This morning Harper woke up from a nightmare around 4am and I couldn’t go back to sleep.  That happens sometimes, both the nightmares and the not being able to go back to sleep.  So this morning, instead of fighting it, I listened to the whisper that told me to dig into my devotionals.  Like working out, there is rarely a time where I don’t feel better after reading and spending quiet time with God.  So I dug out Savor, by Shauna Niequist and I ready today’s devotion.  While I was reading and writing, I had a huge realization.  Earth shattering, really.  But the thing that brought me there was this question:

What is it that God has made you to love?  How do you declare that love and live it out?

It seems like a simple question, right?

But what happens when you fight against those things that God has made us to love?  Because I realized that’s what I’ve been doing.

God has called me to be a caregiver and I don’t wanna. **Insert the picture of a two year old me, angry and stomping my foot.

Yep.  I’m a caregiver.

Not just in this season because I’m helping momma through her cancer diagnosis and treatment. Not just in the past when I’ve had to make hard decisions.  Not just as when I’m taking care of Harper and Carl.  Not just when I’m teaching my students.

Not just, but ALL.  And I’m tired.  And as a result I’ve stopped taking care of myself.  I’ve stopped being a caregiver to MYSELF because I want someone else to do it.

And while I know that God is my caregiver and takes care of me, He’s not here physically to do all.the.things. He’s not here to do the meal planning, grocery shopping (or Shipt ordering, cut me some slack), meal cooking, dishwashing, shower taking, night time routine orchestrating.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here, though.  Carl is amazing and helps out in so many ways.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this crazy life. But even with Carl’s help, I still feel responsible for all.of.the.things even if he’s doing them.

So today, something is going to change.  I’m embracing the Simplified Life, thanks to Emily Ley, and I’m focusing on what God has made me to love and living that out.  It’s not going to be easy.  I’m not going to be perfect.  But I am going to find the joy again.  Because I refuse to spend the rest of my days fighting what I’ve been called to do.


What is it that God has made you to love_

The Call



It was a week ago today that I got the call from my mother.  I was sitting outside of a conference room in New Orleans, watching the rain come down outside.  I was supposed to be listening to people talk about how they grew their business, sharing marketing strategies, sharing their stories.  But I couldn’t concentrate.  I was praying so hard that the text that she had sent me earlier in the morning would be true, “Good morning. I’m confident we’ll get good news.  I love you.  I will text you the good news.”   But it had been too long since the start of her appointment and I already knew what she was going to tell me, I was just waiting for her to say it, “Dani, it’s cancer.”  It was like my heart froze in my chest.  

My mother, who had beaten just about everything life had thrown at her, had something else to fight.  Weeks away from listing her house and moving to St. Augustine, we had to switch gears and figure out how we were going to work with her surgery date and the first few weeks of her recovery.  Texts and phone calls flew around.  I was still in New Orleans for another few days and it was so hard to concentrate but it was a much needed escape at the same time.  While I was away I didn’t feel the weight of the world on me.  I felt like I could check out of life for a bit, focus on something else.  But then I’d remember that my mother had cancer and I would lose all focus.  I felt like I couldn’t sit still.  How was I supposed to sit and listen to something when all I could think about was how many days she had until her surgery, or how I’d have to miss parts of my pre-planning and worry if I’d be prepared for the school year, or the horrible timing of a work trip that Carl has, or who was going to watch Harper.  And dear Lord what are we doing with Auggie?

Then I got home and things started to fall into place.  I swear it was like Harper had grown up overnight and while I miss my sweet baby girl, the sweet young lady who I came home to is so willing to help.  She’s so excited to stay with Pa for a few days and maybe even see Uncle Kiki and Aunt Amy when they aren’t working.  

But as the surgery date creeps ever closer and I’m starting to look for things that mom is going to need post-mastectomy, I feel myself getting anxious all over again.  So I do the things that I know I need to do.  Laundry.  Dishes.  Press play.  Drink a shake.  Invite people to change their lives.  And pray.  Dear Lord, do I pray.  Because I just can’t imagine my life without momma in it.  I can’t imagine cancer taking another grandmother away from Harper.  I just can’t.

And so here I sit, writing this out because once again I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this.  I know that someone out there reading this will have tips or suggestions to help us through this time.  I know that someone out there reading this will be looking for support and encouragement.  And most importantly, I know that someone out there reading this will pray for my momma as she undergoes surgery and recovery.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Because it’s been too long…

I’ve been saying for months that I wanted to start blogging again but I have no idea how I’ll fit it into my life again.  But that’s the thing. I can sit on my phone for literally hours and get totally sucked in.  So much so that I’ve had to start setting a timer so I don’t waste my life scrolling through my news feed or through IG pictures.  Clearly it’s just making it a priority.

I’ve always been fascinated by people and what they were doing, what was going on in their lives.  I remember driving with my grandparents when we’d go home from visiting our family in South Florida and looking at the cars, just wondering where they were going.  Were they happy?  What were they talking about?  I think that’s why I’ve always loved blogging – both reading others and writing my own.  It gives me a sneak peek into what others are doing.  It gives me a chance to share parts of my life.

When I blog it’s like I can speak without being interrupted – mommas and teacher friends can I get an AMEN?!  I can share a part of me that may actually help someone else that may be going through something similar.  And really, it’s fun to go back and look at what I was doing in the past.  For some reason blogging is easier than journalling – maybe it’s just because I’m a faster typer than I am handwriter – are those even words?

I’d like to say that I’ll come in tomorrow and update on how different everything is, but I probably won’t.  So let’s just say this is a fresh start.  A chance to share my life from this point forward.  Because at the end of the day, nothing has really changed and everything has changed, if that even makes sense. So let’s just say that this little blog post is me taking a step toward the life that I’m capable of living.

Summit 2016: Biggest Take Aways

I’d really love to do a full recap of my entire Summit experience, but to some degree I feel like this moment right here says it all.


It was 12:15am after the Closing Celebration and we are working.

Are we tired?  Absolutely.  But the fact that we are awake, reaching out to people to help them change their lives, shows me that we all took away something from the last three days.

I know I did.  I feel like the same things kept being presented to me over and over again.  Not just at Summit.  But for the last month or two.

Be consistent.

Be patient.


Recipe: Pepperoncini Beef

This has to be one of my most favorite recipes ever, you guys.  Seriously.  Between it being easy and delicious, it just warms my heart with it’s beefy, juicy goodness.  Yes, I just said beefy and juicy.  I’m telling you, it’s that good.  You can serve this over rice, potatoes, spinach, or bread.  Seriously anything.

You may have seen this recipe floating around on the internet before but haven’t made it yet.  I first heard about it from my husband who had it at a work potluck.  He couldn’t stop raving about it and after he made it for me it for me I could totally see why.


Pepperoncini Beef.jpg

  • Ingredients
    • 1 jar of pepperoncini peppers
    • 3-5 pound beef roast
  • Directions
    1. Add salt and pepper to roast.
    2. Brown roast on all sides – don’t skip this step! Trust me!
    3. Place roast in crock pot.
    4. Remove stems from Pepperoncini peppers.  – don’t skip this step!  Trust me!  Put peppers in the crockpot and pour in the juice from the jar.
    5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    6. Shred meat and enjoy!

TIP: You can also do this with pork but it doesn’t have quite as much flavor.  I’d recommend adding onions and peppers in with it.

Add this to your meal plan for next week.  It’s so good.

The scale

Tonight was a turning point for me, friends. Tonight, while Harper and I were at Publix we walked out of the bathroom and she saw the scale. You know, those big giant ones that when you step on, it feels like the entire store can see your weight? Harper looked at me and I knew she wanted to jump on and see how much she weighed. I encouraged her, and she jumped right on. “How much do I weigh, momma?”, she asked. “35 pounds, love! You are so big and strong!”, I said. Then she looked up at me, “What about you, momma? How much do you weigh? Why don’t you get on.” I paused. I looked at her. I looked at the scale. “I’m okay, love. I think I’ll pass.”

I’ve thought about this moment for four years, a moment that I knew would come. The moment I could make sure that my daughter would never, ever have a problem with the scale or use it to judge her self worth. And what what did I do? I said, “I’ll pass.” Luckily my child is nothing but persistent and she asked me to get on again. I looked at her sweet face and I got on that scale. She saw the hand on the scale go far past where it stopped for her. She looked at me and said, “What does it say, momma?” I said, “More than yours, love.” And we laughed together and walked out of the store and to our car.
In that moment I had a choice – and luckily I had two. But I never, EVER want to pass on my insecurities about my weight or size on to my daughter. The scary part is it’s just that simple, friends. It’s just saying “no thank you” or “I’ll pass” to a simple thing like getting on the scale in public that can make my child wonder why it’s not okay. Because if I’m not okay with my body, why should she be okay with hers? Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this single incident than necessary. But maybe not. I just know that I want to continue on my journey to find the best version of myself – to be comfortable in my own skin. To step on that scale without hesitation. To love myself.

Are you ready to take the step to Love Yourself Healthy? I’d love to have you join me and allow me to be a part of your journey, too. I don’t have to do this alone. And neither do you. Comment “I’m in!” or click on the link to submit an application:


February Announcement

Workout shaming


How many of you have every looked at someone’s workout post on Facebook or on another blog – with them all red faced and sweaty – and thought “Really?  You call that a workout?”  “That’s so easy and you’re sweating like that?”  “Oh you just must be a beginner.”  Oh don’t worry, I’m raising my hand high because I’ve definitely had that thought. And honestly, I’m ashamed of it.

When I did my morning post on Facebook this morning, sharing how Carl and I added 12-30 pound weights to our weight collection, I had this realization.  A realization that someone out there would think that just because I was only lifting 12 pounds during my Hammer & Chisel workout this morning I wasn’t getting a good workout.

Maybe this comes from doing CrossFit for nearly 2.5 years.  Don’t get me wrong, CrossFitters are some of the nicest, most genuinely caring and helpful people you will ever meet.  Everyone in a box wants to help and give tips on how to do a specific movement.  They will cheer on and encourage the other athletes and the person who finishes last typically gets the most high fives and cheers.  Trust me, I’ve been that last person many times.  But when you’re doing a nearly 200 pound dead lift on a regular basis I can see how  doing a 20 pound dead lift with dumbbells for 1 minute wouldn’t seem like much.  But trust me, try it.  Until you’ve tried a workout that someone else has done, don’t judge it.  For real.

Whether it’s a 10 minute walk around the block, a sub-five minute mile training run for a marathon, 100 burpees, 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, or 10,000 steps – it’s a big deal to the person who is sharing it.  Congratulate them.  Tell them they did a good job.  Give them a virtual high five.

At the end of the day, anyone who does a workout or chooses a healthy meal is making a step toward changing their life in a positive way.  And that, friends, is worth celebrating.

Sunday coffee chat – III


Hi friend!  I’m so glad that you’re here.  I feel like I have a lot to tell you because it feels like it was a really exciting week for me, personally and professionally.

I’d tell you that this week I decided to create a Facebook likes page for my Beachbody business.  I know it doesn’t sound that exciting, but trust me, it was a HUGE decision.  It meant that I decided to make my business a real business, and treat it that way.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to use it and what to post on it but I’ll get there.  It’s hard trying to be myself and share what I feel like is an amazing post only to have it reach 25 people or only have one person like it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining and I’m not giving up, but it’s just a new piece of territory that I have to figure out.  And you know me, I struggle at not being the best at something. 😉

I also published my vision board for the year.

Vision Board 2016.jpg

There are some lofty goals on here, but I can’t wait to see how God moves through my life and makes these things happen.

I’d tell you that I’ve been reconnecting with some old friends on Facebook and it’s been so neat to see how everyone has grown in changed.  I’m also really enjoying connecting with new friends that I’ve met.  Everyone has a story and I love hearing about it.  People are truly fascinating.

I’d tell you that I spent way too much money at the Target dollar spot because everything they have there is just so cute.  Their marketing executives were brilliant to create that area because even though most things aren’t a dollar any more, they are still less than what you’d find in other areas of the store.  And seriously, my cart is full before I even get into the store!

I’d tell you that I have a ridiculous amount of laundry that I have to do tomorrow, but that we had so much fun running errands today and just being together.  I absolutely adore Harper and Carl.  Truly.  Yes, they make me want to scream sometimes, but God knew exactly what He was doing when He put them into my life.  Obviously, but you know what I mean.

I’d tell you that I am so.proud. of what the amazing ladies in my accountability group are doing for their health and lives.  Seriously.  Blown away by the changes they have made in just the week we’ve been together.

Tell me, how was your week?  What was a high point for you?  What was a low point for you?

Friday favorites

It’s been a while since I posted my last Friday Favorites so here I am with another round of things that I’m loving right now.

  1. Gallery Leather Academic Planner. I was working on making my own planner from different printables that I’d found online but on a whim I went to Barnes & Noble and found this gorgeous planner in aqua on sale for half price!  I did a little squeal with delight because it’s just what I was looking for – an agenda for the day split up into am and pm and then a notes section on the other side.  I had been using a daily with the to-dos on each daily page and it just wasn’t working for me.  With this set up I can write the appointments that I have for the day on one side and all of the other stuff that I have to get done during the week and I can check it off as it’s done without having to turn a page each day or assigning it a day – because it drives me crazy to have something written down on a day and not do it.

2. Using a backpack instead of a cute bag to carry all of my stuff in. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bit of an obsession of trying different bags|planners|gadgets to try and find the simplest or easiest way to get something done (see #1) but I’m slowly learning that it’s more about the function of something than how cute it is – so if a backpack is going to be the best thing to corral my stuff – I’m carrying a dang backpack.  I’m just using an old one we had around the house and it’s a bit too small right now, but I’m going with it until I can find out what I really want in a bag rather than just buying something else.
3. Aldi.  These stores are just getting to us in my part of Florida and I know not everyone likes them but you just can’t beat their prices for veggies and fruits – many of which are organic!  Sure, if you buy a lot of boxed stuff and aren’t a big fan of generic brands it may not be the place for you, but the price of veggies and fruit almost make me want to take a separate trip out to go there.

3. My Beachbody Team.  Seriously some of the best and most encouraging women I’ve ever met.  From my up-line of amazing coaches to the small team I’m a part of to the super small (literally 1 person) team that I lead, I am amazed at how everyone truly roots for one another.  And the relationships that we build to help our businesses grow is truly awesome.

4. The Chill Out Pandora Radio Station. Sometimes I just need to tune everything out and work, but I can’t listen to music with words otherwise it distracts me.  This station has the perfect mix of funky and relaxing music that gets me into my working groove.


What things are you loving this week?

Easy Frittata

We eat a lot of eggs in my house.  A LOT.  I’m also always looking for new ways to make them so when I came across Danielle Walker’s frittata recipe from Against All Grain  I knew I wanted to make it.  Except that sometimes putting pans like cast oven skillets into the oven scares me.  I mean, it’s a cast iron skillet.  In the oven.  And it is heavy. But one day I got brave and just did it.  Yes, Carl was standing behind me for moral support, but I overcame my fear of a hot, heavy pan and I’m so glad that I did because this recipe is amazing.  Since making Danielle’s original recipe we’ve experimented (see, I’m a scientist by nature) with adding lots of different veggies, meats, milks and seriously almost anything you put into a frittata will taste amazing.  I say almost because I know there is someone out there thinking that if they put something crazy like crayons or peanut butter in a frittata it would be gross – and it may be but seriously guys, we aren’t in elementary school. 😉

Two weeks ago Carl and I decided to go all in and follow the meal plan and workouts for The Master’s Hammer & Chisel.  I was super excited when I saw that one of the recipes in the program guide was also a frittata.  The day that we made our frittata we didn’t have some of the ingredients listed in the original recipe so we used what we had.
Easy Frittata
Adapted from Danielle Walker’s recipe in Against All Grain and The Master’s Hammer & Chisel program guide

Total time: 47 min. | Prep Time: 20 min. | Cooking Time: 27 min.


  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt (or sea salt), divided
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 12 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened almond or coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Heat oil in 12-in. nonstick oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion, zucchini, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.  Remove pan from heat. Set aside.
  5. Combine eggs almond milk and garlic powder in a large bowl; whisk to blend.  Season with salt.
  6. Pour egg mixture into skillet; return to heat and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with rubber spatula for 6-9 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.
  7. Place skillet in oven.  Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fluffy.  NOTE: Check middle and edges of frittata with toothpick to make sure it’s cooked all the way.  Keep in oven for a few minutes longer if it’s not.
  8. Cut into 6 servings and serve immediately.


  • Frittata can be prepped and combined the evening before and stored in the refrigerator until cooking.
  • Frittata can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?