My Go-To Healthy BBQ Side Dishes

I hope you are having a lovely long weekend. We opted to stay in town for the weekend and you know... get wild and do house projects.

We will probably head to the coast tomorrow and then on Monday we will be bbq'n with the fam, as I count down the seconds until The Bachelorette starts! Anyone else a super fan? I've never loved a show so much. It feels like an event! Ha!

Anyway, I've round up some of my favorite go-to healthy recipes that I like to make along side burgers or grilled chicken, etc. These are always a crowd pleaser and absolutely GREAT for you. Enjoy!

My go-to cookbooks for healthy sides:

True Roots
It's All Good
Giada's Feel Good Food
Everyday Super Food
Dishing Up Dirt

My go-to dishes:

1. Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpea Salad. Always a crowd pleaser and vegan friendly.

2. Giada's Brushetta. This never disappoints! I love bringing a gluten free baguette as well for those g-free folks!

3. Lemon Garlic Swiss Chard Salad. Andrea has so many incredible (and simple) recipes. I always love her salads and so does everyone else!

4. Smoky Eggplant Tahini Dip. Oh wait, Andrea also makes incredible appetizers too. ; )

5. Cheese plate. I like to fill this with vegan cheese options, nuts, healthier crackers (like Simple Mills) + load it with veggies.

6. Quinoa Salad. I run to our local New Seasons market and grab whichever seasonal quinoa salad they have at the deli. Perfect option if you don't have time to cook!

7. Spicy Stuffed Jalapenos. A little indulgent, and usually a bit hit!

8. Gwyenth's Peas + Greens Rissoto. This is great as is, but also lovely with cauliflower rice as well!

Happy bbq'n! xx

Our Love Story

This post is full of cheese, a whole lot of honesty, and a whole lot of mushiness. However, I truly hope this inspires people on their life journey and our ultimate desire to find love. 

First, let's set this all up - taking it back to 2012.

After ending a relationship of 8 years, I had moved to Portland from San Diego with only a car full of belongings. I left my job, my old relationship, and all of my friends in a desperate search to find myself and experience a necessary change. I had so much catching up to do... I was in a relationship for so long and at such a young age, that exploring new surroundings and getting to know who I was as a young woman was what I needed the most.

So, I spent the next two years taking solo trips, dating, learning, and finally, accepting a new job in a completely new field (I was hired to work for a modeling agency). Dating, let's just say, was something I hated. I have always been so picky and it was so hard for me to really connect with anyone physically or emotionally.

I had so many doubts that I would ever find love again and I always questioned my past decisions. 

I finally got myself let go of worrying about who I would meet and decided to put full focus on myself, my new job, and creating a really great life for myself. It's so easy to think that our purpose in life is to figure out who we are going to get married to and have a family with. While I certainly think that is a part of life, I whole heartedly believe that the focus needs to be on ourselves first.

May Wellness Challenge

I am dedicating the month of May to living and feeling WELL. Work has consumed me lately. Owning a business, being a mom, and trying to have a life at the same time is not easy, that's for sure. It is so easy to let yourself run on autopilot, but we all know this isn't sustainable. So, this month I'm putting the spotlight on myself to make some slight changes and tp also push myself.

Here is how I will be challenging myself this month. Come join me!

1. Do something creative 3x a week. For me, this will probably look a lot like blogging and photography. Blogging to me is like a personal journal. Rather than waiting for great content, I'm going to try and just let it FLOW and talk about whatever is on my mind.

2. Workout before 10am each day. I find this to be such an amazing way to start your day. Although I'm still not quite a "get out of bed and go to the gym person." 10am seems reasonable ; )

3. Focus on running/walking outside and slower workouts. With the weather warming up, it's time to get outside! Also, I'm ramped up all the time. My focus will be on yoga, barre3 and pilates.

4. Less snacking. I snack so much more now because I work from home. I'm going to focus more on 4 meals a day and filling up on my favorite "spa" water (basil, blackberries and lemon).

5. Eat out only twice a week. One lunch, one dinner - I make such better choices when I cook at home more often. Plus, my bank account appreciates it!

6. Do something each week that is outside of your normal routine. Whether it's a new workout, a solo hike, going to a concert, attending an event, whatever! Do something different.

7. Listen to 3-5 motivational podcasts a week. It's time to get inspired. First on my list is The Lively Show!

8. Limit time on Instagram (or other social channels) to 30 minutes a day. We all know how much time we put into browsing mindlessly. I'm going to try and free up my time by mindfully using these channels.

9. Sign off email and social media at 5pm to spend time more quality time with family. Let's be honest, no device will ever be more important than this time well spent.

10. Do The Five Minute Journal everyday. This journal is so simple, yet makes such an impact! It's repetitive as ever, but when I did this last month almost daily, I swear by it!

Ok, May! Let's do this! xx

The Nourishing Bowl

I have been making this bowl like crazy lately! It's simple, delicious and nourishing.

Here is my tip: Prep the ingredients on a Sunday and make enough to last 3 days of lunches during the week.

The Nourishing Bowl


Watermelon Radish
Sea Salt
Chicken Broth
Trader Joe's Green Goddess Dressing
Optional toppings: Avocado, sprouts, and hempseeds


Cook the quinoa as directed on the package.

Meanwhile pan grill chicken (or purchase a rotisserie chicken).

Then, saute kale in a little chicken broth, sea salt and turmeric.

Wash and slice the radish.

Once everything is cooked, prep bowl with ingredients and top with the green dressing.

*pre-make 1-2 other bowls in tupperware but don't add the dressing until you eat them.


My Six Favorite Dinner Party Themes

photo by: alicia lund

I am the biggest sucker for a good dinner party with friends or family. Having guests over for dinner is something that I enjoy more than anything, but I also know it's not everyone's favorite. I have friends that have a nervous breakdown at the thought of having to throw a dinner party at their house. So, hopefully these ideas will help inspire you for your next party! Sometimes the less extravagant, the better.

1. Around the World Potluck: Hate cooking? Go potluck style! This is such a fun way to let everyone bring their favorite dish (my go-to is Shepherd's Pie thanks to my English heritage). Just make sure to divy it up: salads, appetizers, entrees, dessert.

Playlist options: Jazz or bossa nova

2. Taco Bar: This is my go-to! It's affordable if you are the full host and EVERYONE can eat. I also love this idea because you have healthier options. I always chop extra lettuce for those that want to make a salad, and also do a side of tempeh and extra avo for those that are vegan or dairy-free.

Playlist options: Buena Vista Social Club or Stan Getz station 

3. Pizza Night (perfect for kids): This is another one we do often. I head to Trader Joes and load up on gluten-free flatbread, pizza dough and all other yummy toppings. We usually break the dough up in smaller rounds so everyone can make a personalized pizza. You can never go wrong with pizza, right?

Playlist options: My Good Times playlist