Thursday, July 31, 2014

Foodie Penpal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

Today, I'm revealing what I received in the Foodie Penpal program that The Lean Green Bean offers. My penpal was Karen over at Eat Right. Live Right. RunWright. I told her that I'm gluten-free/Paleo and like minimally processed food items. She definitely chose some great things that fit my foodie requests!

Take a look at what she sent:

She sent a cute handwritten card that explained everything that was included, and a little card that had her blog information on it. :-)

NibMor Drinking Chocolate - mint flavored, gluten, sugar and dairy free, as well as non-GMO - It sounds soo yummy!

Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate bar - This is absolutely delicious! It was the first thing I tried. Gotta love my chocolate. :-)

Mamma Chia Squeeze Blackberry Bliss - non-GMO and organic - I haven't tried this yet, but am looking forward to it! I've actually never had chia seeds.

Twinings of London Teas - Green Tea Camomile, Camomile, Honey and Vanilla, and Black Tea Orange Bliss - I love tea, so I can't wait to try these, especially that Camomile, Honey and Vanilla flavor.

Theo Dark Chocolate Orange bar - organic, non-GMO, and fair trade - This is delicious too! This was the second thing I tried, and as Karen said in her lovely note, "a lady can NEVER have too much chocolate."

Goya Sazon Seasoning Pack - I've never tried this seasoning, and Karen mentioned it is popular in the Caribbean, where she is from. I love trying new spices and flavors!

Dried Mango Slices - organic - I've never tried dried mango slices, but they look delicious. Karen says it's one of her favorite fruits.

I'm so glad I participated in the Foodie Penpals. It was such a fun experience and I received several things I've never tried before. Karen was very thoughtful in all of her selections for me! I'll definitely be signing up again. If you want to sign up for the next round of the Foodie Penpals, click here.

I'm linking up with:
Foodie Penpals | Treat Yo'Self Thursday

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - Maddie and Tae, Kombucha and Shopping

One. Have you entered the giveaway I'm participating in yet? I teamed up with 22 other bloggers to give away a CANON REBEL T3i DSLR CAMERA. Enter now! It ends tomorrow.

Two. Look at that face! And those long legs of hers! Ha! If you look at that photo closely, you'll notice a big lump on her lower stomach. It's a fatty lipoma. The vet says it's nothing to worry about, just fatty tissue - and she's had it for about 5 years. But it's gotten pretty big. I'm thinking of having it cut out. Have you ever had pets that had these? Were they safely removed?

Three. Have you heard of She Reads Truth? I love it! It's like an online daily devotional/giant study group. I heard about it awhile back from The Modern Tulip. I'm so glad I found it.

Four. I love this song. Girl In A Country Song by Maddie and Tae. "Bro Country" songs, as they're called (think Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line), make you believe that country girls wear nothing but cut-off shorts, cowboy boots, and a bikini top and only dance on tailgates of jacked up trucks shaking their moneymakers. This is not the case. Glad to see some women stepping up to acknowledge that not all country girls are like that.

Five. This weekend I'm going to Nashville with my mom for a shopping day!! WHOO-HOO! It's Tennessee's tax-free weekend. :-)

Six. Did you see the Don't Try So Hard link up I participated in yesterday? The lovely ladies over at Treasure Tromp, The Florkens and Jade & Oak had the wonderful idea of doing a link up about not trying so hard to be perfect. I loved reading about all of the bloggers who linked up and let their true faces show. So inspirational! 

Seven. I've noticed on Pinterest that some people are starting to pin Christmas ideas. STOP IT. I know Christmas is like 5 months away. But I'm not ready for the Christmas-themed everything just yet.

Eight. I'm about to run out of kombucha. I have some brewing, but it won't be ready until the weekend. This makes me nervous. Lol! I love my daily kombucha! I think I need this shirt ...

Nine. Did you watch the Bachelorette finale last night? And After the Final Rose? OMG. First time anyone has been called out about the fantasy suite! Haha! But Andi and Josh are adorable!!

Ten. Finally, this may be TMI, but I FORGOT to brush my teeth this morning. Know why? Because I oil pulled, and my teeth were soooo clean from doing that consistently that I forgot to brush my teeth with toothpaste. If you don't oil pull, you should! 

Happy Tuesday!

Do you have a daily devotional book, or time devoted to reading the Bible daily? 

Have you ever oil pulled?

Link ups:
Ten on Tuesday | Mingle Monday | Hump Day Blog Hop
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Try So Hard

Today, I'm going out of my comfort zone and sharing this pic of me - no makeup; hair a mess; no filters or corrections. 

It's for the Don't Try So Hard Link Up with Treasure Tromp, The Florkens, and Jade & Oak. I love the theme of this link up - show your true self and not try so hard to look perfect. The beauty and fashion industry has really changed the way most people think of themselves, and everyone - guys and girls alike - are trying way too hard to fit in. I'm guilty of it myself. So in honor of that, I went out of my comfort zone and took that pic of me without makeup. I could go on and on about the things I would change about my appearance, but as a rule of the link up, I'll share a couple of things I find beautiful about myself. I've always loved my deep brown eyes, and I like my high Native American cheekbones. ;-)

The link up was inspired by Colbie Caillat's video for Try. Check it out below.

Thanks for reading!
What's one thing you find beautiful about yourself?

I'm linking up with:
Don't Try So Hard Link Up

Treasure Tromp
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Things - Giveaway, Boom Clap, and Morgan Freeman

I'm so glad today is Friday! Bring on the weekend, please. 

Today, I'm talking about fitness inspiration over at Yes Deer. Check it out!

Here are my five random things for today. 

One. Have you seen the giveaway I'm involved in? I teamed up with 22 wonderful bloggers to bring you the chance to win a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera. That's right, a FREE Canon Rebel. Enter here NOW if you haven't already. :-)

Two. This video. I'm a fan of Morgan Freeman. He's such a good actor. And hearing him talk after sucking helium is absolutely hilarious! 

Three. This girl always keeps me laughing. Look at those pearly whites!

Four. This song has been stuck in my head for dayssss. It's always on the radio when I get in my car.

Five. As of this morning, I'm 4 followers away from 200 on Bloglovin'! Thank you to all of my followers! If you'd like to follow me, go here.

Happy Friday out there!!
What are your weekend plans?

I'm linking up with:
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blogmopolitan Quiz + Canon Rebel T3i Giveaway

Erin over @ Two Thirds Hazel has been doing these Blogmopolitan quizzes and I think they're adorable. Here's my quiz.

If you noticed, I also mentioned a giveaway in my title. Well, here it is. :-)

If you don't have a DSLR, don't worry about it. These 22 bloggers and I want to give you a chance to win one! How would you like to get your hands on a brand spankin' new Canon Rebel T3i? Yeah, we thought you might. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
Win a brand new Canon Rebel T3i!

The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on July 24th until 11:59 pm EST on July 30th. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only–sorry international friends! Please be honest with your entries, because no one likes a cheater. Good luck, and be sure to visit the other bloggers who helped bring you this opportunity and give them a big "THANKS!" :)

Thanks for reading! 
Link ups:
Two Thirds Hazel
Treasure Tromp for Treat Yo' Self Thursday
Running With Spoons for Thursdays are For Thinking Out Loud
All Things With Purpose Thursday Link Party
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How To Ferment Veggies in 10 Minutes or Less

So I've been on a "fermented" kick lately, enjoying kombucha and fermented veggies on a daily basis. Last week I shared how to brew your own kombucha. Today, I'd like to share how to ferment your own veggies. My cousin, Debbie, showed me how a few weeks ago. It's SO easy, you can prepare them in about 10 minutes. Seriously. However, it takes 4 to 7 days for the veggies to actually ferment.

Homegrown State of Mind Fermenting Vegetables

But why should you ferment vegetables to eat? Well, just like kombucha, fermented veggies contain important good bacteria that your digestive system needs - probiotics. Lactobacillus is a naturally occuring bacteria on fruits and vegetables. When fruits and vegetables are placed in an oxygen-free environment, the bacteria converts sugar (naturally found in the veggies and fruit) into lactic acid, which is technically referred to lacto-fermenting. Veggies that have been fermented this way will have a sour/tangy flavor, and are quite delicious - and so good for you.

How to Ferment Veggies:

You will need:
*a mason jar with a plastic lid 
*fresh organic vegetables of choice 
*filtered water
*sea salt (like pink Himalayan sea salt)
*cutting/shredding utensils

Homegrown State of Mind Fermenting Vegetables
*Wash vegetables thoroughly.
*Cut up/shred/spear veggies.
*Pack your veggies into the mason jar, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Don't be afraid to squish them down.
*Pour in about 1 tablespoon of sea salt and fill the jar with filtered water until veggies are completely covered.
*Place lid on jar and screw on tight. 
*Place jar on kitchen counter, or somewhere out of direct sunlight.
Note: cabbage requires a bit more prep time, as it needs to sit in a bowl, shredded, sprinkled with sea salt, and covered, for a few hours before placing in a jar. It also does not require the filtered water, as it has enough water content naturally.

And that's pretty much it. Let the jar sit on the counter for about 4 to 7 days. Bubbles may form at the top waterline, but that is normal. At day 4, check the veggies. Taste them and see how you like the flavor. If you want it more sour/tangy, let them ferment longer. It's not an exact science. Refrigerate when you want the fermenting process to stop.
So far, I've fermented carrots and beets, zucchini, squash, bell peppers and cabbage. I'm an incredibly picky eater - strange or bold flavors aren't something I like to try, and I can't tolerate pickles. However, I love fermented veggies! I like to cut zucchini and squash in spears to ferment and they're fabulous. You can add a side of fermented veggies to any meal.

Homegrown State of Mind Fermenting Vegetables
Some people like to use a starter culture, or whey, to start the fermenting process on vegetables. I don't do this. I let the veggies do their natural thing. 

Here are some more in-depth (with video) instructions on how to ferment vegetables by Nourishing Meals and Purely Twins.

Thanks for reading!
Have you ever tried fermented vegetables? Did you like them?

Link ups:
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - Pool Time and Pizza

Tuesday has rolled around again finally. Here are some random things.

One. I was didn't get around to blogging yesterday. Whoops. Oh well, life happens sometimes.

Two. I got to spend 2 days at the pool this weekend with a few of my gal pals. We got to catch up and relax. It was much needed. And the view was awesome!

Homegrown State of Mind pool

Three. Have you ever heard of Hootsuite? If you have, then you know what's up. If not, you MUST check it out. I heard about it from Rosy @ A Joyful Kind of Life. You can SCHEDULE your tweets, see all of your retweets, keep up with your Instagram feed, see your Gmail account, utilize YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, etc., and even view your Disqus comments (this one is a paid monthly subscription, however most of the features are free). Check it out. 

Four. I participated in the Pen Pal Project with Riley @ Riley Jo. It was so fun! This is the box I got from my pen pal, which happened to be Riley. So cute! :-)

Five. This is starting to happen to me more often than not. Oh, what would the world be like without Pinterest? It's scary to think about.

Six. This song. Dirt by Florida Georgia Line. I heard it for the first time this morning. I'm digging it. 

Homegrown State of Mind music

Seven. I'm going to be linking up with these lovely ladies, Treasure Tromp, The Florkens and Jade & Oak, next Monday for the Don't Try So Hard link up! I love the purpose of it - to "not try so hard," and show your real self. Check it out here.

Eight. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this. Last Friday night, the boyfriend and I had gluten-free pizza. No, it wasn't Paleo, but at least it was gluten-free. :-) He actually LIKED it! I will eventually bring him over to the healthy, gluten-free, Paleo side one day. Anyway, back to the pizza. We grilled it! I got an Against All Grain gourmet frozen pizza crust from my local health food store. He grilled the crust first, on both sides, then we added organic, sugar-free pizza sauce, grilled chicken, sauteed red peppers, mozzarella and goat cheese. Then put it back on the grill to let it all melt. WIN! As my bf says, it was "delizioso."

Nine. I signed up for Ipsy! Thanks to Make Me Up Mia for posting such cute reviews on her monthly Ipsy bag, I decided to give it a try. However, I'm on a waiting list ... Let's hope that list isn't very long.

Ten. Last, and certainly not least, Lily. Sorry, this photo is not the best quality. But, she apparently had a long day and passed out before bedtime last night. Being a dog is hard.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful Tuesday!
What's your favorite at-home way to make pizza?

Two-Thirds Scarlett for Ten on Tuesday | The Rachael Way for Weekly Wrap Up
B Loved Boston for Weekending | Lipgloss and Crayons for Let it Shine
Dateless in Dallas for Weekend Recap
Life of Meg for Mingle Monday | So Much Sunshine for Listed Tuesdays

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites - Paleo Blueberry Pancakes + Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Happy Friday!! Here are my favorites for today.

1. Paleo Blueberry Pancakes - I made these for breakfast today, and topped them with almond butter and a couple of blackberries. Yum! My tummy is so happy!

 2. Speaking of blueberries, I believe I will be making this over the weekend - gluten-free blueberry banana bread granola. Sounds so good!

3. This girl is the ultimate stealer of blankets and pillows. And she does not care what you think.

4. Ever wondered what organic produce is best to buy? Here is a great guide I found on Pinterest.

5. NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE! Here are a few of my favorites from the sale. All summer essentials!

{Michael Kors Bradshaw watch}

{Vince Camuto Squared Off Glam sunglasses}

{Tory Burch Eloise sandals}

{Maaji swimsuit}

{Hinge Embroidered Bib sheer top}

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend!

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies:
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - That One Time I Went To Australia

During hot summer months, I always think about that time I did a two-week study abroad in Australia. It was during Christmas break, but it was hotter than hell there - Australia's summer. Even though the weather was stiffling, I still long to go back one day. So, in honor of Throwback Thursday, here's a little about my trip down under in 2008.

Even though it was a study abroad trip through my college - Murray State University - it felt more like a vacation. I majored in journalism, however in order to go to Aussie land, the only class offered was a biology class. It counted as an elective for me. Best elective I've ever taken.
Because it was a biology class, mandatory activities were awful. Kidding! The things we got to do for "class" were incredible. Here are some of things I got to do:

Spend a Lot of Time in the Tropical Rainforest

Tropical rainforest
  We hiked through the rainforest on several occasions. *Note: I took this trip pre-Paleo. My, how I've changed since then!
Rainforest fun, haha!
Cape Tribulation
We stayed in a hut for a couple of days in the middle of the rainforest in Cape Tribulation. 
And got to ride a skyrail over the treetops of the rainforest. It was a bit scary, but pretty neat to see.

Snorkel Around the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef
While we were in the water, the ship's crew was on "shark patrol." Eek. Luckily we didn't see any while out there.
Isn't that view beautiful? It was breathtaking.

See all the Beaches

Cape Tribulation had a rainforest on the beach.
Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach was beautiful!
 My Australia besties: Savannah, Andria and Liz. Oh, the adventures we had!
Manly Beach
Manly Beach was beautiful too.

Explore Sydney

Sydney opera House
 The Sydney Opera House was stunning. We got to take a tour inside, and it's really remarkable.
sydney harbour bridge
 Sydney Harbour Bridge was huge! You could pay to climb to the top, but I didn't do it. Lazzyy.
 Darling Harbour was just that - darling, and fun!
I loved the city of Sydney! So much to do and see. One week there was not enough.

See Waterfalls/Mountains

 We went to a lake area on top of a mountain outside of Cairns - the Atherton Tablelands - and saw this beautiful waterfall. 
This is the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains. 
At the lookout for the Three Sisters, we saw a real Aborigine playing his didgeridoo and talking with the tourists. Ha!

It was honestly the best time of my life. The friends I made while on that trip will forever be close to my heart - and the adventures we had are unforgettable. (If any of you girls read this: "Let's go back!")
If you ever get the chance to go to Australia, don't hesitate - GO! The 14-hour flight is worth it. If you're in college and considering doing a study abroad - DO IT! Go sign up for one RIGHT NOW! You will learn more about yourself and life on one study abroad trip than you will in all of your college classes combined.

Sorry, I'm not sorry for the photo dump. :-) Thanks for reading!
Have you ever been on a study abroad trip?

I'm linking up with:
3 Southern Gals Throwback Thursday
Treasure Tromp with Treat Yo'Self Thursday
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