Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Winner winner chicken dinner! But for real... haha. One of my New Years goals has been to follow through with things. Yesterday, I posted a picture of this dinner on my Instagram and everyone wanted the recipe--so here it is! Read to the end for a way to make homemade hoisin sauce in under 5 minutes.

I found this recipe on Watch Me Whip's Blog, and it's delicious and easy to make. I dare say it tastes remarkably similar to P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps!

You will need: 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 (8 oz) water chestnuts - chopped and drained
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • a head of lettuce.

Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned while making sure that you break down the meat. Add the garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Stir all together and cook for about two minutes until the onions start to become translucent. Add the water chestnuts and green onion pieces. Cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Separate the lettuce pieces. Eat the lettuce with a small amount of the chicken mixture on it. Drizzle with Kikkoman Soy Sauce, and white or brown rice (if you're a rice lover like me!) YUM.

I realized after the chicken was cooking that we were out of hoisin sauce--a major ingredient for this recipe. No biggie! To make homemade hoisin sauce in under 5 minutes, you need:

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter.
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar.
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced.
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil.
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
I just threw everything in the pan once the chicken was browned, and it tasted amazing!! I prefer it over store-bought hoisin sauce now.

Hope you enjoy!!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018


"when you are struggling in your writing (art).
it usually means you are hearing one thing. but writing (creating) another."
-- honest | risk

I stumbled across this gem on this instagram account and it struck me to my core. As part of my healing process from growing up with years of abuse, I have been slowly shedding my skins as if I had been encased in a cocoon (living in survival mode ages 0-18, I pretty much had been). I have been finding joy in things I never thought I would enjoy. I have been learning about who I am for the first time in my life, because I have been able to explore/create/admire/breathe for the first time in my life, freely. It has been so healing to find success in writing a personal blog, designing an Instagram account, modeling, and of course, continuing my art business

This past year, I have felt as if I've been running into a brick wall whenever I've tried to write and create. I haven't had a problem fulfilling custom orders for artwork, or scheduled posts for collaborators that I adore... but when it came to creating for me? Nothing. Blank, vast, emptiness. This has been such an odd feeling, especially coming from a background of writing lengthy blog posts and legal papers and interviewing with countless news stations--even traveling across the U.S. to work with some of them, including the Dr. Phil show. I built my voice as I shared my story countless times over the course of about two years. My vision and direction was clear as day. Then...

Friday, January 5, 2018


Another year has passed us by, and I can't believe it! 2018 is going to be a good year; I can feel it. This year, my resolutions / goals are simpler, and I'm spacing them out in order to not overwhelm myself. In 2018 I will:

  • Remember that food is MEDICINE for my body and I need to treat it that way. I will fuel my body with healthier foods. 
  • I will view working out the same. Rather than losing x amount of pounds, I will consistently remind myself that it is fueling my body and increasing my quality of life, from the inside out!
  • Remember that perfectionism breeds procrastination, so I am going to focus more on completing tasks and not being as hard on myself to make everything "perfect"
  • I am going to serve more people, with more kindness and love
  • I will focus on not holding back when I think of a compliment for someone--even if they're a stranger. We need more kind words in our world!
  • I am a creature of CHANGE, and want to become more of a creature of habit! So many things are about making habits, such as: healthy eating, working out, getting plenty of sleep, being productive at schoolwork. This year I will work on establishing good habits and keeping them!

In addition to many of you kicking off the Near Year by starting my juice cleanse, I have received questions about other things I do to stay fit and healthy. One of the most important things I can emphasize is that most Americans don't eat enough protein every day--especially moms! The Dietary Reference Intake is 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man, and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman. Pregnant women need at least 70 grams per day. That's a lot. Did you know that your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, regulate hormones and other body chemicals? Protein is such an important building block--hair and nails are almost entirely made of protein. The following list are some symptoms that your body is lacking protein:

Saturday, November 25, 2017


For those of you who don't know me--hey there! My husband and I started this juice cleanse at the end of October. I'll be updating this post in the near future with photos--I don't want to wait a moment more in getting this up for you guys--but the difference has been incredible to my husband and I. It is the perfect time of the year to start!

It all started when we curled up one night to watch a movie together and after searching for a minute, we decided to watch the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead on Netflix--best decision ever. If you haven't seen it, please watch it before starting this cleanse with me. It's the backbone of every idea and recipe from what you're about to read. Now for the results!

In total, I lost 8 lbs in the 7 days I did the cleanse, and another 3 lbs shed in the following week when I was back to eating "normal" (dairy, gluten, less veggies, etc). My hypothesis is that it altered my metabolism, because I've been eating "normal" over the last three weeks and my weight has continued to maintain itself. I am at a weight that I haven't had since junior high and dropped three pant sizes--something I never thought was possible, especially after having a baby. I have noticed a huge difference in my energy as well. My husband lost 15 lbs in the first 2 weeks and he's still going strong! Doing the cleanse has cut his long-lasting insulin in half, and he hardly has to take any short-lasting during the day. It's such a miracle.

The weight wasn't the reason I kicked into juice-mode, but it has been an amazing side effect. I started this because wanted to feel better and healthier inside; another benefit I enjoyed from the cleanse.

While days 2 and 3 sent my body into emotional havoc (can someone say "hangry?"), I felt more stable than I ever have towards the end of the week. I didn't hit a point of noticeable energy after the toxins cleared until day 4, the clarity came on day 5, and wow was it ever clarity! I felt that I had the focus and stability to complete three times the amount of tasks than I did before the cleanse.

Another element of the cleanse that affected my emotional well-being was the control of my body and my health. I was confronted with a psychological struggle that I didn't expect when starting this cleanse. I was seriously sad about not snacking on nachos/tacos/cookies/etc whenever we started a movie. As my mind went through the withdrawal stage from sugars, starches and simple carbs, I had a major struggle within myself over how addicted I was to emotional eating. My body was receiving plenty of nutrients (and adequate calories) and yet, I was so emotionally tied to junk food. As I continued to stick to my smoothies, taking charge of my health began to have a healing effect on me. I learned that I didn't need the junk like my mind was trying to tell me I did, and that I had the strength within myself to take care of my body's true needs.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Here's the thing.

I don't want to be someone you follow who shares nothing but the happy parts of their lives. I don't want to be just another lifestyle blogger from Utah, or another set of pretty pictures displayed in a square grid of happiness. I want to be there for you, I want to be your real friend--not just another "screen buddy." I want you to know that I understand the depression thing, wholly and fully. I want you to know that I know what it feels like to shake with sobs as the gaping hole in your chest widens into an abyss of black. I know what it feels like to be bullied, misunderstood, deemed an outcast at school. I know what it feels like to be abused, hurt every day by someone who is supposed to be one of your greatest supporters and role models. I know the pains of loss like the back of my hand--friends, family, people I knew for ages and loved with all my heart. I know the sting of rejection, the despair of divorce, the fear of the unknown, the torture of truly believing you will never amount to anything in life. I know all of this and so much more. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Here I am, just as promised, with my first "truth": the reality of change. In my desire to be more transparent and open with you, I want need to be real about all the changes going on in my life, and how I've grown through them. I am not who I once was, and it's time to own my struggles and triumphs. & Make sure to read to the bottom for a message I wrote directly for YOU.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


This week was World Breastfeeding Week and the month of August is National Breastfeeding Month. I have been waiting to post about my nursing journey for three months, and what better time than the most celebrated month for breastfeeding?? This post is a big one because I am so passionate about this topic. In the first section, I'll be going over my experiences and the different nursing "complications" I've overcome. In the second part I'll be providing research detailing why breastfeeding is so important, and finally I will be offering some free lactation and breastfeeding services for Utah moms!

I must start by saying that this post IS NOT: shaming moms who choose to formula feed, have to formula feed for medical conditions, are substituting with formula, etc. This post IS: encouraging breastfeeding moms, spreading the importance of breastfeeding, offering assistance to those struggling with breastfeeding and documenting my journey over the past seven months. I also want to add that these are my experiences alone, and I'm not claiming that everyone's stories are the same; I can only speak to my experiences. I have to list this disclaimer because I have seen a lot of moms this week feel put down because of their feeding choice. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to ever see moms shame other moms for birthing, feeding or raising their babies differently than they are. We all need each other! Motherhood is harddd. (If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my post about this the other day.) This journey is so trying and we need to support each other. So, with that being said, on to my story!

Dage at one week old