Sunday, November 18, 2012


a picture walk of my week: baking, red face, & One Republic

Monday afternoon was spent in the kitchen whipping up another loaf of Quinoa Banana Bread. 

Except this time it wasn't for me! 

Tuesday morning I met some friends for coffee at Stella's. If you live in Denver and haven't been, I highly recommend it!

How could I not stay there and do some writing? Sorry Starbucks, this is me cheating on you. 

My boss brought this lil guy to me on Wednesday at work (hair flip). 

Switched things up for lunch on Friday from the usual salad with chicken to a Chicken Shawarma Wrap. Holy YUM!

Saturday afternoon shopping at my favorite grocery store buying ingredients for...

Pumpkin Protein Bars (email to get the recipe!)

My motivation to hit the gym this morning. Naturally, this is what did it. 

Red face and sweat means it was a success! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

slowing down the rush

There are things we don’t have that we will never have and then there are things we don’t have that just take time to acquire. She had what I wanted but  I knew there was no way I could make it happen. Yet.

Ambition, independence, beauty, strong friendships, a Christian faith --- she possessed all those and I craved them for my own life. I wanted to be part of a group of girls who could go out on a Friday night and sit together at church on Sunday morning. I wanted a job that challenged me and rewarded me with a raise and I wanted my hair to be long and worthy of the twirl curl just like hers. I felt jealous and angry and selfish as I wanted those things and I wanted them to show up at my doorstep that day. My mom calls it instant gratification; I call it helping the postal service stay open.

I had one of those moments at church this Sunday where my wants came full circle and suddenly made perfect and utter sense. After a weekend spent with new friends, ones that I laughed and danced and smiled with, I looked to my left and to my right, and those same friends were sitting next to me in the pew. If hearts could do somersaults, mine did fifty. I was that woman that I wanted to be 5 months prior. 

First came the sermon.

“…We need to stop continually working as machines and put humanity back in our everyday conversation. Connect with God to work with others. What’s the thing you can’t stop doing? Find what it is you love to do and make it your job.”

And then came the prayer following the sermon.

“…God, show us everyday what our calling is. What is that one thing we should be doing to help others grow and make a difference?”

Hands crossed, eyes closed. Tears started to well up as He made it clear what I was meant to do with my time here. What I saw in my head at that moment will never be erased from my memory and either will this whole episode all together. All I saw in my head were three letters:


Goosebumps shot up like weeds and an overwhelming yet calm feeling rushed through me. That was my calling. That is my calling. Writing, sharing, helping, inspiring, being there for others, that’s what I live and breathe for. High five God, you kind of-sort of rocked my face off this Sunday.

Rushing and hurrying through this one life we have leaves us feeling unaccomplished and empty if we really slow down and ponder it. We have these grand visions of all the things we want and if they aren’t in arms reach, we feel like a failure. You may not have your ideal job or that close knit group of friends. You may still be listening for your calling or wondering when your relationship with God will starting forming. Beautiful dreams aren’t crafted over night. Life is a journey, a winding path-rocky road-detour filled road trip. Keep working towards your aspirations because one day you will look back and realize that they have all come true. 

Thank you:
To Carli for being the woman that I looked up to without barely even knowing you. Thank you for joining me on this crazy awesome adventure that we call Styled With Strength. You are helping me live out my dream and are the best co-worker to date. You have made me a better writer, thinker, do-er, and most importantly, a better person. I don’t know if the fact that we talk more than most people in relationships do is sad or cute, but I don’t hate it.

 To my Arizona girls for adopting me and showing me that new friendships are never far away. Through our coffee dates, walks around the park, talks before bed, hanging around the kitchen sipping wine, and everything else we have done in the two short weeks I have known you, I am continually blessed and thankful for each and every one of you (even if you make me say “bag” and “roof” purely for your entertainment).

Sunday, November 11, 2012


a picture walk of my week: fashion shows, pajamas, & carb-loading

I swear my church doubles as hosting a Fashion Show every Sunday. I have given a compliment every week to a girl on her outfit because it's just too adorable not to. So, behold my Sunday best. 

I spent my Sunday afternoon at the grocery store to stock up for the week. Notice SWS' bad food in my kitchen makes it easier to eat healthy! 

Carb loading reason other than I was craving pasta. 
Pictured: 1 serving whole wheat noodles, 1 cup steamed broccoli, chicken breast, sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, & a cup of Almond Milk

Tuesday morning was spent doing laundry, running the dishwasher, and cleaning the fridge. Glamorous, I know. 

The fact that I can wear this to work is pretty freakin' awesome. 

Thursday morning was a mixture of highs and lows --- ones that will go unmentioned. However, I am continually thankful that I take my stress and bad emotions out at the gym and not on my credit card (well, sometimes). 

Another glamorous shot of my life. Friday morning yoga in my living room wearing my pajamas. I'm just too high maintenance sometimes (is that why I'm single?). 

Friday night was spent with newly met friends who are quickly (very quickly) becoming the most favorite people I have ever crossed paths with. 

Saturday night was round 2 with the above mentioned favorite people. Stay tuned for a blog post involving these girls tomorrow!

When I was leaving my friends house this morning, I had the whole oh my gosh I'm going to have to wear my boots from last night with my sweatpants moment. GLAMOR. 

Alright folks, that's a wrap! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I enjoy...

1. A card in the mail that made me laugh and cry and really miss the person who sent it. 

2. A WoodWick candle that smells of amazingness from a person who is amazing. 

3. A coffee mug from Anthropologie that makes my heart happy. 

4. A new book that has been the perfect read while cuddled up on the couch with a blanket.

Friday, November 2, 2012


A picture walk of my week: caffeine, 25 lbs, & a box

My bed transforms quite nicely in to my desk when I write

Crap, I'm turning in to my mom. Cards on the counter for all to see! 

My church participates in Operation Christmas Child. Any ideas as to what I should fill this box with? 

There are certain things I procrastinate on but getting a planner for the new year is not one of them!  

Muscle is in. 

Bye-bye chipped baby blue cover and hello pretty, shiny, new red cover!

Met my friend Heidi for coffee and a walk in the park this morning. Yep, pretty perfect start to the weekend if I do say so myself! 

Decided to throw a party in my hair today. I've gotten 3 compliments and 1 of which was from a 45 year old male. Hmm...thanks?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

recipe: quinoa banana bread


1 C oatmeal
1 C oat flour
1/4 C quinoa
4 bananas
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T coconut oil
2 T ground flaxseed
1 C coconut milk
1 tsp baking soda
**I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on top just for a little extra some-somethin'


Boil quinoa in 1/2 cup water for 10- 15 minutes to get 1 cup cooked quinoa

Blend 3 bananas till pureed

Mix together cooked quinoa, oat flour, dry oats, coconut oil, brown sugar banana puree, ground flax and baking soda. Add coconut milk and beat for a few minutes

Put mixture into baking dish and top with oats, Cut up one banana and add on top with oats. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes till baked

For original recipe, click HERE.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

juggling act

I loved drawing houses growing up. Big, multi-windowed, proportionally and structurally incorrect houses. Some would have flowers planted in the front while others would have a white picket fence. This house would have Christmas lights strung from the roof lines while that house would have a pool in the backyard (complete with a pool boy, obviously). I had days where I could draw for hours and days where I couldn't draw the doorknob on a door if my life depended on it. 

Creativity is strange and annoying and beautiful. I get spurts of ideas and designs one second and the next I can't even sit down and form a sentence for this blog. With the addition of Styled With Strength in my life, I feel as though my existence revolves and depends around creativity. Work, SWS, this blog. I'm thinking about joining the circus and performing a juggling act. 

I have been struggling with trying to always have the "creative light" turned on. All day, everyday. Is it mentally possible? Who knows. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully the world keeps turning. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The time I almost bought a Christmas tree in October

I woke up the other morning to this: 

I immediately wanted to go out and buy a Christmas tree, hang up the stockings, and pop some cookies in the oven, but my dream was quickly squashed as I looked at my phone and saw it was October 24th. Be patient, young grasshopper. 

I had already planned a run at the park that day and thought "if I bundle up, I'll be fine." I put together the most hideous combination of warm clothes and said a prayer in the car that Stacey and Clinton would be far, FAR away from Denver that morning. Throw on an oversized sweatshirt here and slip on the ugliest hat ever there and you have a hot looking mess of a runner. 

Side note: I DO wear my seat belt! I took this picture just before getting out of the car. 

My 7.5 mile planned run quickly, and do I mean quickly, turned in to a freezing 2.5 miles. I thought North Face gloves were suppose to keep your fingers warm, not just leave you thinking "do I even have fingers anymore?". 

It probably was no help that I didn't wear clothes that covered my legs either. Get it together, Carrie. 

I will never understand the things we think are picture worthy. Water? Trees? Snow? I guess I frankly don't care because hiiiii, this picture is pretty. 

Look! It's like I never left! 

Ok, sleepy time for this girl. 

Have a great weekend readers!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

stretching to grow

Stretching, bending, reaching. 
Miles, distance, time zones. 

Moving from MN to CO was most definitely a stretching to grow time in my life. It brought out new fears and worries in me that I didn't even know were there.

Living by myself. 
Forcing myself to crawl out of my comfort zone and meet people. 
E-mailing my new church to seek out ways to get more involved. 
Starting a new job.
Living in a city where the skin color is not just white.
Getting use to a million (or so it seems) cars on the road at a time (and testing my road rage abilities).

Distance can either be a positive or negative thing. When it comes to the relationships in my life, I have learned to bend and twist to make these relationships work. They have bloomed tremendously since me being here because I have worked at them. Yes, worked. Some think that relationships should come naturally and that working at them means that something is wrong. I disagree. When have you ever not worked at something and had it be successful? Being in another state has shown me that friendships, ones that are real and mature and stable, mean more to me than the Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte I am sipping on now (yes, it's most certainly a "Venti" kind of day).

We have to continually stretch ourselves. Minds, bodies, hearts, to open up and welcome whatever it may be in to our lives. You never know what He has planned for you. You can be as organized as you want but soon enough you have to realize that your planning is useless as your story has been written, published, and already sitting on the shelf. It is your job to wake up every day and turn another page. Not only turn it, but live it. If you are constantly finding yourself looking forward to the happy ending, you are missing the in betweens. The moments that teach us to love harder and laugh more and to stop stressing over split ends.

"You can't reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday's junk."
- Louise Smith

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


"Carrie, you know what I said earlier about how you have changed? I meant it. I am so proud of you, daughter". 

- Dad

Sunday, October 14, 2012

recipe: fall chopped salad

Fall Chopped Salad


6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 medium pears, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
4-6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)


On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) 

For original recipe, click HERE.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


A picture walk of my week: dreams, curling irons, & candy

When you wake up each morning overwhelmed with happiness because you are taking risks and reaching for your dream, nothing can bring your mood down. Not even your blow dryer callin' it quits half way through it's job. Sigh. If you have not yet signed up for Styled With Strength and want to join in on this party we are having, email us at :

& you wonder why I love running at the park 

The number of times I have walked in my room & jumped thinking this is a person is embarrassing. This week the number increased by 2

Worked out 5 days and was happy 5 days. Funny how that happens...

It was a chilly day on Wednesday which was the perfect setting for a lit candle, a warm bed, & my laptop to write (or type?) on (or with?)

Jillian Michaels sure knows how to make 30 minutes seem like an eternity


Blessed to have a job that allows me to use this guy more

Because sometimes you just need to curl your hair for the heck of it

Long runs keep me sane, clear my head, & make me sore. Perfect trifecta?

Afternoon snack (every afternoon). Not sure if it is keeping the doctor away but I'll keep testing it out

Shout out to Ms. George for getting up and at em this week!

 Oh darn! You mean on my flight home I have no one to ask me useless things that we both know we don't really care about?

 Last night as I was waiting to board my plane, all I could think was, "Sir, why is that on your finger?" Eye candy it was. Another sigh.

A more thought provoking, heart wrenching, tear jerking post coming in a couple days. Ok, so maybe just the first of those three.