My dear friend Danielle at Sparkles and Lattes nominated me for a Liebster Award. This award is a way to help bloggers that you love...

Liebster Award

My dear friend Danielle at Sparkles and Lattes nominated me for a Liebster Award. This award is a way to help bloggers that you love to read get a little more traffic. I have known Danielle since my internship in college, so for over 10 years! (Holy shit did you realize it's been that long?!) Anyways she was graduating and I was taking her job and we got to work together for a week while she trained me. We were instant friends and have stayed in touch even after we left Reno. So here's a huge thank you to Danielle for your wonderful friendship. And the nomination too! She gave me 11 questions to answer about myself, so here you go:

What is your guilty pleasure show?
X-Files, still trying to finish the old series before I watch the new one (yep, I'm a nerd). 

What is your least favorite food?
Fennel. The smell makes me gag.

Where was your best vacation?
Burning Man. Costa Rica was amazing as well.

Where did your blog name come from?
From my desire to fill up a journal for once! And also to not be afraid of people reading what I would write in a journal.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Any of my grandparents or great-grandparents, but especially my mom's dad who died when I was 4. I've grown up hearing so much about him but wish I could've known him myself.

What is your favorite movie?
Not sure. I like all the nerdy ones best probably, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Matrix, Star Trek.

What is one thing you learned from blogging?
The braver I am in my writing, the more people respond.

What was your first dance song when you got married?
Everything by Lifehouse

What is your favorite dessert?
Homemade raw vegan ones like cheesecakes, banana cream pie, chocolate pie. And 85% organic fair trade dark chocolate. Yum.

How did you come up with your children's name(s)?
Sebastian Oliver- Johann Sebastian Bach, Oliver Wood, and Oliver Twist
Oscar Leo- Oskar Schindler, Oscar Wilde, and Leonardo DaVinci

What is your favorite sports team(s)?
None! I find watching sports on TV to be very boring. I'd much rather go do something active then to watch other people be active.

My Nominees
I have no idea how many followers my nominees have, so I'll just nominate those I think will appreciate it most.
Megan from Eat Love Nourish
Lisa from Hip-Baby Mama 
Maria from Mommy, you know what?
Kristy from Then Everything Changed

My 11 Questions for My Nominees
If you have kids and/or pets, how did you come up with their names?
Where was your best vacation?
If you could go hiking anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
What is your favorite vegetable?
Do you like to cook? Why or why not?
What is one thing you learned from blogging?
Why do you blog?
What are your goals as a writer?
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Now that you're an adult, what do you want to be when you grow up? :) 

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award:
Thank the Blogger that nominated you in your post and link back to their site.
Display the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
Answer 11 questions from the Blogger that nominated you.
Nominate 5-11 Bloggers with less than 1000 followers
Ask your nominees to answer 11 questions.


You see that adorable boy? That's Oscar. He's officially out of the crib and into Sebastian's car bed. That's my baby. He...


You see that adorable boy? That's Oscar. He's officially out of the crib and into Sebastian's car bed. That's my baby. He isn't a baby anymore. He's a little boy. A running, crazy talking, wild man. It happened so fast. I know everyone says that, "it goes so fast". Sounds cliche even repeating it because you hear it so much from older parents. But oh man is it true. And I know it will only go faster. I don't even want to imagine it going any faster.

Realizing how fast it's going is making me constantly reevaluate my life and how I'm spending my time. Our society is setup for distraction, so it's easy to lose sight of what's important. There's too many things wasting our time and stressing us out that just don't matter. I feel the only way to avoid this is to figure out what's most important and prioritize those things. And here they are:

1) Survival
2) Happiness

That's right ladies and gentlemen, I just boiled life down into the only 2 things that actually matter. Over-simplification is key here as we are purposefully trying to forget all the small things. Survival might sound like a given, but we often put things that will help us survive on the back-burner, like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. You can only survive as a couch potato, eating junk food, and staying up all night for so long, it will eventually catch up to you. Staying healthy means staying alive. And happiness... well for me that's all about love; being with the people you love and doing the things you love.

With these two things in mind, I'm trying to find all the things that are wasting time in my life and get rid of them. Things like obsessively cleaning my house, stressing out about how little cardio I'm still able to do, worrying about money, work, or basically anything we'd coin a first-world problem, it's all a complete waste of my life. But you know what isn't? Spending time with Brian and the kids, cooking my family a healthy meal, doing yoga, going for a hike, camping, reading, writing, singing, gardening...and taking the time to think about what is actually important to my happiness.

So if you write me on social media and I take a week to reply, you know why. If you come over to my house and think "god what a mess", I hope you follow up that thought with, "good for her". If you try to make plans with us and get the reply more than once that we'll be busy, it's because we'll be camping, hiking, and adventuring as much as possible. But you are always welcome to join us. :)


Do you know what's in antiperspirant that keeps you from sweating? It's aluminum. Yep that's right, the same stuff that&...

Shawna's Magic Deodorant

Do you know what's in antiperspirant that keeps you from sweating? It's aluminum. Yep that's right, the same stuff that's in your beer can is also in your deodorant. Seem weird? That's because it is. It's clogging your pours so no sweat can come out. Does that sound healthy to you? It's not, it's very bad for your body which needs to sweat to release toxins. Yes sweat stinks, I get it, I like cardio and I'm a sweater. Like shirt completely saturated if it's a little warm or if I workout hard. And I stink, not a nice, girly scent either, it's gross. When I learned about the aluminum in antiperspirant years ago I went on a mission to find a good deodorant without it. I think I tried all of the natural brands I could find and none of them worked. Every single one, my stink would just come right through at the slightest bit of warmth. I hated it. I went back to antiperspirant.

Then along comes my dear friend Shawna. She says, you can just make it yourself, it's really easy. I'm like uh huh, sure but does it work? It works really well, she says. Hmmm, I think, I'll be the judge of that. Upon seeing how easy the recipe was, we went ahead and gave it a try. I was, and still am, amazed that it worked at all. I was still skeptical until I tested it on a few runs, I mean long runs. This was last year when I was running 5-7 miles on long runs. It worked every time. No smell. Amazing. We've been using it for about a year and I've never had it fail me.

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil

Mix together well, using either your hands or a spoon. If you use your hands, the coconut oil will melt from your warmth. If you use a spoon, you'll need to melt the coconut oil first so you can mix everything together well. Pour into an old deodorant tube or jar while it's still soft. Put in the fridge to help it firm up.

We usually double this recipe and store the extra in the fridge so we don't have to make it very often. In the summer, or in the winter if your heater is up too high, you might want to store it in the fridge anyways because it will get pretty gooey if it gets too warm. I always keep mine in the fridge to avoid the goo.

Now if you make the switch, you will find that it takes several washings to get all your old antiperspirant out of your armpits completely. But once it's out, you'll feel the difference. You'll sweat, I mean if you're like me anyway, you'll feel moisture in your armpits and think oh crap I'm gonna stink. Stick your nose in their and take a big whiff, and you'll smell coconut oil. The only downside I've found to this, is that if you forget to wear it, you will stink very easily because your pours are nice and clean. This stuff washes off easy since it's not full of a bunch of toxic, chemical shit. So just something to keep in mind. :D


I'm joining my fellow bloggers again for another Confessional Thursday . Today I just have one large confession to make. It's a...

One Confession

I'm joining my fellow bloggers again for another Confessional Thursday.

Today I just have one large confession to make. It's a bit serious so I won't blame you for dropping off now. But it's something I've been wanting to write about for a long time and guess I've finally developed the courage to do so.

I confess that when I was 15, I was diagnosed with anorexia, depression, and OCD. I'm not telling you this to get your sympathy, I'd actually prefer you didn't give me any. I'm writing this because I know there are a lot of other people out there who are fighting a similar battle, or have in the past. I'm writing this because I know how alone I felt when I was going through the worst of it, how alone I still feel whenever it tries to comes back to haunt me. I'm writing this because I feel the strong desire to reach out and help anyone who needs it. Whether that help is sharing my story, my recovery, or simply being an understanding listener.

Many people, at some point in their lives, go through the dieting mentality. I need to lose weight, I want to be thinner, etc. so I'll skip the occasional meal or count some calories and jump start this diet. There's a very large, very depressing leap from that to a true eating disorder. It happens when it goes from occasional to constant. From a passing thought to an all-consuming one. From not a big deal to life-threatening. Anyone who's been through it knows the difference. And no, not every teenage girl goes through it. No it's not normal and shouldn't be written off as a passing phase. And no it doesn't just happen to women. It is not something done for sympathy, attention, or to maliciously hurt someone close to you.

Many more people will go through depression in their lives. For many I'd say hormone induced depression is quite common (puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, mid-life crisis, menopause, etc.). For others, it is a life-long battle that will rear it's horrific head whenever stress gets a little too high in life. I know there are many who need help with depression, even if that help is just knowing you're not alone. OCD is probably not as common as the other issues. For me it wasn't about obsessively locking the door or counting things, but the obsessive thinking that goes along with something like an eating disorder. When my brain gets caught up on a problem, or something I perceive as a problem, it will circle there for what seems like forever, until I can break the cycle. This is what gives me insomnia, the biggest symptom and reminder that I am still not completely rid of my obsessive thinking.

As horrific as all of this has been, I'm glad I went through it, and still go through some of it. It is one of the many experiences that makes me who I am today. I am stronger, healthier, and more alive because of it. I don't take my health for granted since I know how truly fragile it is. I don't take my sanity for granted as I know how it is to feel insane. And I don't take my loved ones for granted because I know how easily I could've lost them. As a parent, I don't want to imagine what that's like to watch your kid starve themselves. Even as a close friend or significant other, it would be heart-wrenching. At some point, even the most dedicated loved one would not be able to watch it, would have to step away.

The details of what, when, and why I won't get into here today. If there's an interest from my readers then I will write future posts about mental health, so please let me know your thoughts. Today I will simply leave with saying this. If you or someone you know shows any signs of a mental health issue, don't ignore it. Don't shun them, make fun of them, or judge them, because you don't know what they're going through. If it's you having the problems, don't be afraid to get help. Help can be in many forms, it doesn't have to be traditional and you don't have to tell everyone around you either. But you should tell those closest to you so that you can get the support you need to recover.

I once had a therapist tell me that I would never be totally recovered. I'm here, alive and healthy today, to tell you that is not true. Yes it will be a battle you will always fight, but that does not mean you can't recover. You can and you will if you want it. You just have to truly want it.