Dego's mini 1st birthday party + Applegate Grilling Kit -- who wants one!?



you know that symbol when you see it.

it means you are in the vicinity of some healthy, organic, and all natural goodness!

thanks to Applegate we enjoyed these healthy hot dogs for Dego's first birthday lunch.  i had zero faith Chiso (the 4 yr old picky eater)  would even take a bite of anything in that box but boy did he surprise us!


my lil' helper was so excited to unpack the goodies.


what's in there? only the best of the best components needed to build a BOMB, healthy hot dog:

  • Sir Kensington's all natural yellow mustard & classic ketchup
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  • Applegate all natural, grass-fed, uncured beef hot dogs
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  • Vermont Bread Company Potato Hot Dog Buns
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  • napkins
  • meat thermometer
  • cooler
  • 'you grill girl' apron
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  • oven mit
  • the cutest Apple gate buttons <3


it rained cats & dogs outside that afternoon so my grill pan was perfect.20150617_151600-01

yeah.... i don't think i'll ever be boiling our hot dogs in water ever again.  soooo much more flava this way.

stats per dog: 70 cals, 6g fat, 6g protein, 330mg sodium

ingredients: beef, water, and less than 2% of sea salt, paprika, dehydrated onion, spices (black pepper, coriander, mace, nutmeg), nutmeg oil, and celery powder. all recognizable stuff, right!


do you toast your buns? YOU GOTTA TOAST YOUR BUNS. spending just a little extra time on the minor details really makes an ordinary meal extraordinary!  i added a little Earth Balance Buttery Spread before toasting.


per Chiso's request, we had an indoor picnic in the middle of the living room floor.


i walked out to the front porch to snag some thunderstorm lighting before we started though.


2% colby jack cheese, green onions, mustard, ketchup went on top of my dog!


so, Chiso ate 2 dogs all by himself! it's like pulling teeth to get him to taste ANYTHING new... so this was big.


next, CAKE!  on the way home from the gym that morning i stopped by Whole Foods Market to pick up a mini cake for Dego and ended up with two! did Dego like it? check out our birthday song video below and see ;)

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happy 1st birthday, big boy! this day was Dego's actual birthday, but we had another small, family party that following saturday. so, who wants their very own Applegate grilling kit while the summer is in full swing!?

COMMENT & SHARE this post below and enter the drawing by answering the following question:

Q: WHERE is/was your dream family vacation?

i'll be picking a random winner this friday, July 10th. go!


no beastmode + avocado crema dip


concerning the game....


i'll just keep it classy and congratulate the Pats.  moving on......

being at home to raise my boys has been one of the biggest blessings in my entire life. i am so thankful.  the only time i really hear crying from Dego is when he's uncomfortable (needs to be changed, hungry, the usual). other than that, he's showing that gummy smile off and cackling at Chiso! i thought Chiso smiled a lot but Dego takes the cake in that department.  Chiso is now a threenager. even on our most difficult, trying, exhausting days, the Lord reminds me how hard i prayed and cried for these boys.  that thought alone makes whatever i'm upset or irritated about (toddler temper tantrum, spilled food, disobedience, etc.) just not that big a deal anymore.  i actually dropped a big bowl of pancake batter and it splattered EVERYWHERE recently. everywhere. the ceiling, walls waaaaay across the room, under tables... just a gigantic mess. albeit my fault, instead of getting angry i stared at the chaos on my floor and laughed (not a crazed, hysterical, witch-like laugh or anything lol) then Chiso chimed right in with me.  i cleaned it all up with a smile.


these guys constantly remind me to stop sweating and stressing the small stuff. we just don't have time. or the energy, most days.


 so before the big game started i went outside to get a 1 hour walk/jog/run thing on!  that's all i had planned to do, but i saw new fit mom Ashley Horner on IG outside doing 300 walking lunges with her 12 day old new-born strapped to her chest and that motivated THE heck outta me.  so i did 300 walking lunges too before heading back home to...


mr. P.J.!

i'm finding it harder and harder to post these kinds of pics to IG because i don't want to discourage our 6 Pack USA clients as they work towards their own fitness goals.  i do maintain my current body fat % using my own personalized plan, but i also indulge in moderation as i am able to easily compensate via my diet and/or exercise for those indulgences to keep me where i want to be. so there! yes, i had a few slices of pizza on game day and i was back on track with no guilt or worries the next day.

IMG_20150131_163549 my brother and sister-in-law came over to watch the game with us so i made a few snacks including this one i'd love to share with ya:

Avocado Crema Dip 

the stuff: (source)

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 - 6 oz container 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • cracked black pepper & sea salt to taste

do this:


  1. add all ingredients to your blender or food processor
  2. blend until super-duper creamy (keep scraping down the sides if using a blender)
  3. get scoop happy! you can dip anything you want, but i chose plantain chips and the bell peppers.


switching to the 8oz baby bottles for parties / get-togethers was a great move.  one of my pet peeves is walking around picking up half-finished water bottles at the end of a party!!!! never again. that dip in the center of the veggie plate is just Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix + 0% greek yogurt. my mom gave me that idea but used to use sour cream. so yummy!!! it really brings veggies to life. 20150201_161856_1

love this stuff!! my Sprouts Farmers Market usually has a great variety of flavors too; there are so many to choose from.  we recently tried the Cheddar Caramel Mix and gave it two thumbs way up.  if you're gonna sneak snacks into the movie theater, bring this stuff!

did you watch the big game? where?


vlog: 3 things i like about natural hair!

happy sunday to yaaaaaaa!


this is what Sonny and Dego did all afternoon,


but Chi and i had way too much energy for a nap!  so we took a long walk and hit the park.

i also had a little time to get my vlogging game UP!  hope you guys had a great weekend too.  check out my vlog and subscribe to my YouTube channel here. i got recipes and workouts ON THA WAY.

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Q: if you're natural, what do you LOVE about it?


10 things about motherhood


just a few things i noticed.

1. it put some hair on my chest

be beautiful inside and out. but stand up for yourself

before kiddos,  if i were standing in line at the store and someone clearly and blatantly cut in front of me, i'd start questioning myself  with thoughts like (key word: thoughts. i wouldn't have said a thing.), 'were they already standing here before i walked up and are just getting back in line? did anybody else just see what just happened? *looks around* is this a Vine prank?' and i'd conclude it all with, 'eh, they only have two items so it's really not that serious.' and let it go.

after kiddos, HA. automatic verbal response and neither one of us are checking out until we get to the bottom of things. don't get me wrong, i still do my best to approach life's situations with a WWJD mentality, no doubt.  however, i can say that becoming a mother has created the desire to both stand up and speak up for myself way more than i ever have in my entire life.  that said, i'm also no longer guilted by or afraid to use the word 'No'.

 2. we are imperfection at its finest 


 we take 99 pictures and we can't frame 1. every time.

3. i can't sleep when baby sleeps. i don't want to sleep when baby sleeps. nothing will get done if i sleep when baby sleeps!!!

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 4. tmi? haha. you're funny.


i can remember Sonny and i as first time parents at home with Chiso and experiencing our very first exploding diaper. we looked at each other like 'OMG, what was that noise??' and had a hearty laugh after discovering the source.  yeah, they are funny and adorable in the beginning, right. then they start happening out in public, when you're in a rush and in the process of leaving the house and already running late, on the couch you just had steamed cleaned, and all over you.  afterwards you just want to cut them out of their outfit no matter how expensive or adorable it was and trash it.

5. i'm a closet control freak

most days, it's a complete internal struggle for me not to finish a puzzle Chiso and i are working on myself, go back and sprinkle the cheese evenly across his pizza, or maintain my composure when he could give a flying flip about coloring inside the lines.  letting him do things in his own way and ultimately be a kid requires turning my impatient-perfectionist meter down a couple notches.

6. watching them communicateCYMERA_20141017_225023

Chiso spoke to Dego more than i did while he was in my belly.   Dego's little face and eyes light UP and his feet start kicking a billion miles an hour at the sound of Chiso's voice.  it's indescribable and so heartwarming to watch.  we'll see how fond they are of each other after they start rooming together. lol.

7. interruptions, interruptions, interruptions

most days, my to-do lists take for-e-ver to complete cause kiddo A is ready to play when kiddo B goes down for a nap, kiddo A is hungry again after eating 20 minutes ago,  kiddo B's diaper explodes, or kiddo A wants to read his fave book right right then, etc., etc., etc... they just keep coming!  no matter what my agenda says, these guys have their own. how do i deal? i simply thank God for enabling me to meet their every little need (after i calm down. lol). that always puts things in perspective for me. i could be somewhere else, and they could be under someone else's care.  however, they are my little labors of love that i don't take for granted.   interruptions during my workouts used to irritate the heck outta me.  pet peeve of the year award right there.  now?  if i'm taking a class at the gym i pretty much set my equipment up as close to the door as possible so the child care members can spot me immediately.  that way, i can just sneak out without causing a big commotion.  sometimes no matter how much i prepare (clean diaper, full-fat fed & burped), randomness knocks and mama's gotta answer.

If I have been blessed with children, I have to surrender myself wholeheartedly to my role of being a mother after God's design.

8. no more mommy judgement. ever.

that look i shot the mom on the plane with the screaming, irate infant a few years ago? i take it back wholeheartedly. i'm sorry, girl, wherever you are.  i just didn't know. i just...didn't....know.

9. emotional roller coaster


my hormones will never be the same. some days my cup runneth over. some days i want to smash the cup to the floor into a million little pieces and let somebody else clean it up.  what a ride! but being a mother has given my life so much purpose and countless lessons.  having to witness both boys get their vaccinations tore me apart like nobody's business.  i used to be that person sitting in the movie theater with eyes as dry as cotton while everyone around me bawls uncontrollably.  i mean it's fiction for crying out loud!!!   now?  i feel the tears welling up and there's absolutely nothing i can do to stop them.  who am i!?

10. cuddle buddies


 time is fleeting. i'm cherishing their little hugs, giggles, smiles and taking a billion pictures and videos along the way.  with so much going on in this world daily it makes me just want to love on them that much more and remember to enjoy our moments while we're in them.

your turn! list 5 or more things you learned and/or love about motherhood.


p.s. i'll be updating my blog, finally!!  i'm not going anywhere guys but will be down for maintenance at some point in the next few days and will resume.... ASAP.  thanks for your patience and i know you'll love the new look ;)