to celebrate this new freedom of mine, I chose a pair of white Miss Me jeans paired with a blue and white striped top from INC (Macys… it was good for some things), and a fabulous pair of tan wedges by Steve Madden.  To complete my look I carried a denim clutch with red pom poms and a tassel from Kustom Klutch.

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I can’t help but brag that I’m down to a size 8 from a 24 just a few summers back!!  I intend to be a 6 by September… just saying.

Designed by Jordan Fish, girlfriend of NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, these cute clutches are handmade in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Once you design your clutch and place your order online (click here to check out Kustom Klutch) your custom bag arrives in just a couple of days packaged so adorably cute and included a hand-written note.

My daughters wanted to tear right into it…. Oh wait, Madeline did!!

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When you purchase your clutch, not only are you supporting a small and young business (these went live in June), you are also supporting a charity.  Ten percent of each purchase goes to a charitable organization of Jordan’s choosing each month.  When I purchased both of my clutches (couldn’t make up my mind…) in June, the charity of choice was the Denny Hamlin Foundation which is “committed to raising awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with cystic fibrosis.”  For July her charity of the month is Pit Stops for Hope.

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I was able to choose my bag and then added the tassel for a little whimsy.  The clutches are very well made and perfect for a night on the town.  You can easily fit your keys, a change purse with id and money, and of course a lipstick inside.

When your out for an adults night, leave the mom purse at home and go cute!

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As I mentioned, I did purchase two of these fun clutches; the denim and red as well as a floral print (which looks fabulous with a royal blue sundress!).  So much fun for a summer night out!

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Check out the Kustom Klutch website and find a clutch to fit your personality!

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