These Blackberry Mojito Jelly Cups are bursting with lime, mint and blackberry flavors. Just the right size for a cool and refreshing summer dessert or snack.

So, I did the thing again.

All winter long, I complained about how cold it was.

I complained about wearing bulky winter coats.

I complained about dreary grey skies.

And here we are in the midst of May, it’s hotter than a blazing sun outside, and I’m wishing I had appreciated winter a little more. Poor, underappreciated winter. It’s like the one that got away, ya know?

Needless to say, the sweltering heat is no time for rich, heavy desserts. Fruity and light, these blackberry mojito jelly cups are kinda perfect. Think grown-up Jell-O.

It’s light and just sweet enough and I’m not mad.

For the recipe, hop over to Imperial Sugar where I’m sharing it! Enjoy!

Dole whip layer cake is the perfect celebration dessert for any Disney fan! Layers of moist pineapple cake are covered in creamy pineapple buttercream for the perfect Spring cake!

Dole Whip Cake DON’T FREAK OUT BUT I MADE YOU A CAKE.

Ok fine. You can freak out a little bit. If there’s anything worth freaking out over, it’s a big ol’ cake! Don’t you agree?!

And this just ANY cake. It’s a Dole Whip Cake! Pineapple cake, creamy pineapple buttercream, it’s basically everything you never knew you needed.

Or maybe you did know and I’m grossly underestimating your creativity in which case, hats off to you, sirs and madams. HATS OFF TO YOU.

dole whip cake picture

Last September I went to Disney World on a press trip and I have to say that kid-free trips to Disney are a special kind of magic. Do I MISS my kids when I’m at Disney World without them? Sometimes… But tbh, it’s also fun to walk past souvenir stands without buying a light up bubble wand for $98, so whatever. Silver linings, y’all.

Also, I have noticed that people yell at their kids a lot at Disney World. Lots of pulling by the elbow and angry whispering. I’m never sure exactly what the parents are whispering to their kids, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with how much money they’ve spent or telling them to stop being a crybaby about the rides.

And as an aside — I am by no means an expert on race in America, but I have noticed that getting upset when your kids won’t ride roller coasters is DEFINITELY a white people thing.

dole whip cake image

When we were on our press trip, my friend Stephanie suggested that I make a Dole Whip cake and I thought it was the best idea! Then I waited six months to make it for reasons I still don’t understand.

But hey — better late than never?

Dole Whip Cake

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 8 inch round cake

Serving Size: 1 slice

Ingredients

  • 1 box French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 15.25 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • FROSTING:
  • 3 sticks salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • a couple drops yellow food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 3 (8 inch) round cake pans and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat cake mix, entire can of pineapple and juice, oil and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Divide batter evenly into pans and bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then carefully turn onto racks to cool completely.
  3. Prepare frosting: In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter until smooth. Slowly add pineapple juice, beating on medium low and scraping sides of bowl until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar until just barely mixed in. Add yellow food coloring and increase speed to high and beat for one minute, until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Assemble and frost cooled cake. Chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy and have a happy day!

My carb cycling meal plan makes eating good EASY! I’ve got everything you need to get you through the day, plus dinners the whole family will love.

Hey friends, happy Monday!

After a dreary and wet weekend, the sun is finally poking out and the weather is warming up. I’m so happy — I’m ready for some fresh air and sunshine! I had a great workout today, planned my schedule for the week, and mapped out my meals. I always feel better when I start the week off with a good plan to take care of myself.

Here’s my carb cycling meal plan for the week!

If you missed my first carb cycling post and want more information on what carb cycling is and how it fits into my schedule and how I eat, you can read a little bit more HERE. I keep things simple — healthy carbs every other day, a cheat meal or two on the last day of my cycle, and lots of protein and veggies. No tracking macros or calories. Easy! Even if you’re NOT carb cycling, this meal plan is a great way for you to get some healthy options for meals and dinner through the week.

Having a plan always makes my week so much easier.

Here’s what I’m having this week:

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE MEAL PLAN

Low Carb Day:

Breakfast: Egg muffins

Lunch: Pesto Chicken Antipasto Jar

Dinner: Build your own chef salad bar

 

Snacks: String cheese, rice cake with peanut butter, greek yogurt with blueberries or blackberries, Beef Sticks (I like Nick’s Sticks), protein shake

 

High Carb Day:

Breakfast: Low Carb Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes

Lunch: Southwest Chickpea Salad, grilled chicken

Dinner: 5 Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice (add ground beef, turkey, or chicken)

 

Snack: 2 clementines, grapes, Sliced apple with peanut butter, small salad, Protein Shake, small “antipasto” platter with salami, olives, cheese cubes

 

Low Carb Day:

Breakfast: Creamsicle Protein Shake

Lunch: Layered Taco Jar

Dinner: Garlic Butter Chicken with Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

 

Snack: 2 Hard boiled eggs + string cheese, protein shake, hummus and baby carrots/sugar snap peas, beef sticks (I like Nick’s Sticks)

 

High Carb Day:

Breakfast: Overnight Oats and Greek Yogurt Parfait, turkey bacon or sausage

Lunch:  Southwest Chickpea Salad, grilled chicken

Dinner: Blackened Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

 

Snack: small salad, Protein Shake, 2 clementines, rice cake with small smear of whipped cream cheese, Apple with peanut butter and honey

 

Low Carb Day:

Breakfast: Egg muffins

Lunch: Pesto Chicken Antipasto Jar

Dinner: Macadamia Crusted Pork Chops with Bacon Brussels Sprouts

 

2 Hard boiled eggs + string cheese, protein shake, Greek yogurt with honey/diced almonds, rice cake with peanut butter, beef sticks (I like Nick’s Sticks), small “antipasto” platter with salami, olives, cheese cubes

 

High Carb Day:

Breakfast: Low Carb Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes

Lunch:  Southwest Chickpea Salad, grilled chicken

Dinner: Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl

 

Snack: 2 clementines, apple with peanut butter, small Greek salad, Protein Shake, rice cake with a small smear of whipped cream cheese or a drizzle of honey

 

Low Carb Day:

Breakfast: Egg muffins

Lunch: Layered Taco Jar

Dinner: Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon, mashed cauliflower

 

Snack: 2 Hard boiled eggs + string cheese, hummus and baby carrots/sugar snap peas, rice cake with peanut butter, protein shake

 

Have a great week!!

 

“Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.”

“Ignore the haters.”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

We teach our children that words shouldn’t hurt. That they are easy to ignore. But the truth is…words are really, REALLY important.

Words have the power to breathe life or despair into a person. When I look back on some of the most meaningful, powerful, transformative moments of my life, many of them involve words that were spoken to me by another person. So I guess I kind of struggle with the notion that being hurt by the words of another indicates some kind of weakness. It doesn’t.

I’ve been thinking a lot about words lately. Not just the ones that are spoken to me, or the ones I speak to others…but also the ones I speak to myself. And it’s hard. It’s hard to realize that I may NEVER be on firm enough ground that the words of others don’t affect me, that I don’t slip into negative self-talk or doubt. The reality is that most of us will fight it every day, in one way or another, until we no longer have the breath to shape the words that mean so much.

Words tend to become amplified when the person receiving them is in a state of vulnerability. And what I have learned, is that any state of making personal changes — whether emotional, physical, OR mental — is an extremely vulnerable place to be. Just making that first step towards a new goal, new happiness, new dreams, is HUGE. Because it means that you’ve come to the honest conclusion with yourself that something isn’t working and you need change. And that kind of honesty is scary. Change is scary, too.

Don’t ever underestimate how vulnerable you are when you step out of your comfort zone, no matter how good you feel.

We don’t talk enough about that. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the power of change — photos of a better body, a big bright salad, an afternoon in the park with your kids, a glass of wine with a friend. Motivating others and inspiring them feels GOOD. Making progress feels GOOD. Being empowered feels GOOD. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. But we have to be mindful of the fact that our former selves — the ones who not too long ago admitted that we didn’t feel good, we were exhausted, we needed a change for one reason or another — are still simmering under the surface. And when they emerge, because they WILL, they need to be treated with compassionate words and actions.

My husband loves to snap photos of me when I’m not paying attention. He knows that I tend to be hard on myself, that I spend a lot of time in the gym and often fail to notice the progress I’m making. Showing me these photos he captures is his way of showing me the progress I don’t see. He wants, more than anything, for me to see myself from HIS perspective. And it helps. It helps a lot.

The other day he snapped this photo while I was sending a text in between making dinner. It had been a long day and I was exhausted and seeing that photo was exactly what I needed. It reminded me that I am strong and that it shows, even in ordinary moments like texting a friend in my messy kitchen. That happy, confident feeling seeped into the next day, until someone said something hurtful (though presented in a casual, offhand way) that same morning. And that’s all it took — one off-hand comment questioning my progress — to totally undo all the confidence I had after seeing that photo.

I spent the entire day wondering if I had a warped perception of myself. I felt foolish and embarrassed and like a phony. I let one little phrase send me into a spiral and ignored months and months and HOURS of sweat and work.

And that’s when I really started thinking about the words I tell myself. It’s okay that the words of another hurt me. But it’s NOT okay that I did not respond to the vulnerable self of mine that is still simmering under the surface, the self that a few months ago was unhappy and depressed and inactive and felt out of control, with words of love, grace, and reassurance.

I owe myself SO much more than that. We all do.

So today is your loving reminder that words matter. Change is hard. Give yourself grace and breathe life into the vulnerable parts of yourself.

There are plenty of people in the world who are happy to be assholes and make you feel bad. Don’t do it to yourself.