About Me

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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Fond Farewell

I have been debating this for some time but it is time to say goodbye. My passion does not lie in updating this blog anymore. I have a full and rewarding life that keeps me on my toes. My time is limited and I must fill it with that which I am most passionate about. I appreciate all those that have followed me over the years and that have enjoyed this blog. I continue to use Pinterest periodically if you still want an idea of what recipes I am interested in and trying. Visit my "Tried and True" Board if you want some real suggestions.

I will leave the blog open, for now, so that everyone (including myself) can have access to past recipes, but I will no longer be writing or updating. Friends and family - you know where to find me.

Lots of love to all. I hope that life treats you kindly, that you find happiness in what you do, and that, above all, you know that God loves you.

Love, Shayla

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just a Snippet

I have so many things on my mind right now and I have been burnt out in every way. I took the weekend off from exercise. No formal exercising - just playing in the park with my babies, going on a walk with my family, resting and recuperating.








It was glorious.

It was hard to get back to the normal grind this morning (early) but I managed it by the sheer goodness of God who inspired me to get to class and preserve my grade when I am so close to the end of the semester.

I will be quite swamped over the next 4 weeks trying to get lots of projects finished for the end of the semester. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in school, however. I do enjoy so many of my classes... and some of them I will just be very grateful to see go away. :-) That is pretty much how it always is in school though, right?

We had an absolutely lovely weekend full of love, happiness and peace. I sure hope I can capture those feelings and pull them through this week with me.

What about you, dear readers? How was your weekend?

Loves...Shayla


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I {Love} Wednesday

I think it is time for another edition of What I {Love} Wednesday. {Go here for edition #1.} Making "Why am I happy?" lists is my go to activity for always improving my mood. I have tried really hard to focus on all of the reasons I have to be happy instead of focusing on all of the reasons I have (even legitimately) to be sad. It doesn't always work... (aka Life's Lemons) but most of the time it does! Plus, isn't it fun to focus on things that we just love?


  • I LOVE peanut butter. It is probably one of my all-time favorite foods on the planet. My fitness friends who get my daily updates know that this is the case. There are two foods that I eat almost every single day... popcorn and peanut butter. (Not together although I would be lying if I said I hadn't considered it...) I could probably be better about variety in my diet, but when you can't eat gluten or refined sugar... by golly just let me have my popcorn and peanut butter! My favorite way to eat popcorn is to air-pop it and drizzle it with coconut oil, tabasco sauce, and then sprinkle ground flaxseed, nutritional yeast, and lemon pepper over it. It tastes like delectably spicy, cheesy popcorn. My entire family (including my babies) LOVE it. My favorite way to eat peanut butter? Stirred into greek yogurt with a sprinkle of stevia and unsweetened cocoa. Thick, delicious, amazing. 
  • I love not getting ready for the day. If I don't have anywhere to go during the day I typically get ready for the day around 2 - 3 pm. I like to look presentable for my piano students and my cute hubster but other than that? Jammies + No make-up. All day. For example, right now. 2:25 pm and I am sitting on the couch in my jammies. 
  • I LOVE lazy days when I don't have to be running around like crazy!
  • I love sleeping in. I get up to go to the gym super early in the morning because I know that that is the best way for me to guarantee working out for the day. But I love just laying in bed for long periods of time. When I get home from the gym and cute hubster goes to work I lay in bed with my phone or tablet under the covers until my babies wake up and it is blissful!
  • I love falling asleep to movies. I know that for optimal sleep your bedroom should be free of technology and blah blah blah but I love it. I don't know if I just fall asleep better when there is a little bit of noise or when I have the option to not just be laying there wondering when I am going to fall asleep. We set a sleep timer on our movies and we have been trying to make our way through The Lord of the Rings for quite awhile now... but we are finally on The Return of the King!
QUESTIONS FOR MY DEAR READERS: Your turn! What do you love? Do you have any "unusual" snacks that you enjoy? When given the choice do you get ready for the day? Are you a morning person or a night owl? What is your favorite movie?

Loves...Shayla


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Check Back With Me

As it may have been so blatantly implied by my last post... I have been pretty swamped around here lately. I apologize that my posting has been so sporadic. I don't even have a Supper-Time Sunday post for you because things have been SO crazy that I have hardly been cooking anything. Things are going to get better soon and slow down a little bit before they pick back up again near finals at the end of this month. I think tomorrow will be a pretty slammed day but then I am hopeful that the rest of the week will be a bit more calm.

Check back with me! I will be here. And I can't say that I am sorry that I will be MIA tomorrow. April Fool's Day is my least favorite holiday of the whole year. If you enjoy it, I hope you have a wonderful day pulling pranks on whomever. If you are like me, I hope you survive it and find reasons to enjoy the day despite any pranks that are pulled on you!

QUESTIONS FOR MY DEAR READERS: Do you like April Fool's Day? How do you celebrate the day? Have any of you caught the Spring cleaning bug?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Life's Lemons

I have so much admiration for those people that you come across in life that seem to be so positive all the time. They have struggles and trials and pains and yet they face life with a cheerfulness that lifts everyone around them.

I wish I could be like that.

I try to be. I really do. I try to think positively and to not worry so much and to not let things get to me.

But you know what?

They do.

And sometimes there are days in my life that I just don't know how I am going to keep going. How am I going to get everything done? How is this all going to work out? How could I possibly be happy through all of this?

When you feel like you are drowning in the lemons that life hands you where can you possibly find enough sugar to make it sweet?

Sometimes I think it isn't possible. Today I feel that it isn't possible. There is no way for me to make lemonade out of the situation I am facing. At best I think I can manage an undesirable concoction that you could barely choke down.

And so I sit, and cry, and sip bitter lemonade. Trying to get it down. Trying to get past it. Wondering if there is a bottom to my cup.

And I recognize all of those motivational things people say all of the time. I know that "everything is going to be okay" and "it can't last forever" and [insert motivational theory here].

I know those things. But right now it has just been too much for me to handle in a short period of time. And my husband is not here to  give me a hug and tell me those motivational things and help me to feel like everything will be okay.

I am alone with all of the nagging thoughts in my head, screaming at me to pay attention to them. And I want them to go away and leave me alone but they just won't.

I know that this is the point where I am supposed to turn all motivational and tell you, my readers, that things are going to be great and I'm going to get through this and "it's just a bad day, not a bad life."

And those things are true.

But right now I just need to sit and cry.

And we'll hope tomorrow is a better day.

QUESTIONS FOR MY DEAR READERS: Do you feel better after a good cry? What usually helps you to get through challenging situations?

Loves...Shayla


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break Recap

Last week was spring break at my college. You know what that means? 

I spent a WHOLE lotta time with these beautiful babies:


And this handsome guy:


And worked really hard on this:


And caught up on a lot of these:


And totally and completely ignored this:


And it made me feel like this:


But now it is over and I am feeling like this:


And trying hard to focus on this:


And although:


I am grateful I had a break.

QUESTIONS FOR MY DEAR READERS: Did you have Spring Break last week? Did you do anything fun? Did you get to relax?

Loves...Shayla


Monday, March 25, 2013

Lemon "Candy" Smoothie

Back when I could still eat refined sugar we used to love to go out for ice cream. Leatherby's Family Creamery has been a tradition in my family since before I can remember. I have a lot of great memories associated with that place; however, my favorite ice cream dessert was always the lemon shake from Iceberg. Oh MAN! That thing is so delicious. I have been missing it and craving it and so when I spotted some pure lemon extract at the store the other day I knew I had to pick some up and try it out.

The base of this smoothie is almost exactly the same as my Chocolate Spinach Protein Smoothie. A few tweaks here and there and you have what can only be described as pure heaven in a glass. Every time I make it for my cute hubster he goes on and on about how it tastes like candy. Since it has no added sugar... we'll let him believe that that is what it is made out of!

LEMON "CANDY" SMOOTHIE
Serves 2

*8 ounces coconut milk (or milk of choice)
1 large banana
1 large handful spinach or kale
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but give it a great thickness)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
**LOTS of ice

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

*We have been buying coconuts recently and so I usually add 6 ounces of water to the bottom of my Blendtec and then add in a few chunks of fresh coconut. I blend it on WHOLE JUICE for two cycles and then add the remaining ingredients. If you have a Blendtec or other high powered blender you can also make your own almond milk by following the same process with water and unsalted almonds. I will usually do 6 ounces of water and a little less than 1/4 cup almonds. Trust me - you won't have chunks if your blender is powerful enough!

**When I say lots of ice I am talking like at least 2-3 cups. I like my smoothies VERY thick and I usually only consider them finished if it takes a Level 5 mix on my Blendtec to get it to move. Just add it to your thickness preference.