Guess Who’s Back?

Hey there! It’s been awhile! Like almost a whole year… but who’s counting? I’ve had the occasional person ask if I would be posting new stuff and apparently I’ve had a handful of viewers here and there while I’ve been away (hi! thanks for checking in!). Truth is, this blog was really time consuming when I was trying to update it multiple times a week. And as much fun as cooking is, it’s less fun to sit at a computer and write about it after 50 hours a week of sitting at a computer and typing.

ANYWAY, long story short – I want to post stuff here and there when I try something out that’s just too amazing not to share.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know I happened to move in the past year, like 3,000 miles away, to CALIFORNIA! There are so many exciting things happening out here, and it is so much different than Virginia! So my thoughts are, if I eat something, see something, do something, or cook something awesome while I’m here I want y’all to be able to experience it with me (and no, I will not be dropping the “y’all” any time soon – it takes me back to my Virginia roots!).

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The move itself took us 6 days by Penske truck, which was an adventure in and of itself. We went through Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada before finally making it to our new home in Southern California. It was stressful, still is a bit terrifying, and is probably the best thing we could’ve done at this point in our lives.

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A snapshot of Cali life so far – how is this even real??

As you can see above, we’ve only been here a month, but it’s been a fun time – I found my new favorite sparkling sake, we visited friends at the Newport Beach Marina, took a trip to the Angel City Brewery (where I could spread my wings), ate delicious sushi at SOTA, and I had a chance to hang out with my dad at the Anza Borrego desert for the Perseid meteor shower (we stayed up most of the night and watched the sunrise).

I’m sure more adventures are in store and I can’t wait to share them with you, so check back soon!

Day 35: Green Smoothies (and Happy One Month D&B!)

Whoa, sorry for letting almost a whole week go by without putting anything up! Last week was nuts for such a short work week and my eyes are starting to go in my old age, so I wasn’t too keen on spending too much time on my laptop after work. My eyes are starting to feel better, so I am back on the grind!

Even though I wasn’t typing up anything, I was definitely thinking about the blog and how it’s already been over a month of this little adventure. I wanted to see if this is something I can keep up with and enjoy before I start monetizing it (yea, #sidehustle, yea!) and I think it definitely is, but I’ve learned a lot in these 35 days. Like, it is SO tough to keep up with something that’s only a few paragraphs a day. Between actually writing the content, cooking, taking mostly blurry pictures on my iPhone and editing them to make them look decent (also on my phone, I use an app called VSCOcam if you’re curious), it takes me about 4-5 hours to put together each post. You look at all these gorgeous blogs and assume it comes together in the hour it takes to make the recipe and that is a total misconception.

Oh heeeeey matching socks that I couldn't crop out...
Oh heeeeey matching socks that I couldn’t crop out…

They say that a side hustle really is like working a part time gig, and that is definitely true. The wonderful part is that it’s something I genuinely enjoy doing, so even if I’m staying up past my bedtime to get a post done before the next day, it feels worth it. And even if I never make money from this, it’s been great to have some sort of creative outlet and getting your feedback that you enjoy it too makes it that much better! So thank you for reading my ramblings, this is me giving you a warm and friendly over the internet hug 🙂

I also spent some time thinking about what sort of direction I want to take this blog. There are a lot of options out there (that are a lot prettier than mine – for now) and I want to give you all something useful. Well… after weighing myself at the gym last week, I realized I need to start focusing a LOT more on healthier eating. Now, a lot of blogs focus on clean eating and paleo and gluten free and all these other buzz words that I am just not that concerned about. I’m all about balance, eating food that tastes good but also happens to be good for you.Tropical Green Smoothie | Diamonds & Bacon

Obviously, one of the biggest challenges tends to be eating food that leaves you feeling good without leaving your wallet empty. To help you guys (and let’s be honest, I’m selfish and this is helping me too), I’m going to focus a lot on recipes that can be made from similar ingredients and hopefully keeping a weekly food budget of $50 or less.

Ingredients for Tropical Green Smoothie | Diamonds & BaconSo to kick things off on this newly focused blog, I’m bringing you a super simple green smoothie. I personally love smoothies in the summer, and I’ve had one just about every day for breakfast the past two weeks. I stocked up on frozen fruits and veggies at Costco this week ($7 for a 3 lb bag, whaaaaaaaat!) and they’ve come in handy for so many recipes. I love using frozen produce because it has the same nutritional value as fresh, but I don’t need to worry about it spoiling and it typically costs a lot less.

This specific smoothie has pineapple, mango, banana, Greek yogurt, spinach, and almond milk but there are so many ways to customize it. Basically take whatever you have on hand, toss it in a blender, and hope for the best. Okay… maybe don’t do anything too crazy, but you get the idea.Tropical Green Smoothie |  Diamonds & Bacon


Tropical Green Smoothie
Serves: 1      Total Time: 5 min

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (you could also use plain, but you may want to add some sweetener if you do)
  • 1 cup frozen tropical fruit mix (banana, pineapple, mango)*
  • 1 cup unsweetened original flavor almond milk  

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender (and remember to put the lid on the blender after!)
  2. Blend on high until you reach desired consistency
  3. If the smoothie is a little thick, add more almond milk to thin it out
  4. Pour into serving glass, stick a straw in it, and rush off to work!

*Make sure you stick to yellowish fruits when making any green smoothie. If you add in strawberries or blueberries it’ll still be delicious, but it will be a pretty heinous brownish/greenish color.

Day 12: Happy Mother’s Day <3

<3There are literally never enough words to express how much I love my mother. Since day one – literally – she’s been there for me, helping me grow, and always wanting the best for me. To say Mama Nuell is my hero is an understatement. She has wiped more tears, covered more boo-boos, and given more bear hugs than I could possibly count. I am so incredibly fortunate to have a mom who has not only pushed me to succeed but who also holds herself to the same high standards in life.

Now that I’m in my twenties, I’m quite literally in awe of all that my mom’s accomplished. She somehow managed to raise two stunning girls (if I do say so myself) while holding down an outstanding career, being president of her Rotary Club, volunteering on the library board, and generally having a more active social life than my sister and I combined. I consider it a good day if I manage to work, cook, and make it to the gym, but Mama Nuell somehow did 10 times that on a daily basis and not only survived, but thrived.

This one’s for you, mom. If I can accomplish half of what you have in my lifetime, I know it’ll be a job well done. I love you so much, mommy! xoxo

xoxo