Stop For The Scenery

sunsetIn a world of digital access to everything, all the time, it’s hard not to focus your attention toward the wrong things.  Most of us become transfixed with checking our email every few minutes, or glancing at our phone to see if a new text message was overlooked.  We pull out our computers and ipads to entertain our kids and review the daily Facebook feed.  The television primarily spats stories of violence and tabloid trash, bringing just enough attention to heroics and miracles to keep us from giving up on day-to-day positivity.  So when the busy schedules and hustle and bustle occupy virtually every moment of our lives, we forget to put things on pause, if even for a split second; moments to relax our minds and soak up a sense of serenity.  For health, sanity, and happiness, I think it’s imperative to stop and enjoy the scenery every once in a while.  So here are my top 6 suggestions for scenes that SHOULD distract you! Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) Leave a comment

Bullet Blend: A Spring Smoothie

Green Goodness: A Spring Smoothie

This spring-infused smoothie makes a perfect sippable snack!

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  1. Get creative!
Grab your bullet or blender, and add the following
  1. 1 tbsp coconut butter
  2. 1 tbsp honey
  3. 1 handful of kale
  4. 1 kiwi
  5. 1 handful of spinach
  6. 1/2 cup fresh diced pineapple
  7. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  8. 1 cup fresh halved strawberries
  9. Blend together for a serving or two of sweet sipping goodness. Makes a perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert option, and it’s packed full of vitamins to keep you going.
  1. Experiment with wheat grass, other fruits, and even adding chopped nuts. If you have a protein or recovery supplement you like, throw it in for added value.
Pretty N' Gritty

Posted on by Abi Ann in Friday Food-Love, Indulgence Eats, Perfectly Paleo Leave a comment

Tips For Taking A Hike

hikeSome days, the gym is just not the place you need to be.  Whether you’re in desperate need of a rest, or just need some scenery to mix things up, a walk or hike is the perfect way to take an active rest, and reset your body, mind, and spirit.  Here are 6 tips for taking a rejuvenating hike! Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Active Rest Options, Explore The Outdoors, Wednesday Workouts Leave a comment

Have-To Habits

brooklyn decker nose pickWhile some habits are deemed disgusting, they’re virtually unavoidable.  We are shamed into believing things like farts and finger-licking are unacceptable and inexcusable, but realistically, everybody has to give in at some point.  Although I’m an advocate of appropriate times and places, sometimes you’ve just gotta tend to your immediate needs and engage in some animalistic acts.  A review of my top top have-to habits…     Read more

Posted on by Eva McCane in Monday Musings, PG (ish), R Leave a comment

Appetizing Avocado Salad

Appetizing Avocado Salad

This tasty dish is a great summer-inspired salad!

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  1. 4 avocados
  2. 1 carton strawberries
  3. 4 cuties (tiny oranges)
  4. 1 orange
  5. 1 lime
  6. 1 cup of nuts (your choice – I suggest macadamia nuts, walnuts, or cashews)
  1. dice avocados
  2. slice strawberries to desired size
  3. peel and separate cuties
  4. add nuts (whole or crushed)
  5. combine all items in medium-sized bowl
  6. cut orange and lime in half, and squeeze fresh juices on top of mix
  1. Super simple, super flavorful, and super healthy!
Pretty N' Gritty

Posted on by Abi Ann in Friday Food-Love, Perfectly Paleo, Unrated, Whole 30 Leave a comment

Suns Out, Guns Out

suns outBicep curls aren’t the only thing to get you the guns you’re gunning for.  This workout will inspire summertime toning with a combination of cardio and shoulder work.  You can make it as short and sweet, or long and dirty as you’d like, but I’ll provide some general guidelines to get you going. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Explore The Outdoors, Intensity Inspired, Unrated, Wednesday Workouts Leave a comment

Bowling Balls Bounce

bowlingThe title of this blog is not meant to be catchy.  It is a factual messages for the masses.  At age 8, I was unaware that bowling balls had the ability to bounce, and this lack of knowledge continues to affect me to this day.  And so the story begins… Read more

Posted on by Eva McCane in Monday Musings, PG (ish) Leave a comment

A Divine Dessert: Sweet Potato Bake

Sweet Potato Bake

Puts the “sweet” in sweet potato!

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  1. 3-5 sweet potatoes
  2. granny smith apples (or other fruit like blueberries)
  3. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  4. cinnamon
  5. vanilla
  6. almond flavoring
  7. coconut butter (or oil)
  8. nutmeg
  1. Grease casserole dish with coconut oil or butter
  2. Slice or dice sweet potatoes (I prefer cubed to about 1/2 inch pieces) and lay evenly in dish
  3. Slice apples and add to potatoes (or try blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  4. 3 tablespoons of coconut butter (just plop on top of potatoes
  5. Combine 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon almond flavoring, t teaspoon nutmeg and pour over top of potatoes
  6. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are soft (diced are about 1 hour 15 minutes, thinly sliced are about 40 minutes)
  1. Get creative with your spices and fruits to keep things interesting! This is a great dish to serve as a healthy dessert alternative, or to reheat and eat for breakfast.
Pretty N' Gritty

Posted on by Abi Ann in Friday Food-Love, Perfectly Paleo Leave a comment

Make Your Butt Burn

buttLadies often complain of a less-than-perfect posterior.  This workout will give you the burn you yearn. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Intensity Inspired, Wednesday Workouts Leave a comment

My First Workout Wednesday Post – On Friday

abiAs I look ahead to a new blog format, I’m excited to put a little focus on fitness.  As a Co-Owner, trainer, and athlete at CrossFit 8035, I have a passion for health and fitness that boarders on obsessive.  And it’s not just about my own fitness.  Watching the people around me evolve and progress and become better versions of themselves motivates me to do more every single day.   Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Intensity Inspired, Wednesday Workouts Leave a comment

The Softer Side: A Little Perspective On Respecting Romance

romanceFor Valentine’s Day, my hunky husband made me a York Peppermint Patty heart mountain, complete with a note at the summit and some Lego Ninja Turtles scaling the sides.  And today he sent me a video of his mildly-horrific and humorous rendition of James Blunt’s “Your Beautiful”.  Men, take notes.  His gestures may sound ridiculous to some, but to me, they’re perfection.  Most may not guess it, but I’m a hopeless romantic.  So light a few candles, dim the lights, and lets talk about the softer side. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) 1 Comment

Paleo Pepper Chili: A Football-Season Favorite


Paleo Pepper Chili

A tasty Paleo chili, with just enough kick!

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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
45 min

Total Time
1 hr

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
45 min

Total Time
1 hr

  1. 2 tbsps. coconut oil
  2. 4 large peppers
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 lb. ground turkey
  5. 1 lb. Italian-style ground turkey (Italian sausage works well too)
  6. 1 bunch of kale
  7. 4 cups chicken broth
  8. 2 cans diced tomatoes
  9. 1 can crushed tomatoes
  10. 1 can tomato sauce
  11. 2 tbsps. hot pepper flakes
  12. 1 tsp. cajun seasoning
  13. 1 tbsp. cayenne
  14. 1 tbsp. cumin
  15. 1 tbsp. chili powder
  16. 1 tbsp. black pepper
  17. 1 tsp. sea salt
  1. dice 4 peppers of assorted colors (whatever your preference)
  2. dice one small onion
  3. chop kale (I prefer it finely chopped, but up to you)
  4. brown ground turkey (all together)
  1. Using large soup pot, put burner on very low and add coconut oil, diced onion, and kale. Cover and let onions sauté and kale wilt (about 3-5 minutes).
  2. Add peppers and keep covered for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, and cook uncovered on low/medium for about 30 minutes (allow to simmer but not boil).
  1. This is a large enough batch to cook and serve 4 adults, and have plenty leftover for meals throughout the week! It also refrigerates, freezes, and re-heats very well. Feel free to get creative with your vegetables (mushrooms, jalapenos, carrots…or corn or potatoes for non-Paleo peeps. I prefer to use organic canned tomato products to keep things inexpensive and to save time, but fresh tomatoes would be great. Also play with the pepper flakes and pepper colors to adjust the “hot” factor, and increase or decrease chicken broth according to your preferred consistency (doesn’t affect flavor much at all). Enjoy!
Pretty N' Gritty

Posted on by Abi Ann in Friday Food-Love, Perfectly Paleo Leave a comment

The Kitten, The Cat, and The Tiger

I decided I’m a Tiger.  I’ve always loved the parallels between women and felines.  They’re slightly unpredictable, mysterious creatures.  They are cunning and elegant and graceful.  They require very little training and are typically independent animals.  Felines are small, but fierce, and have amazing manipulation skills (please reference Puss In Boots and the “look”.)  The other day, I got to thinking…most women can be placed in one of three categories; they are either a kitten, a cat, or a tiger.  Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) 10 Comments

Clogged, my mind seems to be stuck on one subject.  Poop.  Primarily because my recent ”cheat meal” left me with some short-lived digestive discomfort.  But also because my baby can’t seem to get one out.  I worked her little legs to maybe loosen things up.  Gave her some tummy rubs.  And finally, I went for the prune juice, which typically serves as a “light” laxative for infants.  This was my last resort.  Prune juice has an unpleasant effect on her…typically the “light” doesn’t apply, and the aftermath can be…overwhelming and messy.  At this point, I’d just like both our bellies to chill out.  But for now, I seem stuck on the subject, so lets review some of the poo categories. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, R 2 Comments

Fit For Getting Frisky

crossfit menI’ve never been a jersey-chaser, but as a fairly fit female I can appreciate athleticism in a male companion.  Physical abilities have never been a deciding factor for the men in my life, but I have always found myself attracted to the qualities many athletes exhibit…ambition, motivation, hard work, and of course, their typically above-average performances in the bedroom (please note that there are always exceptions).  Athletes are trained to perfect skills with lots of practice, and they’re generally very coachable.  The best athletes aspire to achieve greatness.  Perfection.  And that is why male athletes often make perfect partners.  But which athletes offer the most when you ache for a little action?  Here are my top 3 suggestions. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, XXX Leave a comment

A Piercing Perspective,r:14,s:230,i:137

People have been piercing themselves since sharp objects could successfully break skin.  I can appreciate any cultural association, or even aesthetic preferences for some.  Others just leave me questioning the sanity of people willing to test boundaries.  Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, R Leave a comment

The Final Piece

A follow-up post to “A Letter To My Puzzle Pieces” (

I believe that people are each unique pieces in a puzzle that makes up the overlapping lives of many individuals.  Some fit, some do not.  Some are distant and connect only by way of others in the bigger picture.  But then there are those that match perfectly.  That must unite to complete the puzzle.  Often, they’re not an easily identifiable pairing.  It requires searching, trial and error, completing other parts of the puzzle to gain clues…and sometimes you just need a break.  Giving yourself a moment to refresh.  And stepping back to the puzzle that is your life, you may have a whole new perspective.  A clearer one. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) 1 Comment

A Letter To My Puzzle Pieces

(***I wrote this post about 2 years ago before I met my hubby.)

Dear soulmate (I use that term with caution because I’m jaded…a moderate skeptic), Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) 12 Comments

Des Moines: Diamond of the Midwest

des_moines_03Des Moines is nothing short of a rare gem.  A unique and polished beauty.  A product of her environment and it’s inhabitants.  Growing up I always hated Des Moines.  I aspired to things “greater” than could be offered in my mini metro.  Things I thought only existed in Chicago, New York, San Francisco.  I saw nothing but a dull rock, and I underestimated the combination of elements that would convert this city into a stone to be treasured.  Des Moines’ culture is a pairing of traditional Midwestern manners with a hint of big city hip.  Our proximity to Chicago and Minneapolis ensure easy access to the bustling metros, and our nationally centralized location and world-renowned work ethics invite some of the largest corporations to plant roots in our midst.  Despite the economic stresses of the past several years, Des Moines seems to have flourished with enthusiastic and motivated entrepreneurs taking flight and thriving.  And here are a few of my favorite shining facets…. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, PG (ish) Leave a comment

The Cult. The Crossfit Cult.

crossfit cultMost people who join cults aren’t necessarily crazy to begin with.  They’re just searching for something.  Seeking fulfillment for a hole in their happiness.  They get recruited by people with a cause.  They detect passion, and after enough persistence that passion becomes a little bit contagious.  Outsiders view cults as a bunch of crazies.  They see obsession and loose screws.  And they are usually right.  When a cult begins serving shady tasting Koolaid at their gatherings, you better believe its time to separate yourself.  But there is one cult I believe in.  One I belong to.  And I wholeheartedly preach its gospel.  It’s the CrossFit Cult. Read more

Posted on by Abi Ann in Monday Musings, R 4 Comments