community & the liebster

When you start a blog or even just start reading blogs, you become part of a huge community. This is one of the reasons why I love blogging. You make friends and support each other. Specifically, the healthy living (including food!) bloggers are awesome influences. They’re so positive and encouraging. You can read about some of their influence on me here.

About a month ago I received a comment from Nicole at Apples & Arteries informing me that she had given me a Liebster Award!

I had no idea what she was talking about so I had to google it. I found out that it’s just a sweet way to let a new blogger know how great they are! A little – I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Since the blogging community has done a lot for me up until this point I thought I should spread the love too!

To quote Nicole:
The rules of this award state that you link your blog back to the person who gave it to you and you chose 5 other people with less than 200 followers to receive the award.  You let them know you have given them the award by commenting on their blog.

The winners… in no particular order ARE:


elisariva – Elisa mainly blogs about her workouts and training for upcoming races. She inspires me to get off my butt and do something. That ‘something’ might not be the 3000 meters she swam yesterday morning but maybe I’ll clean the whole house or go for a training run!

Cast Light – Kathie writes about how to ‘give your best to others’. If you’re in a slump and need a little boost, she’s your gal. A great read if you’re striving to be a positive person.

My Fascinating Life – Melinda has two kids and still finds time to eat healthy and exercise! She gives a good glimpse into her daily life which is helpful for people like me who are visual learners.

EatDrinkBreatheSweat – Jessica is another healthy living blogger. She is currently in training for a marathon! She gives great insights on her thoughts about running. It’s nice to know that other people have similar issues and successes!

food4theheart – Lauren is a college student who eats healthy and exercises. Very impressive! I especially like her posts on food and her daily eats.

Now I’m not sure if all of these bloggers have under 200 followers but I know they’re all pretty new like me!

Thank you to Nicole for spreading the love! She is a food blogger with a giant love for dogs too. 🙂


Today I also have to mention that it’s my husband’s birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AL! You’re my best bud.

Al with Roary when she was a little puppy. 🙂

yummy: guacamole

It is sad to say that I am the only avocado lover in the house. This means that the only time I get to devour one is at lunch, usually in the form of guacamole.

Last week they were on super sale so I picked up two.

I usually just wing it with simple ingredients and taste test as I go. Here’s what I used for this batch:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • leftover orange bell pepper
  • salt
  • cilantro
  • lime

Normally I don’t use bell pepper but my sister had some leftover in the fridge and I was scared that it was going to go bad before she ate it. 🙂

First I chopped up the onion into tiny pieces. Please make sure they are SMALL pieces! Often times I’m so excited to be eating guacamole that I chop up the onions into larger chunks only to painfully choke them down later when they’re burning my mouth. No good.

Then I chopped up the bell pepper. I could taste them in the guacamole but they didn’t overpower anything so I might start adding them regularly to my recipe. Usually when I make this, I eat the whole thing and lots of chips, so any added veggie is a nice bonus.

Next I mashed up the avocado.

Mixed in the onion and bell pepper then shook in some salt.

I added in the dried cilantro but if you’re fancy (unlike me), you could use fresh. Oo la la.

Finally I squeezed in the ‘fresh’ lime juice and mixed it all together.

Pour a giant bowl of chips and dig in! A tasty, healthy snack… or lunch.


NOTE: My sister just read this post to proofread it and said, ‘Now that just makes me hungry.’

And I responded with, ‘But you don’t like guacamole!’

To which she said, ‘No, but the chips!’

Nice, guacamole hater.

Do you have a favorite food that everyone else seems to hate yet you love it with all your heart? Mushrooms is another one for me!

flowers & fighting

Flowers get me so excited about spring. I love watching everything grow. Even my husband has noticed and comments daily on some bulbs that have randomly popped up in our backyard, ‘I can’t believe how fast they’re growing!’.

Like January 1st when I started this blog, the springtime is another fresh, new beginning. So great.

Unfortunately for many of us, new growth outdoors comes with sinus pain, sneezing, and lots of tissues. Bah, humbug.

I’ve had four years of allergy shots so you’d think I’d be immune to pollen and whatnot but with this crazy-warm winter and predictions of ‘the worst allergy season yet’, this season is already proving that I’m not.

On Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat. Then on Sunday it was much worse. I battled the dang sore throat as well as major aches all day long while sulking on the couch.

Not until today did I realize that this sickness was from allergies and not the flu. My car was covered in pollen this morning and it sits in a carport! I also witnessed a pollen tornado in the middle of road. Yikes.

I’ve got to fight these allergies hard because I’m going to be pretty disappointed if I’m sick for the 10k next weekend. I must run like the wind!! I don’t think I’d be able to do that with a throbbing sinus headache.

Since I’m sure some of you are also struggling, I thought I’d tell you what I’ve been doing to get over this thing quick!

1. Stay Inside
I’m attempting to stay inside and away from the pollen as much as I can. I don’t think my old house has a great filtering system so who knows if staying inside is helping but at least I’m sitting near my plug-in air filter. If you do have to head out, the article linked in the beginning of this post mentions not going outside until the afternoon when the pollen has settled.

Right outside my kitchen window I have these gorgeous azaleas that taunt me. Every time I open the door (to the right of them) to let the dogs out, I get a twinge in my sinus headache and I run back inside defeated.

2. Liquids
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from my mom, ‘Drink more water!’ when I’m sick. So per her instructions, I am upping the liquids to flush out any bad stuff that I can.

3. Tea
The past couple days I’ve been drinking a variety pack of teas from Traditional Medicinals called Seasonal Herb. I don’t know if it’s all in my head but I’ve gotta tell you that i think these teas work better than anything else for relief! The pain goes away almost instantly. It comes back after a while but it’s nice for a time.

4. Fruits and Veggies
I’ve been slacking in the veggie and fruit department lately so I blame myself for the pollen getting to me. If I was eating lots of them, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten sick! I’ve fixed that mistake and am now getting in all those micronutrients to help me heal faster.

5. Saline Flush
Sometimes you’ve just gotta do it. No mater how gross you (I) think it is. Today I’ve been using the Simply Saline Mist but you can always go big and get a Neti Pot to get all that pollen out of your nose. Yum.

6. Drugs
If all else fails or I need more help, I’ll take some allergy medicine and pain killers. I’d rather not but goodness is a sinus headache uncomfortable or what?!


I just realized that 3 out of the 6 things that I listed should be done on a regular basis! I regularly exercise but that isn’t enough when taking care of your body. Gotta keep up those good habits! #mmm

So this morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was afraid that I was even more sick. Much to my surprise the aches were gone and the sore throat was better! My sinuses are still bothering me but I’m going to keep up my regime until I’m well again (but stick with the water, tea, fruits, and veggies as I should).

Roary seems to be the only person/animal in the household that isn’t affected by the pollen… yet! Lucky duck.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting over allergies or a cold? Any natural remedies?