Dec 17, 2012

Chobani Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the Chobani giveaway winner, Kim H! Prepare yourself for some super-delicious (and healthy) yogurt. They're on their way!

The more I thought about it, I realized I use yogurt is a lot of different recipes. Some of my favorites around the web are Homemade Yogurt Pancakes by Epicurious, a yummy Tuna Salad Sandwich via Shutterbean or this genius snack idea (stawberries dipped in yogurt, then frozen).

In other unrelated topics, Christmas is RIGHT round the corner and I'm panicking a little because I still have gifts to buy, crafts to make and other general things I should have taken care of last week.

I'm beginning to realize (i.e. accept) that being organized becomes exponentially more difficult with each child. Oh well, what they cost me in time they make up for in cuteness.

Looking at the bright side, at least we have some things done like a decorated Christmas tree in our living room. 

Aaaaand, that's about it.

This holiday season, I'll be spending time with family and friends, remembering how thankful I am God sent his Son to give us new life. 

 I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Dec 10, 2012

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait + Chobani Giveaway

  It's that time in the afternoon again. 

The time the kids are napping. 

The time I have some free time. 

The time I plan to do chores, but end up sitting down doing nothing. 

Ahhh, nothing feels good.

I like to enjoy doing nothing with a snack, don't you? A cup of coffee doesn't hurt either. Today, I made this yogurt parfait with the good intentions of eating half, then sharing the rest with Will. But it never made it that far. I started eating, and....

....just like that, gone. Good thing there's more yogurt in the fridge.

I like to snack on yogurt because it's packed with healthy goodness like protein, calcium, and bacteria that keep your gut healthy. Plus, most yogurts are fairly low in calories and fat. I buy plain, non-fat/low-fat greek yogurt and sweeten it myself with either jam, honey or splenda. To make this parfait, I added fresh blueberries and granola.

Right now I'm really loving Chobani yogurt because it tastes GREAT and comes in a variety of flavors. This week, I bought plain greek yogurt. Apart from making parfaits, I like to use it in cooking as a sub for mayo and sour cream. It's so naturally rich and creamy, no one knows the difference. Score one for mom!

And good news, the nice folks at Chobani want to send you some....for FREE! And not just any yogurt, their new flavors: peach, blueberry, black cherry, vanilla chocolate chunk, mango, and pineapple. Each yogurt is 16 oz each, so there's plenty to enjoy. I got to try them and they're goooooood. Eaten alone or used in recipes, you'll be a fan. You can enter three ways:

1. Post a comment telling me your favorite way to enjoy yogurt
2. Like me on Facebook
3. Have a smart phone? Follow me on instagram {tiffany_rd}

Enter all three ways, and your name with be entered three times! Just let me know what you did.

Good luck!

Nov 27, 2012

Have a Healthy Holiday

Did you indulge a little over Thanksgiving? I would be lying if I said I didn't eat an extra serving of turkey. An extra roll? Perhaps. Pumpkin pie? Absolutely! But thankfully, one meal of semi-indulgence doesn't reverse all my health efforts for the year. Big sigh of relief.

This year, the holidays come during a time when I'm trying to shed the last few baby pounds, so I really don't want to halt - or reverse - my progress. I've jogged a lot of miles and watched my portions too well to let holiday food get the best of me.

To help stay healthy during the holidays, I use a few tricks so my willpower isn't so maxed out. I mean, really. How many times can I say "no" before finally giving in? So I try to maintain a normal healthy lifestyle and save indulgences only for special occasions.

Here's the plan:
  1. Make time to sweat once a day.
  2. Eat small meals regularly throughout the day.
  3. At holiday parties, eat small portions of foods you really like. Don't waste calories on foods you don't love.
  4. Eat until you're satisfied, not full.
  5. Plan holiday activities that aren't food-centered (make a Christmas wreath, dough art decorations, play games, or take a walk to look at decorated homes).

How are you planning on staying healthy this holiday?

Nov 16, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

 Do you love pumpkin pie? Do you love it so much you could to eat it for breakfast? Me too. Truth be told, pumpkin pie is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. That, and the crisp fall weather. Leaves!

I wish I could enjoy pumpkin pie more often, but between the added sugar and buttery pie crust (oh that glorious crust), it all creates a big calorie bomb I try to limit to a few times a year. So sad. 

I decided I must create a version that is a.) guilt-free b.) easy to make and c) preferably healthy. The perfect canvas? Oatmeal. 

Oatmeal is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and whole grains. And best of all, it's easy to make. To oatmeal, I added pumpkin puree, which also contains loads of good-for-you vitamins (like vitamin A and C) and is low in fat. It's a winning combo, both in the nutrition and taste department.

Making this recipe tells your family you love them. 

Start with your oats.

Will was my little helper (he likes wearing hats).

Grab your pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.

And here we go....

Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Serves one


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 packets Splenda
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 T maple syrup

In a small saucepan, combine the water, milk, oats, pumpkin and pie spice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Next, remove from heat and add splenda, vanilla and about a tablespoon of maple syrup.

Nov 8, 2012

Giveaway Winner + Chicken Pesto & Goat Cheese Pasta

 Hey Friends! Congratulations to Emily, who won the Attune Cereal Giveaway!

This week, it's back to work for me. I've enjoyed my time off so much, but am also happy to start back to my very part-time dietitian job (one day per week). Does that even count as a real job? I don't know.

In light of work starting up again, I like to have a few easy weeknight meals that require minimal prep work, but are still tasty and healthy. This one is just that: delicious, healthy and easy to make. First off, it's pasta, so, yeah it's good. Second, there's pesto! I have a love affair with pesto, rivaled only by goat cheese. So why not throw them together? A love pasta, of sorts.

Although both pesto and goat cheese are higher in fat, pesto contains lots of healthy ingredients like basil and heart healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. And because of the rich, creamy texture of goat cheese, you don't have to use as much.

I adapted this recipe from Pesto and Goat Cheese Pasta


Penne Pasta (whole wheat for added fiber and protein)
Basil Pesto, Prepared
Goat Cheese, Crumbled
Baked Chicken Breast, Diced

Simply throw these together and let the magic begin. I didn't measure exactly since it's kind of up to you how much of each ingredient you want. I just made sure to go easy on the basil pesto and goat cheese, since these ingredients contain the most fat. I added just enough to coat - not saturate - the pasta.

We enjoyed this easy weeknight meal with steamed broccoli. Hope you enjoy!

Nov 2, 2012

Post #100 + A Giveaway!

This is officially post number 100 and I'm kind of excited. When I started blogging, I had no idea what would happen. I just wanted a fun way to share nutrition tips and recipes with my friends and family. Now, thanks to you guys I'm getting more readers daily and lots positive feedback. I appreciate every one of your comments, questions and emails and am so grateful for all I'm learning from you.

So, I guess I just want to say THANKS!

To celebrate and to thank YOU for reading, I want to send you a gift: Three boxes of healthy, tasty cereals from a company called Attune Foods. They make all types of nutritious cereals and - bonus - chocolate bars with probiotics. Yes, please. 

You can find their products at most local health food stores and I like them because many of the cereals are 100% whole grain, high in fiber and protein and low in sugar. Basically, they pack a nutritional punch at breakfast, which is an important meal that fuels our bodies for the rest of the day. I don't receive compensation for saying these things, it's just my dietitian opinion.

If you'd like to try some of their yummy cereals and receive a coupon for 2 free probiotic chocolate bars, choose one of the following ways to enter:

1. Post a comment below
2. Like me on Facebook
3. Subscribe to follow my blog

If you do two of these items, your name will be entered twice. If you go big and enter all three ways, your name will be entered three times. A winner will be chosen at random a week from today.

Good luck and healthy eating!


Oct 24, 2012

Almond Butter with Sea Salt and Agave

Who doesn't love a good almond butter? Okay, maybe if you have a nut allergy, you're not a fan. But otherwise, I think it's one of the yummiest, most versatile foods around. Almond butter also scores high in the nutrition department because it's a good source of protein and fiber, even calcium and iron.

One of my good friends is absolutely, completely and utterly addicted to almond butter from Trader Joe's. She stocks up so that she never runs out. This said friend is also a self-proclaimed non-cook. Case in point: she made a smoothie a few weeks ago and posted a picture on instagram to show how far she's come in the cooking world. But - good news friend - if you can blend, you can make almond butter! So, when I came across this delicious, easy-as-pie almond butter recipe, I knew I had to make it, not just for my one friend, but for all my friends (that's you)!

So, here we go. Prepare yourself for the most simple, tasty recipe your food processor has ever seen.

Start with your ingredients. Are you ready? There are three. Seriously.

Grab 2 cups of almonds, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of agave nectar (it's like honey, but with a thinner consistency). If you don't have agave, honey totally works too.

Next, load the almonds and salt into a good food processor and blend (or pulse...whatever). After a few minutes, add the agave.

Keep blending for about 10-15 minutes. The nuts will start to ball up right before they get creamy. Just be patient, it'll happen. I like mine with a tiny bit of crunch, so I blended for about ten minutes. 


I enjoyed my tasty salty/sweet/nutty creation with some sliced apples for a snack. Store it in an airtight container in your fridge.

The fun thing about making your own nut butter is all the easy variations you can try. Next time around, I might go for some vanilla, cinnamon or cocoa action.

Have you ever made your own nut butter?

Oct 20, 2012

Warning: This Post is Not Gluten-Free

You may have noticed a little trend these days: gluten-free foods. Lately, it seems like more and more food products are labelled "gluten-free". Do these labels look familiar?

Garbanzo beans don't naturally contain gluten.

This is a bag of coffee I recently purchased. Last time I checked, coffee beans don't contain gluten either. Granted, the gluten-free label may be on food products with additives that contain gluten or those that have been processed on equipment that may have been exposed to gluten. But I wonder if companies are placing these gluten-free labels on products in attempts to increase sales from consumers who believe gluten-free diets to be healthier? It sure seems like it.  

The truth is that while gluten-free diets have gained popularity in recent years, they are only medically necessary for those who have Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. But in other cases, simply restricting gluten in your diet is not likely to yield health benefits. 

A true "gluten-free" diet is very restrictive and omits things like wheat and other wheat products, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Wheat in particular is in so many food items that maintaining a strict gluten-free diet can be very challenging. Gluten is even found in some medications!

 I've read and heard claims that gluten-free diets can aid in weight loss but this just isn't true. Sure, someone who follows a gluten-free diet may lose weight, but it's likely because they're eating fewer calories from all the dietary restrictions than purely from avoiding gluten. 

So, that's the scoop on gluten-free diets. I'm not sure how much extra revenue food companies have earned from gluten-free adds, but it would be nice to see gluten-free labels geared towards supporting those who really need them rather than the latest fad diet.

Oct 11, 2012

Black Bean Turkey Burgers

This week is one of those weeks. The kind where your to-do list is reeeeally long and your motivation to do anything on that list is low. Have you been there? Maybe it's the cold-bug we're passing around in our family? I dunno.

To give myself a break, I tried to stick to really easy meals this week. You know how it goes with easy meals....sometimes they're not as good as you want. But thankfully, I landed on a turkey and black bean burger recipe that was super-easy, yummy, and healthy! Triple score. 

It even passed the husband test, which when it comes to healthy stuff is quite high in my opinion. It also passed the dietitian test because of all the healthy ingredients: lean ground turkey and black beans are great sources of protein and iron plus the beans add fiber. Paired with a whole wheat bun and a salad, it was a nice end to a long day. Definitely making them again soon!

*Cook turkey burgers until internal temp reaches 165 degrees F.

Black Bean Turkey Burgers 
Adapted from Turkey Bean Burgers


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 100% whole wheat burger buns
  • sliced tomato and onions and lettuce leaves for topping

In a small bowl, add the egg, chili powder, onion powder, pepper and salt. Combine turkey with mixture and mix well. Shape into patties. Spray skillet with cooking spray and cook burgers over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear. If desired, top with a slice of meunster cheese, tomato, lettuce and onions.

Oct 1, 2012

Building Hope...and Cupcakes

Isn't it nice when someone encourages you? A kind word, a nice gesture, they go a long way. Last week on my morning jog with the little ones, a neighbor who I hadn't yet met took one look at my double jogger going uphill and said "What a great Mom! We need great Moms; they build hope for the future".  I was totally out of breath (from the hill AND from what he said). I managed to respond with a "thank you" and felt an instant pick-me-up. Mommyhood is wonderful, but oftentimes unappreciated by others. So it was awesome to hear encouraging words.

The jury is still out whether taking my kids for a jog constitutes being a good mom, but the take-away was clear: great moms are not only needed and important, they build hope for a better future. Hearing these words reminded me of the influential role we moms play in the lives of our kids and therefore our community. That's pretty awesome.

Now onto cupcakes....

That afternoon, Will, James and I went to a neighbors house for dinner. We were in charge of dessert and I decided to try a cupcake recipe using applesauce. I know, I know....why mess with a cupcake recipe? Go big or go home, right? Well I read that this recipe was actually really delicious and wouldn't disappoint someone wanting a real cupcake experience (namely, me and the kids!).

A few simple ingredients: boxed cake mix + 1 cup unsweetened applesauce + 1 cup water

I had a little helper. His hand looks weird here, but I swear he has normal hands.

We followed baking instructions per the box recipe and added some caramel buttercream frosting on top to complete the dessert. This is definitely not "healthy", but it's certainly healthier than original recipe and tasted amazing. The texture was super-moist and made me reconsider ever using eggs and oil in a cake mix again. All the kids (and adults) at the dinner were totally fooled and loved them. Mission accomplished!

Sep 20, 2012

A Healthy Perspective on Weight Loss

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like everywhere I look in health-related magazines and books, weight loss is the theme. Since recently having my second son, losing weight has definitely been on my mind; how much to lose, when to start, what plan to follow, etc? 

Unfortunately, much of the popular press is no help. There seems to be no consistency in what nutrition plan or "diet" works for the long term. Between cleanses, fasts, very low calorie diets, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc, it can be very confusing. Naturally, this hodgepodge of diet advice is usually accompanied by images of underweight models and other body types that aren't realistic - or healthy - for most people. Frustrating, right?

Is this what every woman's supposed to look like?? 
I don't think so.

The reality is that we all come in different shapes and sizes and health cannot be defined exclusively by numbers on a scale. Striving for a "perfect" weight can not only lead to disordered eating, but it can take the focus away from the real purpose of being healthy - to enjoy your life!

According to an article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there is no "ideal body weight". Living a healthy life can be achieved by following a few simple principles:
  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  2. Get regular physical activity
  3. Look at your health habits and find ways to change those that are unhealthy
  4. Make time for regular physical check-ups
  5. Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides checked regularly
Interestingly, following these principles often leads to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, that is, a weight that allows you to enjoy life and be active. I keep all this in mind as I embark on post-baby weight loss round two! My goal is not to get wrapped up in the numbers-game, but to eat well, exercise regularly and enjoy my life. Here I go...

Sep 12, 2012

Balsamic Marinara Sauce and Life with Two Kids

If your garden is like my garden, you have a ton of tomatoes. Our tomato harvest came just in time for the delivery of our second son, James. In the midst of cuddling and loving on my new little guy, I realized my tomatoes were desperate to be picked and eaten.
With family in town to greet James and help out, I had a few extra hands to help me make marinara sauce with the tomatoes from the garden. Boy, did it turn out good. Plus, you can basically throw all the ingredients into a pot and let them simmer away. I got the recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Budget Bytes. I love it because all of the recipes are affordable to make and delicious. Score! So, here we go.
Credits to mother-in-law, Bev for helping me out with the prep-work.
I followed the basic recipe, but also added zucchini, ground cooked turkey and fresh tomatoes instead of canned. And for time sake, I didn't peel the tomatoes beforehand. I just cut em up and threw em in the pot. Easy. The recipe is for a slow-cooker, but since I was home and tending to the kids anyway, I just simmered it on the stove for about 2 hours and it turned out fabulous.
We started by shredding the zucchini.
Chop chop the tomatoes.
In with the basil.
Balsamic Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 28 oz Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Med Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey
Chop onions and mince garlic. Add olive oil to simmer pot on medium heat. Sweat the onions and garlic a bit, then add tomatoes. Stir to combine, then add spices. Mix well, cover and set to low heat so that the mixture simmers. Cook for approximately 1-2 hours, or until desired consistency is reached. In a separate pan, cook ground turkey until done and add to sauce.
This was a great meal to enjoy with family. With two kids, I now appreciate more than ever healthy food that is easily prepared. My family enjoyed the taste and I felt good knowing that my ingredients were fresh and nutritous. That said, not everyone has a garden, so it's nice to know that even conventional produce at the grocery store offers health benefits. Simply feeding your family more fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve overall health.

Sep 4, 2012

Baby Boy

On August 13th, we welcomed a new member into our family - a beautiful baby boy named James. I'll be back to blogging soon, but right now am enjoying all the cuddle time I can get. Here are a few pictures of James and our new family. Looking forward to sharing more healthy recipes and nutrition topics soon! 

Aug 10, 2012

Plum Jam And Other Things To Be Happy About

One of the things I love about our new house is that it came with a plum tree in the backyard. And right now, it's booming. The taste of a fresh plum really doesn't compare to what you find at the grocery store. The skin is super-tender and the meat of the fruit is perfectly sweet and tart. Having a tree is great, but you get a lot of plums RIGHT NOW. So, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make fresh jam.

When I was a kid, my grandma made peach jam from her peach tree. It was the most amazing thing I had tasted and so after that, and I was forever ruined for store-bought jam. This recipe is ridiculously easy. I just followed the instructions on the package of pectin. Fruit, pectin, sugar....done.

I had big plans to can my plum jam, but it didn't happen. I went the low-effort route so I could spend minimal time in front of the stove and maximum time kicking my feet up (I can do that...I'm very pregnant). 

When I finally DO can something, this Canning 101 guide will definitely come in handy. PS: the website is kind of addictive. 

While I was making my sweet spread, I glanced over a new book my friend recently gave me: 1400 Things To Be Happy About. I haven't read the whole book yet, but I'm sure "breakfast of fresh jam on toast and a rich cup of coffee" is in there somewhere. Until I find it, here's a glimpse at the first page. So far, I like.  

Plum Jam

  • 1 quart fresh chopped plums
  • 1 package pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar

Bring chopped fruit and pectin to a boil. Add sugar, stir well. Bring to a boil again, stirring continually. Let cool for about an hour. Serve and enjoy.

Now, have some friends over, make brunch and serve your tasty homemade jam. Or just spend the morning in your PJs, sipping coffee, enjoying your delicious plum jam with toast....or a scone...or a biscuit. Up to you. I think I'm going with option B.

Aug 1, 2012

Do You Have a Healthy Relationship with Food?

The relationship between the brain and the body is pretty interesting, especially when it comes to food. Have you ever found yourself wanting to eat something unhealthy and doing everything within your power to overcome temptation? I can certainly relate. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to make cinnamon rolls last week. (Editors note: I'm 40 weeks pregnant and therefore cannot be held responsible for my decision making). So I made them, ate one, gave half of them away to friends and put the rest in the freezer. Thus far, it has taken every last shred of self-control not to break into my stash. Sound familiar?

So what's your solution to temptation? Pantry purge? Get rid of all "unhealthy" foods in the house? Give in and eat what you want or have a small bite, then walk away? Your reaction not only reveals what you would do, but also how you relate to food, which is just as important as what we ultimately put into our mouths.

Working in nutrition, I've seen a lot of disordered eating. These are not just clients with anorexia or bulimia, but oftentimes people I meet day to day. Between the media, unhealthy body images, the latest diet trend, social pressures and more, it can be very difficult to maintain a healthy perspective on what we eat. From what I've observed and studied, I've come to believe it's not just about telling people what to eat, but helping them think about food in a new, healthy way. In order to change how you think, it's important to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors when it comes to food. 

Here's the Tiffany the Dietitian version of some of the "signs" of a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship with food. Ask yourself which way you feel most of the time.

This list could go on. What are some healthy vs. unhealthy perspectives you've observed?

Jul 24, 2012

Adventures in Farming

This week I embarked on a rather unusual adventure: chicken farming. Five years ago, I would have laughed at the idea of me having chickens. Now, here I am four chickens later. It all started with a friend who raises chickens. She showed me how it's done and sort of took the mystery out of the whole thing. 

 One of the baby chicks
Editor's note: *squeal*....they're SUPER cute!

My husband had wanted to get chickens years ago, but I wasn't into the idea yet. Now that we have the space and live in a more rural, farm-friendly area, starting our chicken farm became a reality. 

Here's our coop, which still needs a fence around it. 

There seems to be a lot of pressure these days to buy cage free, vegetarian, organic, soy-free fed (etc, etc) chicken eggs. I was recently at a farmers market and found farm-fresh eggs for the bargain price of $9/dozen. All I can say is OMG. I didn't splurge for eggs that day, but it did remind me of the growing social pressure to buy specialty foods that are perceived to be healthier than conventional. That same day, I went to our local supermarket and bought a dozen eggs for about $2. That's better.

There are definitely arguments for choosing to buy organic or vegetarian or non-GMO, etc. So if you lean toward those food purchases, more power to you. The reality is that these foods simply don't fit into everybody's budget and the verdict is still out on whether these items actually deliver the health promises some people, websites, etc, claim they have. 

Personally, I'm convinced current research shows that - at least nutritionally speaking - an egg is an egg is an egg (Note that it's always important to cook eggs thoroughly to avoid possible food poisoning from Salmonella). In general, all eggs are great sources of protein and essential vitamins, and support a healthy body.

Yes, eggs have cholesterol. But - good news - we now know that the cholesterol in eggs doesn't necessarily raise your blood cholesterol. Rather, the total fat, saturated fat and trans fat levels in your diet as well as genetics appear to be more influential in determining cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association used to recommend limiting eggs to one yolk per week for those who have high cholesterol, but in light of current research, they've dropped that recommendation. Instead, they now recommend to eat foods low in total fat, saturated fat and trans fat (and eggs are low in all three!). 

For more information on the health benefits of eating eggs, click here. 

Do you have any experience with chicken farming? If so, please share your experience and advice!

Jul 17, 2012

Tea Time and Twenty-Nine

Last week I celebrated my twenty-ninth birthday. I'll be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it. The whole "last year of my twenties" thing really weirds me out. But I decided nonetheless to have a party... not just any party, a tea party. I'm convinced the enormous amount of estrogen running through my pregnant body is to blame for the girly-party theme. Well, that and my current TV obsession, Downton Abbey. If you haven't, you must try it.

It's a strange feeling saying almost-goodbye to a decade I had so looked forward to as a child. I remember daydreaming about all the things I had to look forward to in my twenties: college, friends, dating, career, the man I would marry, the kids I would have.

I think I crossed most things off my unofficial twenties "to-do" list, but the way it all unfolded was much different than I had pictured; in a few words, much less perfect and much more work. Ha! How's that for irony? But I certainly enjoyed myself and managed to learned a few things along the way.

1. Find something you love. Go do it. 
My dad always has useful things to say, and this was one of the best. I can remember him telling me as a child to "find something I love and go do it". Sports, academics, craft or hobbies, to him it didn't matter so much what you did, but that you had something you loved doing. 

Dad also sent me flowers for my birthday. How sweet.

2. Trust.
As a Christian, "trusting in God" is the foundation of my faith. But looking back at a decade (how I met my husband, the many places we've lived, our son, our friends, our church), I realize how remarkably sovereign God is in life and how much more I wish I would have trusted his plan instead of worry. I worry too much.

3. Build relationships.
Life sometimes feels so busy that it's hard to make time for all the people who are lovely in my life. Even though it takes effort, I seldom remember regretting making the call, sending the letter, and spending the time - regardless of that heaping pile of laundry.

4. Enjoy. this. moment.
A decade has certainly taught me how quickly time goes by. Wasn't I just in college? Nope. That was 10 years ago. And didn't I just have a baby? Not really, that was 2 1/2 years ago. So even though the day-to-day can seem monotonous and unmeaningful, it is the stuff of life and from that, memories are made.

Image from:,%20Moment&startrow=
I wish I could say I had a grand plan for my thirties; a blueprint for success and happiness. Not so much. This time, I'm planning on taking my own advice: doing what I love, trusting in God's plan, investing in relationships and trying to enjoy every moment. 

Life is totally a collaborative effort, right? Share with us what you've learned along the way.