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Moving is for the birds!

June 22, 2012

For those of you wondering, I’m alive! Just elbow deep in the eleventh move of our marriage. Yes, eleven.  Today we are taking a break and hitting the beach, however.

The 26-foot uHaul was COMPLETELY packed. Where does all the stuff come from?

Dustin may have found his true calling…

A tired little sister with a tired little pup!

Making progress, slowly but surely!

Have a great weekend!

Gluten Free Girls

June 13, 2012

My 13-year-old sister stands alone as the only gluten-eating girl in the family. Little does she know, the majority of her diet (since my mom cooks her meals) is gluten-free too, at home at least.

As you could imagine, we are always on the hunt for tasty, yet gluten-free recipes. Throw a vegan and a simi-vegan in the mix and I’ll show you how things get complicated, realllll quick. We make it work though. We’re a family of foodies, that’s for sure.

The older of my two younger sisters (which is gluten sensitive) sent me this picture last week…

That meant one thing. I had to recreate.  Cheese-less, however.

And it was done. Thanks to this guy…

These little bites are a perfect appetizer, side, or even meal. And they’re super easy too.

I think this was a Pinterest inspired idea for my sister, but for me, it was a sister-inspired idea. Thanks sis!

Zucchini Pizza Bites 

Vegan or non-vegan…the choice is yours. But gluten-free always.

  • 2 (as large and round as you can find) zucchini… mine were a little on the small size
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce  (I like the ingredients in Classico’s Traditional Pizza Sauce)… You could obvi make your own here using tomato sauce, herbs, garlic and onion.

  • Cheese (any kind…I used Daiya to make the bites vegan)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
  2. Cut zucchini into about 1/4 inch rounds.
  3. Place rounds on well sprayed baking sheet.
  4. Top with sauce and as much cheese as you desire.
  5. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Easy enough, right!?

Make these tasty treats tonight! You won’t be sad you did. Have a great day!

Good health!

Green Goodness!

June 12, 2012

Mmmmm… this coffee is so good. There is nothing better than waking up to a coffee aroma flowing through the house; that smell gets me out of the bed every time.

Good morning! How are ya? Tuesday, again? In less than one month I will start my internship at the Mayo Clinic! My, oh my…so much to learn!

Yesterday was a very productive day. We may have found a place to live, we were able to make one step forward in completing our personal training (well more like, athletic training) certifications (more on that and what we want to do with them another day), and I was able to fit in an evening yoga class too. Good day to me.

Anyway, after talking to you about coconuts a few days ago, today,I decided that it would just be mean of me not to share another one of my new favorite things.

Let me first say, I am sooo not a supplement girl. Sometimes I wish I was: it would be so easy. Dustin always wishes I was. But there is just something about the “Pop this pill and you will get all of your nutrients in one swallow!” that just doesn’t seem right to me.  As stated in my last post and my mom’s famous words, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

I actually think it’s the development of the multi-vitamin that got Americans into trouble in the first place. Eat whatever you want, but take this “One-A-Day” and you are golden.

No. Way.

A multi-vitamin is, as one of my nutrition professors described it, like an insurance card. Have it, hold it, but use it only if you have to.

It’s not that Dustin thinks that way but as a former professional athlete, he was taught supplementation most likely from his very first tee-ball coach all the way up through the professional organization. Dustin and I had a few nutrition classes together when he was returning after finishing his baseball career.  I remember the day that one of our professors “dissed” protein shakes: Dustin was more than willing to battle his case.  For his sake, it was understandable.  As a minor league baseball player, traveling from city to city, hotel to hotel, for a guy that eats healthy, the Waffle House ‘Steak and Cheese’ just wasn’t going to cut it.  He felt that rather a whey protein shake, banana, and trail mix would be the better option. I agree. So for some, supplementation is best, for others, it’s extremely unnecessary.

Even though I do mix up protein shakes occasionally after a hard workout, I don’t use in any other form of supplementation. I used to be the vitamin box girl: multi, fish oil, calcium + magnesium, and whatever I felt necessary at the time.  Throughout time, I decided that my diet was extremely healthy and that all this supplementation was a waste of money: good insurance, yes, but necessary? I didn’t feel so.   Using actual true, whole foods, to me, will always be best.  Without taking a multi, it makes me feel responsible for getting in all of my daily nutrients, however that may be. Even B12: I can get through nutritional yeast, so I choose that over anything else for the time being.

(Please remember that everyone is different. A multi-vitamin may be unnecessary for some but absolutely vital for others. Always refer to your physician for personal situations and questions.)

If were talking “natural supplementation” and using foods to heal, like I said, let me introduce you to one of my new favorites.

Say hello to Spirulina.

You’re thinking I’ve gone mad, right? So does the hubs.

That was until I put it in his protein shake and it was love at first sip.

As I mentioned a thousand times on this blog, for some ridiculous reason my face waited until my twenties to breakout. So instead of having acne with all the other kids in my tenth grade math class, I now get to deal with it as a mid-twenties wife. Lovely, huh? Not so much.  The same reader that mentioned to me that coconut oil helped cure her skin, also mentioned to me that she thinks it was the two, coconut oil and Spirulina together that did the trick. That’s when my own research began.

As a nutrition junkie, I’ve always heard the word Spirulina used on shows like Doctor Oz or maybe reading in a magazine, but as a nutrition student, we never learned of anything of it.  We are taught only what has been talked about for years and years. Even though Spirulina HAS BEEN around for years and years, since it isn’t apart of the mainstream SAD (standard American diet), it isn’t taught.  To me, that isn’t right. We should be taught about things like nutritional yeast, chia seeds, hemp seeds, maca powder, Spirulina, etc. but we aren’t and that’s unfortunate. It takes doing our own research to understand these foods and the benefits of them.

With that being said, I want to share with you a little more about what I have learned about this superfood.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae found deep within our oceans, fresh waters, and natural springs. It contains protein, B-vitamins, iron, and omega 3s. I thought this was interesting: the reason some fish contain omega 3s is because they eat this algae.  While research is far from complete, Spirulina is being looked at for its effects on the immune system, inflammation, and infections (any many other things!).

Pretty good stuff, right?!

If you want to know even more, check out this article about Spirulina over at Natural News.

Also, it is highly important that you purchase a reputable brand of Spirulina because some sources are highly contaminated (Again, you can order yours here (contaminate free), using my VitaCost referral link, if you wish.).

Anyways, have a blessed Tuesday!

Good health!

Unlucky Ducks

June 10, 2012
tags: craigslist scam, , , old city farmers market, pickle-on-a-stick, trust,

Today was better than yesterday, that’s for sure.

Last night, I stayed up a little too late (on into the wee hours of the morning) watching Water for Elephants (which was wonderful, by the way…and I am sooo not a movie person either), so our morning started a little bit later as well.  We rolled out of bed and hit the Old City Farmers Market first thing. Organic kale, pickled okra, dried strawberries, dried kiwi, hummus, and vegan stuffed grape leaves were on the list of goodies that we came home with.  Successful day to say the least. After hitting the local grocery store too, the refrigerator is stuffed to the max full of fresh goodness to carry us through the week.

A pickle-on-a-stick and a black Kenyan coffee may or may not have been breakfast.

In this life (and after yesterday…I’ll explain later), it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Really, it is. No matter what the situation. We must remind ourselves however, that it is through the trials and tribulations that God molds us into the people He wants us to be.

Yesterday was not a day that we walked with sunshine over our heads, both figuratively and literally.  And it’s hard to bring this guy down.

Actually…you won’t. And thank God for that or who knows where I’d be.

We definitely had a play date on the nearby playground a few days ago.

Not only was is POURING here all day long (minus about ten minutes) but we also managed to get scammed three times… in. one. day. Our new record.

Let me explain.

Scam number one: We are currently in the process of finding a place to live once we move up to Jacksonville. We have searched and searched and searched. We’ve gone through realtors, classifieds, and now Craigslist too.  Even though I hate the word hate, I hate Craigslist.  There is very little good that actually comes from that site.

After speaking with a man/woman/it over e-mail quite a few times, we thought we finally found the perfect place.  He/she/it told us to drop by the place to check it out (he/she/it was “out-of-town,” so for today we could only see the outside). That alone seemed sketchy to us, so after driving 45 minutes up to check out the house, we decided to ring the neighbor’s door to find out a little bit more about this he/she/it. The place seemed too good to be true. My mom quickly reminded me tonight that “if ever something seems to good to be true, it is.” She was right.  The he/she/it in the e-mail claimed to be a man working in Alabama and that is why he needed to rent out his home. When we asked the neighbor about the owner he said, “Francsis? Oh, HER health started declining so SHE had to move in with HER son a few miles up the road.”


This he/she/it is still e-mailing me (I haven’t yet let him know that I’m on to his scam), trying to get information to steal my identity and in a few more e-mails I’m going to let him know that he too has been scammed. So tricky, aren’t I?…Muah hahaha. Ha! Yeahhh

Scam number 2: Dustin decided he would go help out at a youth baseball center with a seemingly prestigious name (I’m not going to name names). We drove an hour up to this baseball complex to find a baseball field in the middle of a cow pasture (deep into the projects too). For a 14-15 year old team, the tattoos were pretty impressive (joking) and the language was well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want your children to here the words coming out of these also children’s mouths. Back to square one we go.

Scam number 3: While Dustin was at his incredible youth baseball practice, I decided to find a dog park in order to let Boss and Gunner run around. I Google-mapped a park and found “7 Leashes Dog Walking Park.” Sounds legit, right? I drive thirty minutes there to find a cement side walk…awesome dog park, Jacksonville, awesome.  We did two laps around the “park” (taking all of eight minutes), and loaded up and called it a day.

Enough was enough. Let’s go home.

You know those days where nothing seems to go your way, this was one of them.

Today was much better though, I can happily say. Even though there is so much confusion and so many unanswered questions in our life right now, I am certain and have full trust in our amazing God. I will never doubt the plans he has for us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
I will trust in Him regardless of my situation, regardless of what tomorrow may hold and regardless of how good, bad or confusing things are.
I hope you all have a wonderful day of rest!
Good health!

Crazy for Coconuts!

June 6, 2012
tags: acne, Alzheimer's Disease, , , Thai recipe

“You’ll like it, it’s coconut!” has been an ongoing phrase used in my family’s household for years.  Although my brother (not sure of his status now) once claimed that he didn’t like coconut, my mom still always wanted him to try all things coconut, insisting that he would like it (joking obviously).

Coconut too, is a food that yet again causes controversy in the nutrition world.  I’ve always been a coconut fan, with its saturated fat (more on that in a minute) and all.  When I sat down in one my very first nutrition courses and our professor told us that “coconut was to be avoided,” I still refused to listen. To me, God wouldn’t going to provide us with an edible plant that caused damage to our health.

Coconut is now recognized as ” the healthiest oil on earth,” according to many doctors, including Bruce Fife, N.D.

The latest research shows that coconut oil may even help fight Alzheimer’s Disease. Check out this video for more on that (thanks to my soon-to-be sister-in-law for sending that my way); it’s quite fascinating.

According to the Coconut Research Center, published studies in medical journals show that coconut actually provides many health benefits including but not limited to…

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.

Wow! That’s a whole lot of awesome coming from one simple food.  Let me please remind you, those were published findings in medical journals, not Joe Schmo’s latest Science Fair Project findings.

After watching the above video and again doing a little of my own research, I quickly knew I needed to add this oil into my daily regimen.  Days after ordering it (order yours here, using my referral link), I even had someone comment on the blog that the use of coconut oil helped clear up her face… just what I wanted to hear (after the troubles that I have been having):-)

So why does coconut get a bad wrap anyways? Because it contains saturated fat: usually, the white fat found only in animal protein (that clogs the arteries, raising our cholesterol, leading to heart disease).  According to research, the saturated fat found in coconut differs greatly from the saturated fat found in animal protein. While the fat found in animal protein is usually long-chain, the fat that is found in coconut is medium-chain, causing our bodies to metabolize them complete different. Medium-chain fatty acids do not negatively affect our cholesterol.  Interesting, huh?

Last night for dinner, I was able to use my coconut oil to make a delicious meal that even Dustin said, this is a “Deb Meal,” referring to the amazing cook that my mom is. That’s a huge compliment, considering he went on to say, “She is pretty much a professional chef.” While my cooking is no where close to hers, if one out of every one of my fifty meals is compared to hers, I’ll take it.

For my birthday this past May, as I mentioned, Dustin and I went to a Thai restaurant in Savannah and had a delicious meal…

…that means one thing, Dustin wants me to replicate that meal at home. So last night, we did.

I found a similar recipe at but then tweaked it according to the goals of our meal. Here is what we ended up doing. You should try it too!

Thai Stir-fried Vegetables with Garlic, Ginger, and Lime

(I also sautéed Dustin some chicken to go along with this dish.)


Stir-fry ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 c finely chopped purple onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped (the recipe called for Shitake, probably would have been better but I didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 tbsp dried basil or 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Stir-fry sauce ingredients

  • 2/3 c coconut milk (I used unsweetened, original Almond milk because I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, although I think the coconut milk would make it even better)
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (recipe called for fish sauce, obvi, not going there; soy sauce or Tamari would work too)
  • 3.5 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 whole lime)
  • 1/8 tsp stevia powder (1 tbsp agave would work too)


  • 1/2 c jasmine rice
  • 1.5 c water
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 c black rice
  • 1.5 c water
  • dash salt


  1. Heat two different pots of 1.5 c of water + salt for the two different types of rice.  Once boiling, add rice. Turn heat to low. Cooking the jasmine for 15 minutes and the black rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all ‘stir-fry sauce’ ingredients together in a bowl.  Stir well.
  3. Heat wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil, swirl around. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno.  Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add carrot and mushrooms.  Add 1/4 of the stir-fry sauce. Continue stir-frying for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli and red pepper plus the remaining stir-fry sauce (the extra liquid will soak into the rice when combined).
  5. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, until broccoli is at desired texture.
  6. Remove from heat. Add basil, cashews, and sesame seeds.
  7. Serve over half jasmine rice + half black rice.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did! Have a great Wednesday!

Good health!

It’s a Small World After All.

June 4, 2012

The world is so small. Really. It is.  No matter where I seem to go, somebody knows somebody.  I don’t know if that’s just the south or if that’s just how the world works.  Friday night, Dustin and I were at the St. Augustine Art Walk and we were chatting with a guy in shoes similar to ours…knows little about the town, but happy to be here.  As soon as we walked away from speaking with that guy Dustin looked at me and said, “See Ashley, that’s something we wouldn’t get on the west coast.”  I have tried to conivince Dustin a thousand times that we need to move to the west coast and it’s not that he doesn’t want to go, it’s just that he’s logical. Something, at times, that I’m not.  (With less than 75 years left on this earth (most likely), why not see it all? That’s my thinking at least.) He wants to establish himself career wise before he makes any big moves and rightfully so.  He has been nothing short from amazing making the quick transition to Jacksonville to be here with me during my internship.

Friday night, while at the Art Walk, Dustin and I had to find parking on a very small, one way street a few minutes outside of downtown.  Inside one of the galleries, I had a notification on my phone that I had a Facebook message.  It was from one of our Statesboro friends, letting me know that he was driving down an old St. Augustine road when he saw a blue car that looked just like mine and even had a GA Southern parking decal on it so he knew it had to be mine; what in the world were we doing here?  A few messages later, he invited Dustin out on an off shore fishing trip Saturday morning.  When I mentioned this to Dustin, he was more than excited. Although setting the alarm for 3:15 am wasn’t to fun, he knew the memories and fun that would be had were too much to turn down.

An omelet and oatmeal were made, even if it was 3:30 am (What kind of wife (and at this point, aspiring dietitian) would I be if I sent the hub off on an empty stomach??), and out the door he went.

This. Kid. Had. So. Much. Fun. He returned home around 6 pm (with a bag full of fresh veggies — more on that later), ate a lasagna that I had prepared and went to sleep around 7:30… for the rest of the night. At around 8 pm I asked him if he wanted to sleep for the rest of the night and he responded with, “mmmhummm.” Fourteen or so hours later the guy was awake and ready to share details of his trip.

My biggest question… “You went fishing, Dustin. Where did the large bag of veggies come from?”

“Jesse’s dad!”

You all know me. This bag of veggies excited me more than any other fish story he was about to tell.

Although they did catch and filet a few large fish…

…I was still excited about the veggies.  Dustin quickly reminded me through photos of the fish they caught.

You might be wondering my thoughts on this, as a vegan…

Lately, more than usual, many friends have been asking me questions about being vegan.  ”Are you sure you’re getting enough protein?” “I don’t think there is anything wrong with your decision but why?” ” So….what…do… you eat?”  That last comment coming from none other than my own dad, the man that sits down to dinner with me more than anyone other than Dustin.

Last week at the beach with Dustin’s family his dad asked me if I ever missed meat. This question really made me think. At that point, I had never thought about whether or not I missed meat, I only knew that I didn’t eat it.  I have now been a vegan for over a year, so thoughts of that no longer stroll through my mind. I quickly mustered up my response, knowing in my heart that I definitely didn’t miss meat.

At this point you couldn’t pay me to take a bite of your hamburger or chicken sandwich, not because it tastes bad but because I know too much about the industry.  Farm raised fish too.  Doesn’t tempt me. Wild caught, happy fish, however, that was a different story.

While at the beach with Dustin’s family, like I said in a previous post, the guys did the fishing for the food they would eat each evening (or if not personally caught, caught by a fisherman right up the road).  That made it a little harder to resist.  Again, like I said in a previous post, I don’t eat meat and poultry for the health benefits, I don’t eat wild caught fish, eggs, etc. for humanitarian reasons.  I dove too deep in the literature.  Like I said, I learned too much about the industry.  Knowledge is power; ignorance is bliss, yet again, or so they say.

But when my own husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law were catching wild caught, healthy fish, it made it extremely hard to stand my case.  Because honestly, I didn’t feel I had one.

If my family was going to eat fish, wouldn’t I would it to be caught this way over any other?


As a aspiring dietitian, I should preach health, not extremity.  This is paleo, not the garbage that is promoted now: eating as much CHEAP meat as possible throughout the day.  Our ancestors fought for their food, and that’s why they deserved to eat it, not because they had the access to buy as much as as needed for $5.

So while I am still not a meat, poultry, nor fish eater, at this point I am still okay with doing things right.   Fishing the way God intended, causing minimal pain to the animals, so long as it fuels the family.  Pain for no reason will never be okay in my eyes.

With ALL OF THAT being said (I certainly hope I haven’t lost you!), today I want to share with you what we ended up doing with the fish (and no I didn’t eat it) that the guys caught and the veggies that our friend Jesse’s dad supplied us with!

First let me start with a super easy black bean salsa to top the fish (or the rice for my meal)…

Deb’s Super Fresh Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 bag soaked and cooked black beans
  • 2 ears fresh corn (best) or 1 c frozen corn/canned corn
  • 1 large tomato or 1 can tomato, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro, or 1/4 c fresh cilantro
Chop and mix everything together in a large bowl.

After broiling the fish (tossed in EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic powder and lime juice) for about 10 minutes, the black bean salsa topped it perfectly!

A fresh ear of corn on the cob (too from the garden) was the perfect finishing touch for the meal!  Dustin even said it was better than any other fish he has had. Most likely because it was so fresh.

Thanks to the Bentley’s for not only an awesome fishing trip but for fresh veggies as well!!

Top picture is Dustin’s with the fish; bottom picture is mine, over wild rice.

This salsa pairs great with just about anything…and lasts for days! Perfect for any summer BBQ or afternoon snack!

Have a great Monday evening!

Good health!

Congratulations Big Sis’ + Being a Friend

June 3, 2012

Hi there! Happy weekend! I hope you have had a fabulous day. My day started with a 9 am killer yoga class that left me dripping in more sweat than any workout ever has.  I then ventured over to the Old City Farmers Market to find it was closed :-( because of a graduation ceremony.  I then spent the rest of my day walking the pups, cleaning, cooking and laying out on the dock while Dustin off shore fished with some of our GSU friends that just happen to be in St. Augustine right now too.  A great day for the both of us!

Tonight, I have a happy story to share with you.

Let me set the scene: It’s March 2004 and I am a junior in highschool.  A friend of mine calls me and tells me that she has a friend (both of which went to another highschool) that is close in size to me and is looking for the perfect dress to wear to her senior prom and did I have anything that she could come look at.  Of course I did.

My friend and another girl stroll into my parents house and within minutes out strolls the perfect lime green dress. It fit her like a glove.

Days later, my friend’s friend, I’ll go ahead and share her name, Lindsay, text/calls me (I can’t remember which) and says something similar to this,”Thanks for letting me borrow your dress! It was the perfect dress to get down in…I had it pulled up over my knees all night long!!”

All I could think was, “poor dress, poor, poor dress.”

She returned it in close to mint condition as if she hadn’t even worn it. I was shocked, but now this story makes so much more sense.  Lindsay is my big sister in Kappa Delta and one of the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

(So I might have been a few, or 20, pounds heavier, don’t hate  What can I say, I had fun in college.)

The day I found out I was going to Georgia Southern, Lindsay was the girl who took me under her wing.  She walked me through sorority rush, helped me survive my freshman year, and later stood next to me on my wedding day.

Months ago, when I started my guest post section of this blog, I sent out an e-mail to friends that I knew had an incredible story to share with you.  I had awesome feedback and the hardest part was deciding which order I would share their stories with you.  Every guest post has made complete sense on when I should share, and today, it is more than appropriate for me to share Lindsay’s post on what it takes to be a friend.

Like I said above, Lindsay is the friend that will never leave your side. When she accepts you, she truly accepts you for everything you are.  When she calls you friend, she means it for a lifetime.

When she found out I was accepted into Mayo, she called me and was almost more excited than me. For my 25th birthday she sent me a gift that she new only I would love and she was right, I can hardly put it down. Every food question I have ever had is answered.

Last night, I am more than happy to share, Lindsay said yes to her Texas cowboy and the man of her dreams!

Tom is a lucky man to have this girl as a wife by his side forever (because that, she will be), but I know that she is just as lucky to have him by her side because she wouldn’t have picked anything other than perfect.  So, congratulations, Lindsay, you deserve a lifetime of happiness simply because of the joy you bring into other people’s lives!

Here are a few photos of some wild times Linds and I have shared together…

Biting my hair? That’s what big sisters are for. Statesboro 2008?

Vegas 2010

Teaching me her San Antone Two-Step

Atlanta 2010

Reunited and it felt so good. San Antonio 2009

Here are Lindsay’s words on being a true friend…

A great friend posses the following qualities:
  • She is honest, no matter what the case. A lot of people tell you what you want to hear, but an honest friend tells you your outfit doesn’t match, you should be nicer to your boyfriend/husband, or your hair needs highlighting because your roots are badddd!
  • She is caring and has a big heart. She listens to your problems and sympathizes with what you’re feeling. She is there for you when you need a milkshake or margarita. She always knows that if she doesn’t have the right answer, she will lend an open ear to comfort you along the way.
  • She is trustworthy. Everyone has situations in life where you don’t want the world knowing your personal business, but you need to confide in one person so you can live day-to-day, not living in secrecy. You need this person to be your rock and sounding board. People don’t realize that gossiping does not get you further in life, the words spoken hurt deeper than the actual value gained from talking about that person. Being a trustworthy friend is the most important attribute for long-lasting friendships.
  • She knows how to have fun! Being able to laugh at yourself not only entertains your friends, but is good for the soul. Surround yourself with people who see the glass half full, and get out there and live life to the fullest, while making every moment a memorable one!
  • She is positive. She greets you with a smile and when asked how she is doing replies, “wonderful, couldn’t be better”. Positive behavior is contagious. Even though we don’t always want to go to work or school, or maybe even be in a good mood when we get home to our families and pets, it is important to meet and greet with a positive attitude and smile. You never know what is going on with the people around you, but being positive and approachable is more rewarding than being negative and closed off.
  • She has faith. She centers her life around Christ and lives her life according to the word. She is an example for her friends and family and encourages discussion and involvement with the church. She is thankful for you and lifts you in time of celebration or need.
  • She is loyal. She will sing your praises when you have accomplished something. She will defend you whenever it is needed. If you needed the shirt off her back, she gives it. She does not compete with you, she joins you. She protects you like a sister and love you to death!
A great friend possess all these attributes and then some. I am blessed to have such wonderful, dear friends of whom I write these things about. We are not only friends, we are sisters, and with that, I am grateful!
I never knew that girl in my lime green dress would soon become one of the best friends I could ever ask for, but as life goes, she certainly is. We should all think of these qualities when it comes to being a friend because Lindsay truly knows.
Have a wonderful night!
Good health!

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