Category Archives: Beauty

Eating Lean & Green Cookbook

Hi there lovely people,

Okay, so I’m continuing my theme this week of celebrating the women around me and all the amazing things they are accomplishing!

Today, I wanted you to meet my dear friend, Katie Marreel! You know the friend that is just good at whatever she does…yeah that’s Katie! Creative, brilliant, kind, caring – you know that good to the core kinda person – well, Katie pretty much rocks and I feel super lucky to have had her in my life as a close friend and one of my best brain storming buddies!! Nothing better than another entrepreneurial girl to keep you going! So check this out…

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She has just launched her first cookbook and I couldn’t be more proud! Woo!!!

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I have witnessed her toil lovingly over this project for a looong time but the finished product is beyond gorgeous!! Go to her website to check out this beautifully written and photographed (by Katie herself) cookbook. Chock full of delicious, healthy recipes!

So you can get to know her a little better, I decided a little impromptu interview was in order! Just like her book, she’s bursting with great information and healthy tips for busy families and health minded individuals alike!

Okay here goes….So Katie…..


What is your personal relationship like with food and fitness? (hint hint…tell us about your story. ;)

My story begins nearly 60 lbs. and 15 years ago with a quest to transform my body into something healthier. The first several years brought many new diets and exercise programs, some of which failed, and others that made their own small contribution to weight loss. Nothing, however, came close to achieving the ultimate goal.  Then I discovered the Medifast 5 & 1 Meal Plan© through Take Shape for Life©. With guidance from my physician, I followed the program and experienced radical results. I lost weight beyond my expectations and built an entirely new relationship with food. Six years later, I’m still maintaining a goal weight. Eating Lean & Green has become a way of life.

My relationship with food and fitness is always changing and growing. There are so many ideas from experts in the field, I find that I am always studying and learning as much as I can. 

When it comes to food, I have learned to think about it as fuel to power my body, and I find deep satisfaction in eating things that are nutritious.  Old emotional eating habits, using food as a reward and a comfort, continue to fade away as new healthier habits take over.  There is no reward sweeter than the satisfaction of having made the right choices!

Fitness is something I have always been passionate about, and I am dedicated to keeping it a regular part of life. I like to change it up and try new things. From yoga and strength training to running and tennis, I’m always keeping my body moving.  Although it can be exhausting in the moment, I know that it does so many healing and restorative things for our bodies. It’s worth every drop of sweat.

What was your inspiration in creating this cookbook?

As a person who has struggled with weight for most of my life, my inspiration comes from a deeply-rooted desire to help others on the same journey.  I am passionate about sharing healthy and nutritious meals that are also incredibly satisfying and delicious.  Losing weight doesn’t have to taste bad!



What are your top three tips for incorporating healthy eating into your everyday family life?

#1:  Plan, plan, plan. It may not be the most fun task, but getting familiar with the nutritional value of your food and making a daily plan is the best thing you can to reach your goals.  I write down all the foods I plan to eat each day before I go to bed. If I’m going out to a restaurant, I will check out the menu online ahead of time and know ahead of time what I am going to order.

#2:  Don’t force it. Learning to be selective with your own foods while offering a few options for others will go a long way to getting them excited about being healthful. Forcing food choices on others will only drive them away from healthy eating.  Not everyone in my house eats on such a restrictive plan as I do, especially the kids who need more carbohydrates. The core of every dinner I cook is a healthy lean and green meal, but I will often serve a starch like beans or grains on the side to make it more satisfying for them. 

#3:  Make a daily habit. Whether you choose to read a book or magazine, listen to a podcast , or go online, spending an hour of time each day thinking about health and nutrition will make a big difference in your ability to incorporate healthy eating into your everyday life.  It will keep you focused and give you a better knowledge base to make wise decisions.

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What changes have you seen within your life and your families by implementing these healthy practices?

One noteworthy change has been in my own sense of identity and being comfortable with my body. Losing weight and maintaining it has brought a great deal of self-confidence and has opened the door to trying lots of new and exciting things in life that I might have been intimidated by otherwise.

The most exciting thing to see is the effect on people around me.  By living out a healthy lifestyle, I get to be an example for others who have a similar goal, but may have lost hope or gotten frustrated in the process.  My conversation often falls into the topics of health and nutrition because it’s something I get really excited about. I love getting to share new ideas about food that show people being healthful can also taste incredibly delicious. It’s a win win!

She’s inspiring right? Katie is so passionate about helping others live a healthier life!

Now don’t be shy…you can visit her at her website or Facebook too! Go say hi! ;)

Thanks for chatting with us Katie! You go girl!



Filed under Beauty, Books, celebrate, creativity, entertaining, Food, Friends, Health, News, Stories

Birds of a Feather…

Hello friends! Hope your weekend was relaxing. Ours was filled with birthday parties and time in the sun – a lovely pairing!

Last Friday, I started my day with a trip to the hairdresser….yah! My hair was in desperate need of some love. While my stylist was washing my hair, I noticed a tiny sliver of feather hanging just below her ear. It was subtle but so pretty and whimsical – I knew I must have one. It felt a little rebellious to ask for one in my hair but I went for it!  So, here it is…I think I want more! Can you see it?

Doing something a little different like this makes me feel bold, like I’m stretching beyond my rather conservative (boring) norm. It’s amazing how just little baby steps outside our comfort zone makes us grow. What’s next a tattoo? Probably not…but you never know…

I guess with this whole bohemian trend in fashion, it’s no surprise that feathers are showing up in women’s tresses. Check out these other looks…

Images via: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

So pretty! Don’t want to commit to a feather extension? try a clip from Etsy.

What do you think? Would you put a few feathers in your hair? What is something that you could do outside your own comfort zone?



Filed under Stories, Beauty, fashion

Inspiration board

I created this inspiration board for my BYW class and I had to share it with you. It was such a fabulous creative exercise – playing with all the pretty pictures, postcards and shiny baubles I’ve been collecting. This is supposed to reflect my aesthetic and sense of style. I feel like it is pretty accurate, at least for now…

See it larger here.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.



Filed under Art, Beauty, Mosaics, Thoughts

I have a thing for…

So…I’m completely enamored with this blog. A thing for…

These amazing color montages are a thing of beauty. Each one is so skilfully arranged and balanced. If you adore photography and love color…go visit.

Enjoy this delicious sampling…

Have a happy Monday.



Images via a thing for

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Filed under Art, Beauty, Love, photography, Thoughts

Pineapple Face Mask

Since we came back from Hawaii, pineapple has been my new addiction.

I can’t seem to get enough of it.

I’ve got gobs of fresh pineapple in my fridge so I decided to play around with it and make up a face mask.

Pineapple has a wonderfully skin friendly enzyme in it called Bromelain. It helps shed dead skin cells, brighten skin and has a gentle astringent like quality. Mixed with the moisturizing qualities of honey and the antioxidant power of green tea this mask made my skin feel fantastic.

{Bonus – the green tea and honey are acne fighters too!}

Try it out for a little tropical pampering.

You’ll need:

3-4 slices of fresh pineapple

1 tablespoon organic honey

1 tablespoon green tea


Boil water and make a cup of strongly steeped green tea. (I like to steep mine for at least 10 minutes)

Put the pineapple and honey in the blender and mix until smooth. Add the green tea and mix to a paste.

Spread the paste over your clean face and neck. Lie back and relax for 15 minutes.

Rinse with warm water and soft wash cloth. End with a splash of cool water and finish with moisturizer.

Now, go make yourself a Mai Tai or Pina Colada!



Image via: PushShutterSnap via Deviant Art


Filed under Recipes, Beauty, Health

Yogurt Face Mask

If your spring has been anything like ours, then you’ll know that your skin has had to deal with a number of crazy conditions. One day it’s warm, dry and sunny, the next it’s bone chilling wet and windy.

Hot and cold fluctuations have a negative effect on the skin and it often causes an imbalance in our sebum production.  The result: dry patches, breakouts, and oil slicks…ick.

Try this fabulous balancing yogurt mask I stumbled upon in Body & Soul Magazine:

1 egg white

1 tsp. steeped green tea

1/2 Tbsp. plain organic yogurt

2 Tbsp. oatmeal (finely ground)

1/2 tsp. organic honey

Prep: Whip egg white until foamy. In a bowl, mix 1 tsp. of green tea and 2 Tbsp. oatmeal. Combine with egg white, yogurt, and oatmeal; mix in honey. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 8-10 minutes, then rinse.

The Result: Soft, dewy, balanced skin. I highly recommend it.

Have a gorgeous Monday.



Image via luisamöhle

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Filed under Crafting, Recipes, Beauty