Five Things: Rochester Edition

Hi Friends!

I figured it was high time for another blog post. Two posts already in 2018? I’m on a roll! As you may have noticed, my content has changed a bit… will it be like this forever? I don’t know, but we are going to roll with it…so thanks for sticking around as I figure out what this blog will look like in the future!

Today, we’re going to have some fun!

As Farmer Ben and I have settled into our new home, there are a few things that I already love about living here. So, I thought I’d share them with y’all!

1. Favorite Restaurant-Cedar’s Mediterranean: A friend introduced me to this place. At first look, it doesn’t look like much but this place has some of the best Lebanese/Mediterranean food AND it’s on the cheap! The staff is incredibly attentive and the food is fresh. The Baba ghanouj is hands down the best I’ve ever had, especially paired with homemade pita bread, served warm. Ben and have made this place a regular dinner spot.


2. Favorite New Find-The library. I love books and reading. I’m not sure why it took us so long to check out the library but I am so glad we finally did. When you walk in, you are instantly greeted by the smell of coffee. There is a small self-serve coffee station (supplied by a local cafe…and it’s all $1!) next to the entrance. If you keep walking past the front desk and all the way to the back, there is a fireplace with comfortable chairs in front of it. I’m thinking this is going to become my new favorite place to work.


3. Favorite Place to Shop-Wegman’s: This is really a no-brainer. If you’re a long time reader, you know that my love for this grocery store runs deep. But living right down the road? It’s awesome. Ben and I are still learning the layout, but we love it. Typically if we go shopping in the morning, I’ll sneak over to the cafe and grab a coffee to have while we shop. Win-win!

4. Favorite Routine-Morning: I touched on this in my last post but I am digging my morning ritual as of late. I am definitely NOT a morning person… But, with my flexible schedule, I’ve been able to establish a new routine and I have to say, I love it…mostly because I take my time instead of rushing around. I usually wake up, turn on the diffuser (I’m currently loving the combo of Young Living En-R-Gee and Pine) and make breakfast. Then I’ll sit down, eat and drink some coffee and read for a bit before getting into work/errands. While super simple, this really helps me stay grounded as I head into my day. So…while mornings are still not my favorite (I’m a forever night-owl), I am enjoying this slow season.


5. Favorite New Movie/Soundtrack-The Greatest Showman: Ben and I went to see this a couple of weeks ago and I am obsessed! I know that this is a wildly inaccurate depiction of PT Barnum’s life but it is such a feel good movie! I’ve been listening to the soundtrack non-stop and am fairly certain ALL of the songs are going on my workout playlist and we are definitely buying this movie because who doesn’t love a good musical? Am I right?! If you haven’t seen this, go, NOW!


So that’s it! These are some of my current favorite things!

What about you?! Do you have a new favorite restaurant or movie? What do your mornings look like? 

2018: The Year To…

It is January 5, 2018.

That feels strange to type.

As I write this, I am sitting at my dining room table, next to my diffuser, a snowy scene out the window. It is really stinking cold outside (6 degrees with a real feel of -18 degrees).

Today, I literally walked back and forth around my apartment and listened to the Bible App to get some steps in and catch up on my reading plan (I get motion sickness if I try to read and walk at the same time). I just don’t want to go outside. I’m conducting my first funeral service tomorrow and still have some prep to do on my message (Side note: This is also strange to type)…and I start a new class on Monday. It feels weird after taking a couple of months off.

A few days ago, I reflected on 2017. Today, we look ahead. Onward and upward, am I right?!

So, it’s 2018.

Ben and I are starting the year off feeling a bit more at home in our new city and we are making some plans and looking ahead to what God has in store.

Personally, I’m finally feeling like I am in a place to tackle some new challenges. I spent much of last year feeling hidden, stuck and a bit out of control. I am thankful for the growth that occurred but I spent a lot of time having doors slammed in my face (or at least it felt that way).

As I mentioned in my last post, something has shifted. I’m finally feeling God tell me to move. What does that means exactly? I’m not sure…. but I do know that our move and this new ministry position was part of it.

I go back and forth with New Year’s resolutions. Some years, I love them, others… I want nothing to do with them. This year, I’ve decided on a word for the year instead.

So, without further ado… My word for 2018 is Bloom…as in, bloom where I am planted.

I know that sounds like kind of a soft, flowery word (get it? ha!) but for me, it means to thrive, to grow and to push forward. It is getting back to the boldness that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Simply put, I’m tired of making excuses and I’m tired of apologizing. I’m tired of shrinking back. That’s not who God created me to be. This does NOT mean that I have to be the center of attention, and it doesn’t mean that I go into every situation with guns blazing, not by any means. I have learned to pick my battles (most of the time).

But it also means that I refuse to apologize for who I am. I refuse to “have to” explain or justify my decisions…and I refuse to apologize for being a woman called by God into ministry.

It’s not been easy to comes to grips with all of this. It’s been a very long and a very lonely road. But this time has also helped me figure out who my people are. It’s a short list but it’s solid.

If I have learned anything in the last year, it’s that I have to answer to God first. I’d love to say that I’ve always known this, but I think it needed to be reiterated (numerous times) over the last year. The thing is, if I feel the need to justify myself to someone, they probably aren’t going to change their mind, anyway…and that’s okay. It’s just not worth it. The people who really matter won’t need justification.

I learned this the hard way…and I spent a lot of time being offended and discouraged, but in the end, it’s made me more confident in who I am in Christ. That is what is really important. And as I continue to realize this, the less I feel the need to fight to prove myself. Instead, I’ve been okay to just… be.

And it means that I am finally ready to get back to what’s important… to blooming.

God has me here, in this exact place and at this exact time, for a reason. And I intend to use this time to do His work. To continue to grow and mature and to do something new for Him! I’m feeling that it’s time to get to work! I suspect the same can be said for each of us. At the end of the day, no matter what anyone else says, we matter and we have a purpose.

Paul lovingly writes to Timothy, in his second letter:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, NKJV).

By shrinking back and worrying about what other people think, we aren’t using our gifts. Further, we aren’t doing God’s work and we are doing the people around us a disservice. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back and realize that I missed out on an opportunity for fear of offending someone.

Now I know what you’re thinking… how can we love people if we end up offending them? But that’s just it! It’s high time that we speak truth and we fan into flame our gifts BECAUSE we love others! Again, it’s that idea of picking our battles. What are you wiling to let slide and what are you willing to fight for?

This doesn’t mean that we do more. And it doesn’t mean that we say more. It doesn’t even mean that we go full force into battle every day.

Instead, it means that we obey.

We choose to follow Christ. Every single day. One of my favorite quotes sums it up perfectly. “You go where you’re sent and you stay where you’re put and you give what you’ve got” (Jill Briscoe). And in doing that, God is going to work in us and through us. Even if we don’t see it right away. Even if we never see it…we choose to obey. We keep going and we follow through.

That is what Bloom means to me. It’s the follow through.

So, that’s what 2018 is-The year to bloom. What’s  in store remains to be seen…but I’m okay with that. The best is yet to come!


Let’s chat! What does “Bloom” mean to you? Do you have any big plans for 2018? Word of the Year or Resolutions? 


On 2017

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. It’s probably my favorite holiday.

After the sparkle and shine that comes with Christmas, and the few days that follow in a bleary-eyed, sugar hangover and haze, New Year’s Eve gives us time to reflect, reevaluate and plan ahead. It gives us the opportunity to look at how the highs and lows have shaped us and what we can do to keep moving forward. It also gives us the space to spend time with our favorite people.

For the last few years, Ben and I have spent this evening with our close friends. Last year, we went snowshoeing in the Adirondacks, and later re-grouped and spent the evening eating a delicious meal, playing games and reflecting on what was 2016.

This year is different. Ben and I still plan to make delicious food but that’s where our plans end. I know I’ve said this in my last post, but it all still feels pretty strange.

I’ll just come out and say it, 2017 was brutal…and I’ve got a lot of damage.

I’ve questioned my call, my faith and my relationships. People who Ben and I thought we could trust let us down in VERY big ways and some walked away completely, we were harassed and bullied for doing the right thing on many occasions and many things fell apart. I think the worst thing was to watch people for whom I care deeply suffer and I wasn’t able to help or I simply didn’t see it until it was too late. This is not to say that 2017 was all doom and gloom… but many of my expectations about ministry and about life were completely shattered.

2017 feels like a really long-drawn-out war; battle after battle has been fought and there is a ton of wreckage. Simply put, a lot happened that wasn’t supposed to happen. I have said to Ben multiple times, “It just wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

Now as we come to the end of it and survey the damage, it kind of feels like I am finally waking up from a bad dream.

But even in that, there is new life springing forth. There is still hope.

Something has shifted. As strange as it sounds, I feel that God released us. We were told to move forward and doors opened. Some of the struggle finally came to an end. There was also a lot of healing and forgiveness that took place in a short amount of time. There is STILL a lot of healing and forgiveness that needs to happen, but it IS happening. And there is STILL joy, even in the midst of much sadness.

Choosing joy each day sounds really nice. But..this practice does NOT come easily. That said, I firmly believe it is what got me through the toughest days. I can NOT look back on this year and only see destruction because it is inextricably linked to (albeit fleeting) moments of joy, of gratitude and of celebration.

So as I consider this year, what feels like the longest year of my life, I have to say that I am still grateful. I am coming out a bit worse for wear, but I’m stronger and I have grown. My people are stronger. And we are so blessed.

I’m still here. And God is still here. We are moving forward.

Again I stress, this is not a post to say that this year was all bad. There was much to be grateful for and much to celebrate…but I don’t think the celebration and the joy would have meant as much without the heartache.

As I close this post, I cannot help but think of John 1, verses 1-5. It reads:

“In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it” (NLT) 

This is a strange passage with a lot to take in, but my biggest takeaway is that Christ was there in the beginning. He was there on the cross. And today, He is still here. He IS that light…and He is with US!

No matter what we are going through, Christ is fighting our battles with us…even when it doesn’t feel that way! He overcame death itself, and He is still fighting for you and for me.

So as we close the book on 2017, my prayer is that we can rest in the knowledge that though we may be a bit bruised up from the past 12 months (I know I’m not alone in this), we are so much stronger than we know. And we are NOT alone in the darkness. Not ever.

This gives me so much hope. And joy.  I pray it does the same for you.



Christmas Eve Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I can hardly believe it, can you? This last month passed in the blink of an eye! I am just now stopping to gather my thoughts.

As I write this, I am currently sitting in a Panera staring out the window at the falling snow. I’ll probably regret this decision as I’m driving home later but for now, I’m enjoying the view.

It’s been a strange few months…Ben and I are settling in to our new home.Still, calling Rochester “home” still feels odd. We have had some really neat opportunities come our way but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss our friends, family and the different traditions we’ve had with them. One moment I’m so happy we are here and the next I still feel we are so out of place.

Christmas is different this year. Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just feels foreign, unfamiliar.

An example of this is that I am leading worship for tomorrow’s service. This is my happy place, my comfort zone and one of my favorite ways to serve and connect with not only God, but also other people. It is easier for me to build relationships making music than it is doing almost anything else. And yet… I miss my old worship team. They were my tribe, a second family. It’s very bittersweet. I’m already bonding with this group yet it feels so strange singing with new faces.

Everyone here has been wonderful. I know it is just going to take some time, but it makes for an interesting balance.

This morning, I was so excited thinking about church tomorrow and spending Christmas with my family (who are now only an hour and a half away!) and then I went to check our PO Box. It was filled with cards from people from our old church and two packages from some of our closest friends.

I got in my car, opened and read a few of the cards and promptly burst into tears. I don’t even know why! As bad as it sounds, I just wasn’t expecting it.

Moments like this one make it hard.

These moments make it feel like we walked away from our people. And in many ways, I suppose we did. But then I think about some of the circumstances we left behind and I am reminded that we are here for a reason and we absolutely made the right choice. So, we are continuing to trust God as we look ahead.

I guess I am writing all of this to say that yes, we are so glad to be here, in our new home…but we are still adjusting. Change–no matter how good–is never an easy thing and I want to be authentic about where we are in the process.

Overall, I think I am just incredibly humbled by how well we have been loved by people in this new home and in the last one. When I stop and think about it, I am completely overwhelmed.

It can be very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and shopping and programs…but I want to take a moment and remind myself (and you, reader, if you don’t mind) why we even celebrate this holiday. As I think about how wonderful people have been, I cannot help but remember that God is even more so!

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is John 1:14, which reads,And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (NKJV).

The word “dwelt” literally means Jesus literally came and tabernacled among us. He set up camp here–and made a home here!–to be with US. And He still does that today, as long as we are willing. It means that we have to humble ourselves. It means that we die to self and we choose to follow. But it also means that we are loved beyond our wildest dreams and that we are never alone. It takes my breath away. 

As I go over the last year, especially the last three or four months, I cannot help but see how much God has shown up for us. Even in the moments when I felt alone, He came through, whether it was receiving a text or getting a mailbox full of Christmas cards. Or just feeling that peace that comes from knowing that we are taken care of by the Creator of the Universe.

If you are struggling today, know that you are not alone. Know that you are so loved. And that God is with you.

Immanuel. God. With. Us.

Merry Christmas!


Confessions: A New Chapter


Is anyone still following this little blog?

Real talk….This year has thrown me for a loop (side note: I feel like I have said this in almost all of the posts I’ve published in the last two years). There have been many challenges and what has felt like one very long, hard season. I haven’t had the motivation or the courage to write about it in this space–or at all really–and talking about anything else just didn’t feel authentic… so, we had silence.

I’m still working through some things but I am finally feeling like it’s time to post a life update. So, here we are.

One of the most exciting changes is that Farmer Ben and I made a big move! As of November 1, we now live in Rochester, NY! (Also-never imagined that I would live in Rochester!)

How did this happen?

The short-handed version is that I was dealing with recurring frustration and a lot of unknowns,  and after what felt like repeating the same conversation numerous times, Ben encouraged me to talk to someone about it…so I reached out to a friend of mine for some advice and he casually mentioned that his home church may be looking for another staff person. I didn’t take this seriously but I ended up speaking to his boss a few days later and before I knew it, Ben and I were driving to Rochester that weekend to meet him and see the church. It happened so quickly that I had to call my boss and explain the situation to see if I could even go…which still cracks me up when I think about it.

The longer version is that after a long period of remaining and trusting God in the midst of said frustration and unknowns, something shifted. Sitting in church one Sunday and not knowing what our next steps were, He finally told me it was time to move on. I say with all seriousness that God made it very clear that our time in that church was coming to an end…and two days later, we were making plans to go to Rochester for an interview.

“It’s just a conversation.” That’s what we kept telling ourselves. This made it seem less intimidating. And less real.

Now, this is a running joke because, well… we just moved to Rochester because of said conversation!

A week after that first phone call, I accepted the offer but because of some other circumstances, Ben and I decided to wait until the end of October to make the move.

So, on November 1, 2017, Farmer Ben and I drove from Plattsburgh to Rochester to begin a new chapter. I am now the Family Life Pastor at a church here. I am on the hunt for a side gig. Ben started working last week.

The church is very different than where we came from so Ben and I are figuring out how we fit into this new church family, along with navigating a new city and this huge change in our lives. But we are full of hope for our future here!

Not gonna lie, I am not loving the free time. I am not good at down-time. But I have to admit, I have been out straight for the last two and a half years and I know that God wants me to slow down and take a breath as I step into a new role…So I am trying to be intentional.

There is a lot from the last three years that I am still processing and grieving. One of the main things is Duane’s death and the aftermath. I’ve also been especially challenged in my calling this year and what that looks like as a female pastor. I’m using this time to work through these things.

That being said, the last couple of weeks have been a time of restoration and refreshment for us and while we still have a long way to go, I truly believe that God has a plan for us here and we are so hopeful for what He has in store! There has been overwhelming confirmation that we made the right choice…when I stop and think about it, it almost takes my breath away.

We have been so blessed by the kindness we’ve seen in our first days here as we settle into our new normal. I am more excited about ministry than I have been in a long time and Ben is dreaming about what his next steps are.

So … that’s where we are right now. Joyful, expectant and loved.

behold verse


Let’s catch up! What are you doing/working on these days?

What are you excited about? 



Looking Back

Oh hey, it is January 2017. And nine months have passed since my last blog post…My bad. I suppose I should do one of those 2016 recap posts. So grab a cup of coffee because this is going to be a long one….

If I am being completely honest, 2016 was tough. I had gone into the year feeling that I had finally gained some solid footing in most areas of my life and work, only to have that stripped away. A lot of things happened last year and I still find myself asking God, “Why?” I have been hesitant to write…. I have not known what to say and frankly, it is kind of embarrassing. Aren’t I supposed to have my stuff together? Am I allowed to share my mess in this little corner of the internet? But I am feeling God push me to do so, and here we are.

2016 held a lot of hurt, doubt and frustration.

Two close friends quietly disappeared from my life and I am not sure if I will ever get an exact answer as to why…regardless, it hurt. It still hurts, even months later. As I processed (and some days, still process) these losses, I cannot help but wonder if it is me.

Am I a terrible person? Did I do something wrong? Or did we just outgrow each other? Is it because of my faith? Do I have a terribly irritating personality flaw? As much as I hate to say it, I may never know. That unknown is the most difficult part.  I find it creeping into my other relationships and as a result I hold people at arm’s length, wondering if I am too much of a burden or a hindrance. This is something I have to continually give to God and trust that He knows what is best. As you can imagine, it is easier said than done.

As I come to terms with this, I realize that God is using this to draw me closer, forcing me to rely completely on Him. Again, this is hard. A lot of pre-conceived notions have been stripped away and at times I feel raw, like Eve, standing completely naked in front of Him. And yet… He is so good! He simply takes me as I am and asks only that I follow Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

Even after all this time, it is so hard for me to grasp this. Grace. I am so flawed, and yet, He loves me anyway. My prayer is that as a minister–as a human being–I would be able to give even a small portion of that grace to those I interact with. And this cannot be done apart from God.

2016 was also a time that I was able to grieve an event that occurred several years ago. At the time, I thought it had no effect on me but for whatever reason, it came to the forefront last year and I finally dealt with it. It was hard. Harder than I ever would have guessed. But I like to believe it has made me a far more compassionate person and it is something God is using to refine me.

Work is an area in which I have always felt confident, but working in ministry is different. This year held so many changes and un-answered questions. So many questions. Life does not make sense…and sometimes that really sucks. In my line of work, we see the best of people, but we also see the worst. We see amazing God-things happen, but we also see terrible things happen to good people. A lot will simply not make sense this side of eternity. And for the sake of being transparent, some days this burden is not easy to carry. I do not like to broadcast it, but I am a very sensitive person. I have BIG feelings, always have. Dealing with people as intimately as I do, this makes things messy. When I see someone hurting, I hurt for them. And it is hard to talk about–who do you talk to???

Still, God is there. Patiently waiting for me to come to Him. Whispering, “Be still, and know” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV). And again, I am completely overwhelmed by His grace, that we can bring absolutely anything to Him.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).

It still takes my breath away.

It would be unfair to mention a portion of the bad  without mentioning some of the good. And there was a lot of good!

While there were many hard days in 2016, I was never alone (even if I felt that way). Ben was–and is–a huge blessing to me and I could not imagine doing this life with anyone else. We celebrated five years of marriage last year and while each year holds unique challenges, I like to think we came out even stronger than before. I have never met someone so patient and understanding. He has taken on my ministry–a task he didn’t choose!–without batting an eyelash. Frankly, I don’t give him enough credit for this. I would not be able to do what I do without his support.

It still amazes me the people God has placed in our paths and the friendships we have formed; People who have encouraged and supported us, but also told us when we need to rethink something. Sometimes, it is difficult to be honest and I am glad to do life with people who love us enough to tell the truth, even if it may be unpleasant. This last year, I desperately needed that. I had so many insecurities come to the forefront, things that I had not thought about for years, and I needed a lot of loving (and sometimes brutal) truth. I have learned that we cannot go through this life alone. We need people to hold us accountable and sometimes, to pull us along. We’ve had the opportunity to experience adventure, heartbreak, worship, prayer, tears and pure joy with this group. I am so grateful for each one of them.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV).

It was also a huge blessing to help with the baptism of some of the teens I work with. Making a public declaration of Christ is reason to celebrate! These teens continue to challenge me and surprise me. I am encouraged by the wisdom and the love for God some of them possess at such a young age. It is incredibly humbling to have the opportunity to be a part of their faith journey. This is something that I do not take lightly and while it is not for the faint of heart, God has shown me amazing things through these kids.

2016 was also the year that I was granted my first district license in the church of the Nazarene and I was able to preach my first sermon. I still cannot believe that I am in this position. Looking back on my life, I never would have guessed that I would be here. This only could have happened through God’s grace. Again this is not an easy task, but I have found joy in the small things; hearing answers to prayer, seeing people come to Christ and spending time, sharing burdens and celebrating the small victories with hurting people.

This is hard work. Some days it is downright overwhelming, but still I am blessed. And I am looking forward with hope.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NKJV).


Photo Credit: A. Clark

Cheers to 2017!

Life Update: March & April

Hi Friends! It’s been a while since we chatted, so I figured I should update you on what’s happening behind the blog! Prepare for a ramble! (Note: I actually started writing this post on March 17… and then again on April 2. Oops). 

The meeting that I had at the beginning of March went well… it was actually my interview for my district minister’s license. So, starting in April, you can officially call me Pastor! After getting my district license, I’ll have so many years to complete my classes and work as a pastor until I move toward ordination. It’s so crazy to think about how I ended up here. If you had told me even two years ago that I would be taking this path, the path of full-time ministry,  I probably would have laughed in your face.

Speaking of which, I cannot believe that I have been at my job for a year (it was a year on March 18). If I am being completely honest, this is definitely the most difficult job I have ever had, but I know that it is exactly where I am supposed to be. That week was really bittersweet because it was also a year since we lost Pastor D. Looking back over the last 12 months is a bit overwhelming. There has been so much change! Some of it has been really hard and some of it has been incredible…either way, God is in control.

I have not had a lot of time to just sit down and reflect on all of this until recently. Yes, we are still grieving this loss, but God has been so faithful to us! He has revealed Himself, even in the midst of tragic circumstances. I cannot even wrap my head around how much He has carried me through in the last year. Even in the moments of doubt (and there have been a few!), He shows up.

So, though it was a tough first year, I have also been very blessed. The song It Is Well has come up so many times throughout this year and our lead pastor mentioned it in her sermon on the 20 (which was the anniversary of D’s death). Not gonna lie, I had a few “moments” on that Sunday.


In other news, Farmer Ben and I took a vacation a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome. We got to spend time with the family, including this cute little lady!


She looks so much like my sister it’s crazy! (And said sister would kill me if she knew I posted this. Ha!)


We also drove around the finger lakes, ate way too much and I did something a little wild (for me)….


I got my nose pierced! My sister and I decided to do it together. She even caught my blood, that’s a good sister! Bahaha!

I also got to show Ben the sites and all of the places I hung out as a kid, including the ice skating rink. I have so many amazing memories there! We didn’t have much time to actually go skating because of the hockey schedule, but it was nice to show Ben some of my past.


Side note: I JUST now noticed the hockey player falling in the background! 

In other news, we moved! We were renting a cute little house just outside of town but we just moved into a house that’s about 1/2 mile from the church. Not gonna lie, I will definitely miss our sunny little kitchen in the mini-house.


We are currently in the midst of finishing up renovations/painting/cleaning but we have all of our belongings in one place now and even have a lot of them unpacked!


While I am a little sad to be leaving our old place, it was the perfect time to move on. I loved our mini-house but it was just a hair too small and we were starting to feel it (note to self: one closet for two people is rough!). I am most excited about having an office and a guest room. I am on the hunt for the perfect desk.

This month has been full of lots of fun things besides the move. I was very excited when I got to spend a few hours with some of my favorite people from high school. Two of them were in town visiting so we randomly got together for lunch and coffee.


Ben and I also spent some time at our friends’ maple farm to help them out with an event and eat copious amounts of maple syrup/drink lots of sap water coffee. It was rough. We even got to go for a ride!


In other news, I started doing an online bootcamp with Erica House. We are doing a carb-cycling program, complete with workouts. So far, I am really loving it, especially the accountability. With my schedule, it is all too easy for me to put off doing a workout, so this is great motivation.

I’ve followed Erica’s blog for a long time so when she opened up the program I knew it would be a great fit for me! She even sent each person a sweet journal and water bottle.

I’m a week into it and so far I am feeling pretty good. It definitely doesn’t feel like a diet and I am loving the motivation to get out and get some exercise!


Phew! I think that’s pretty much it! So, long story short, Farmer Ben and I have been busy!

What have all of you been up to? Any big weekend plans? Most exciting thing that’s happened in the last month? 

I have an event tomorrow and then hopefully I’ll have some time to unpack/clean/paint. Very exciting, I know!

Happy Friday!


Things That Drive Me Insta-Bonkers

Happy Thursday Friends!

Any big weekend plans?

I am heading to Syracuse tomorrow for a meeting on Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, Farmer Ben and I start vacation! I am SO looking forward to taking some time off. We will be visiting family, resting, and sleeping in. After almost a year of being out straight, I am totally ready.

Anyway, moving on….

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning and I have to be honest… I was bored. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Instagram and it’s really the only form of social media that I keep up with on a daily basis (I don’t use Facebook or Snapchat and Twitter is just downright overwhelming!).

I follow some amazing accounts but there seems to be a lot of monotony in my feed lately. Maybe this means it’s time for an insta-cleanse? Perhaps.

Now… I’m not saying that my own Instagram feed is perfect, because it’s definitely not. I’m so guilty of posting things that other people find super annoying (see: post-run selfies, #bigasssalads and pictures of my bulletproof coffee and eggs).


That being said, it got me thinking about the things that drive me most crazy….So, here are the top five posts (in no particular order) that I am totally over!

  • Pancakes, specifically protein pancakes. I’m sorry, but there are only so many things you can do to a pancake to make it look interesting. Do I enjoy eating them? Yes. Do I want to see 123435431341341 pictures of them? No.
  • It Works anything. Come on! We get it… you love being an independent distributor, blah blah blah! Also, telling me that the wraps and vitamins will help me get a body like yours, when I’ve known you since birth and you’ve always had a super model physique is not convincing me to buy your product. Sorry. It doesn’t work like that (see what I did there?).
  • Smoothie Bowls. My apologies, but I don’t get the appeal. If I’m going to drink a smoothie, I  want it in a glass. Otherwise, it’s just a sad pretend version of ice cream.
  • Pictures of you doing a handstand. Is it awesome that you can do a handstand, heck yes! I cannot do one… Do I want to see you doing a handstand not once, not twice, but three times a day? No. There are only so many ways to make this interesting.
  • Negativity. I get it, sometimes you have trouble squeezing into your jeans, or you spill your coffee, you get in a fight with your significant other or you are just having a no-good-rotten day. But taking a completely unrelated picture or using a selfie to complain about your life, your looks or to berate your spouse on the internet? Come on. You’re better than that.

This is all meant in good fun… and totally not serious. Except maybe the protein pancakes.

Let’s chat! What drives you crazy on Instagram?! 

Also, linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons for today’s Thinking Out Loud Post….check out some of the other posts! Thanks to Amanda for hosting the link-up!




Real Talk: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars

Helloooo! Happy Tuesday y’all!

Can we talk about snacks today?! I am stopping in today with a quick review for Manitoba Harvest. They recently came out with a new product, their hemp heart bars, and I was lucky enough to get to sample two of the flavors!

*Full Disclosure-Manitoba Harvest provided me with product for review purposes through my relationship with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Per usual, all opinions are my own.*

I was excited to test these out as I am a big fan of hemp seeds as a plant-based protein and am always game for trying new snacks.

There are many days when I get caught up at work and do not have time to sit down and eat a real lunch, so I try to keep relatively healthy and filling snacks around. These definitely fit the bill!

I was sent the apple cinnamon and the chocolate to try. While both were good, the chocolate was definitely the winner in my book. I will be on the lookout for the vanilla so I can try all three!


Side note: I know this probably doesn’t matter to most people, but I really like the packaging for these… it’s nice and simple, just like the ingredients.  

Speaking of the ingredients, I can pronounce all of them, which if you know me, is very important! You can also see pretty much everything listed!



A quick run down of the bars from the Manitoba Harvest Website:

“Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart bars are crafted with the goodness of hemp and other tasty ingredients too. We’ve whipped up three different delicious flavours to choose from: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, so whether you grab one for a pre-workout snack or nutrition on the go, these convenient bars are sure to get you through even your busiest day!”

10 grams of protein! I was super thankful to have one of these in my purse the other day… Once again, I hadn’t had time for a real lunch and I needed a quick snack before heading out to meet a friend for a run! It didn’t bother my stomach and kept me satiated through my workout and up until dinner! Winning!


Overall, I would absolutely buy these again. However, I would definitely recommend the chocolate over the apple cinnamon. It’s just…I personally would rather eat an actual apple…but that’s just me…don’t let that rain on your apple cinnamon loving parade!

In other exciting news, Manitoba Harvest is running a wicked cool photo contest! You can find the full details here.

Here are some quick details if you’d like to play along: 

  • Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
  • A winner will be chosen each month!
  • Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents.

AND if you’d like to order your own hemp heart bars, Manitoba Harvest is generously offering 15% off your purchase. You can buy them here.

  • The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off! Expires 3/31/2016 

A big thank you to Manitoba Harvest and Fit Approach for allowing me to sample out another awesome product!

Lets’ chat: Hemp Hearts-yes or no? Favorite pre-run (or other workout) snack? Chocolate or Apple Cinnamon? 



Stuff on My Phone

Hi Friends!

Happy Friday!  Not gonna lie, it’s been a while! Let’s catch up!

I finally crossed over to the dark side and got an iPhone a couple of weeks ago. In all honesty, I had been thinking about it for a while (since August/September) but my poor old phone was finally on its last legs, so I gave in and made the switch.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures I’ve taken in the 2 weeks since switching phones. I have to say, the camera on this phone is WAY better than my old one and I LOVE that. I also love that I can take screen shots(as you’ll notice!)…I know… I’m like 2341343 years late to the screenshot party. It’s fine.

What you’ll find: 

  • My friends’ excitement over my finally switching to the iPhone.
  • Final grade in the last class I took (So pumped about getting that A!)
  • Screenshot of some books I recently added to my Kindle library
  • Food (Lots of food)
  • Chocolate (the BEST chocolate for baking)
  • Farmer Ben (my favorite person) and I freezing our butts off at a youth retreat
  • The not-too-shabby view at said youth retreat. Still freezing.
  • Screenshot of my workout summary on Map My Run
  • Some books I ordered and am excited to dig into (both for class and for pleasure)
  • A page I really liked in my reading for the class I just finished.

(Click on the collage to see individual photos)



That’s all I have for today! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What are you taking pictures of lately? Screenshots? Let me know! (I’m really nosey like that and am dying to know!)