Happily moving forward

What is Veganism?

There are a lot of reasons why someone would be interested in going vegan – likely as many unique reasons as there are unique people – but a few common themes generally emerge.

  • I am vegan for the animals
  • I am vegan for the planet
  • I want to lose weight or improve my health

When I began my journey it was a matter more of a personal challenge. I had been a vegetarian for a number of years – since I was a child – and had recently gone through a  pretty large life change.  I was just getting into distance running as a way to relieve stress and I also wanted to see if I could take my diet a step further and completely eliminate animal products.

Within a two weeks of my vegan diet I felt a huge change. It was such a refresh for my body and I felt so empowered and fueled that I decided to commit for good! And here I am, five years later, still loving my plant based diet. And I can’t imagine any other way for myself.

So what does it mean to be vegan? A vegan diet is one that seeks to eliminate all animal byproducts from then diet. This includes any meat, eggs, dairy products but it also goes as far as removing gelatin which is made from horse hooves, “natural” vanilla flavoring which is made from the anal sacs of beavers, and red dye which is a product derived from crushed beetles. Yummy, right? 

So what do you eat? I get this question all the time. The short answer is: a lot! Anything that was grown of the ground and derived from a plant. There are so many options when you open your mind to new possibilities! Instead of just heading straight to the carrots and lettuce you are used to in the grocery store, spend a little more time walking around and I expect you will find a few new fruits or vegetables you haven’t tried yet!

Many people are immediately concerned about the current star of most American plates – protein. “How do you get your protein?” I challenge you to consider this: what do the cows eat that helps them grow before the are butchered for human consumption? Plants. What do the chickens eat to helps them make high protein eggs? Plants. No one asks them where they get their protein! We can learn to skip the middle man (the animal) and derive our protein from plants as well and more than meet our daily needs. 

Here’s an info graphic of protein found in plants to drive the idea home. Thanks to rebeldietitian.us. 

So vegans, for whatever reason they choose to be vegan, seek to keep all animal products and bi products off their dinner plates. Also, many choose to not to purchase any products that exploit animals including but not limited to: skin products, furniture, clothing, and cleaning supplies. How far you choose to make the change is entirely up to you. 

Remember it’s not about doing everything as much as it is about doing something! Do something for the animals, do something for the environment and do something for yourself!  

Comment away! I’d love to hear from you!

Happily moving forward

Welcome to our One Week Vegan Introduction

Hi friends,

Welcome to our one week introduction to veganism. When Jessica asked me if I wanted to collaborate on a short introductory program to introduce fellow challengers to the idea of cooking without the use of animal products, I was equally nervous and excited! I’m mostly excited to share something I’m incredibly passionate about! 

This week is supposed to be very elementary – it will not require more than 10 minutes of your time to read a post but I hope you will take away something new every day.

When I began to educate myself on a vegan diet I was able to quickly find a wealth of knowledge online. Its not possible for me to boil down the 5 years of knowledge into a few days of short posts. I hope to share with you my favorite resources and get you right to reliable and current information.

The I hope to share with you:

  1. What is vegansim?
  2. Social impact and health benefits
  3. Easy vegan food to have on hand 
  4. Simple food swaps
  5. Resources
  6. One week of vegan recipes

I want to encourage you to ask as many questions as you can think of while you read the posts or visit other resources. Ill be more than happy to expand on any topic or question that you have.

Welcome, friends, lets learn something new today!






Happily moving forward

My postpartum self care commitment 

So let’s be totally honest. Along with the absolute joy of bringing home a new baby there is also anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, lack of sleep, more lack of sleep, and generally unpleasant body issues going on. Yeah! 

After I had doodledbug I was a bit more than overwhelmed. Looking back I would have done a lot of things differently – including talking to my doctor about postpardem depression and anxiety. I didn’t but I definitely think I should have. 

Back then I felt totally overwhelmed and alone in this new place. I wasn’t totally alone – hubs was there but we weren’t as solid as we are now. We had been together just over a year when she was born and we’re just trying to get through it. I also didn’t feel like I really had a tribe of support around me. My parents live out of state, his parents are an hour away, and I felt alone and that I had to do it all. It was rough. 

Before my sweet little man was born, I was already dreading the postpartum period because remembered how difficult I felt it was the first time. Because of that, I decided I was going to combat that and be proactive about my self care and what I thought would help me. 

I know newborns are hard – colic, nursing schedules, lack of sleep (I feel like that’s been mentioned), and general fourth trimester issues cannot be avoided but I was going to make sure that my mind was right. Here’s how I chose to take care of myself. 


Beginning at 5 weeks postpartum, I began to start moving my body again – to exercise gently. I put him in the stroller and began walking short distances. I’d get down on the carpet and do stretches to open my hips, legs and back after hours of nursing on the couch and on the bed. At 6 weeks out I started a workout video series from Beachbody. I began the County Heat aerobic dance workouts. They’re quick, easy to follow, and low impact. Check, check and check. 

Soon I was combining longer daily walks with additional workout videos – I was slowly losing weight but more importantly I was able to keep my mind clear and mentally focus on me for 30 plus minutes a day. This was honestly the most important commitment I made to myself. 


Call me vain, but I didn’t want to look like a hott mess every day for 12 weeks! I want to feel a little like the old me! So I made sure that after he was born I made an appointment with my stylist for a fresh cut and summer color! 

This was also a great excuse for three hours of me time!

Another thing that I did was tone down my make up routine so I could get out the door quickly but still feel put together. I settled on a BB cream, blush, mascara and brow pencil. I’m out the door in no time but don’t feel like I’m facing the world with a naked face! Good enough for me!

Date Night: 

One thing I know for sure is that my husband and I are not great at making date night a priority. With two young ones and busy careers we really like to be home on the weekend. We love to grill and watch sports together but don’t make the priority to go out just as us. 

So…when our first anniversary came around just a few (8) weeks after little man was born, I made it a priority. I know we both would have been ok staying home and blaming it on the fact that we had a newborn but I pushed myself and set up to find something to wear and called a babysitter. 

And we had a great time. Just us. We weren’t out very long or very late but it was so nice to just be out. 

The romper that I bought for the date was a size larger than I normally wear but I still felt great. The cut was adorable and it had flattering lines. It was a win for me and for us. 

And there you have it. Those were three things that I planned to do differently this time around that really helped me reconnect to the old me and keep mentally strong. I didn’t feel locked in the house because I got myself out of the house and I moved my body and got the blood pumping as often as I could. 

What works for each woman is surely different. And I want to make an important note that if you think even for a second that you are battling postpartum depression or anxiety to immediately contact your doctor and not wait until it’s progressed. There is nothing to be ashamed of and seeking help is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. 

Happily moving forward

Grocery shopping tips and tricks

Who loves grocery shopping?

Y’all – I might be crazy but if I were given the opportunity to spend a few hours in a fabulous gourmet grocery store I would take it in a heartbeat! I love exploring new products and foods.

Weekly grocery shopping is another story all together. In fact, we’ve all but done away with it. Since Walmart grocery pick up came to our town we have used it every weekend except once when I placed the order too late and our pick up time was not available. Lesson learned on that one! But that’s not really the point of this post.

My girlfriend causally mentioned that her new goal was to cut back on what she thought was overspending on groceries. I think we all agree groceries are expensive. As a family of four (but really 2.5 eaters) we spend about $150 a week. We try to buy as much organic as we can and while that makes the grocery bill climb, it’s very important to us so we make that adjustment.

When thinking about how to cut her bill she mentioned that they throw out an unfortunate amount of food because the girls decide they don’t like it or it doesn’t get used in time.

Here are a few options that I have for really cutting the grocery bill:

  1. Look at what you wasted last week and do not purchase those items this week. Perhaps you went through a period where the girls loved a specific fruit but that’s passed but your still buying the same quantity (we sometimes go on autopilot, right?).
  2. If you see you’re wasting veggies, consider buying frozen veggies for your sides. They are just as healthy and you can pop extras back in the freezer!
  3. Meal plan for the week and stick to that plan so you use the ingredients you purchase! If it seems like you won’t need to cook all the recipes you planned, cook the ones that called for the most fresh ingredients first – save recipes that rely primarily on pantry items for last so you won’t have much waste.
  4. Order groceries online! Our grocery bill has drastically dropped just thanks to this tip! Instead of strolling through the grocery and pulling little items into the cart, ordering online eliminates the impulse buys!

So there you have it! What do you do to same money on groceries each week?

Happily moving forward

Hello! Its been a while!

That’s how I feel coming back to this babyblog. It’s surely been a while, and a lot has happened.

I gave birth to our second child in March and we are adjusting to being a family of four. He’s just perfect, y’all. He’s really a wonderful little man. I’m breastfeeding- as I did for Doodlebug – and he’s absolutely growing like a little weed. I’m still on maternity leave and loving every single day being with my little man.

We’re still waiting on the completion of our forever home. We were hoping to be moving in the first week of June – but that’s just not realistic. They haven’t even laid the floors yet. Sigh. We’re so very ready to get settled.

I’m back to 21 Day Fix – hopefully I can be more committed this go round then the least time I posted here about it – because I think that lasted one week. Whoops. This past week I started but really just the exercise part. I haven’t started the container part – and I’m not as worried about the rigidity of that because of the nursing but I do need to still clean up my diet a bit. So I’ll let those concepts guide me beginning this coming week.

We celebrated our first anniversary! We got a sitter and had a lovely sushi dinner. We came home and had the obligatory cake bites. We were both surprised how good it tasted after that year in the deep freezer! Who would have thought?

I think I’m going to try to pop back in here a bit more often….maybe try a bit more posting of recipes and such – especially once I’m in my dream kitchen in the new house.

More to come!

Move that body!

Yoga 101

Today was my first yoga class at the studio where I take Pilates classes twice a week. I’ve done a class at Oui Power Yoga before, and some classes from Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube (which I still love) but I wanted real instruction and I know my instructor would make corrections and get me really aligned correctly.  

I am already feeling it in muscles I know I worked today. Y’all – coupled with Pilates I hope to have three sessions a week! I still am lacking the cardio I really need but this will definitely help with muscle tone. 

My favorite pose of today was the Half Moon. I’m so excited to start really getting into the practice! 

Cheers to more Yoga pants! Ha! 

Happily moving forward

An ode to pumpkin 

A www fall is in the air. In south Louisiana that might last just a minute but I’m making the most of it. 


This morning Doodlebug and I tacked a recipe I had printed recently from HellYeahItsVegan.com – their vegan pumpkin bread. 

It’s got all of the spices you would expect – nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and clove along with real maple syrup. It calls for nuts but I wasn’t feeling it so I left that out. Y’all – do those flavors not spell Fall to you? Yum. 

I love having Doodle help in the kitchen. We learn how to measure, practice our counting and our patience! It’s a win- win for everyone! 

And the bread didn’t disappoint.