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Monday, January 5

A Season

To everything there is a season, and this season of my life has me refocusing on what is really important, what I am truly passionate about. I have decided that the season of Hiking in Stilettos has come to a close, a bittersweet one. But that doesn't mean I won't be around.

 With a new year freshly before us, I'm excited to share my new site with all of you, sweet friends.

Apothic Holistic will focus on my passions: health, wellness and natural practices. Everything from raising tiny humans and Christ-centered families to nutrition and meal plans and the beauty of essential oils. I do hope you will join me! 

Monday, November 24

A Paleo Thanksgiving

Holidays can be tough when you and your extended family have different ideas about food. Having  been through multiple holiday seasons being paleo, I think that we have a good balance figured out, so I thought I'd share it with you. Note that this is what works for us and that things are a little different on the years that we are hosting. Honestly it's easier to stay paleo when we do host, but here are my tips for a healthy, paleo Thanksgiving.

1 - Bring your own dishes
When we are going to another family member's home, this is sides and a small dessert. Bonus points if you get to bring the turkey! We take two side dishes that we like and are also crowd pleasers and if we want it, some cranberry relish. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Maple sage roasted butternut squash 
Cranberry orange relish (so much better than canned cranberry sauce!)
Skillet apple pie from this book - a favorite!

I also make a grain-free stuffing to take to my mom's. This recipe is pretty killer as well.
And if you're interested, my favorite turkey recipe and cranberry butter.

It is definitely more work to make a few of your own sides or rolls, but we leave our extras at home and eat them over the weekend! You can find some of my favorite paleo holiday recipes here.

2 - Plan ahead
We go in knowing that our meat is going to be cooked in less than ideal ingredients and isn't going to be the best quality. This is just a concession that we make. We don't partake in the Honeybaked ham/turkey since they are laden with sugar and additives, but will definitely eat an oven-roasted variety. If we are going somewhere that we know there won't be anything we would eat, we eat at home beforehand and have a cup of coffee or cider at the gathering.

We also talk about what, if any, things we want to eat that are not paleo, and limit ourselves to one thing.

3 - Take a walk
It feels so wonderful to get outside and move around, especially after a day of indulging, sitting and chatting with family and watching football. Even if you don't feel like it and even if it's just for a ten minutes, go outside and take a walk. You will feel so much better!

Happy Thanksgiving week! Wishing you a wonderful week and a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie + Ginger

I don't typically jump on the smoothie bandwagon, but sometimes I just don't have time for a full-on meal. So it's nice to be able to throw something together than can be consumed with one hand while driving and still provide all the nutrient-dense foods my body needs. I do have to say though, that I definitely don't recommend smoothies for breakfast, as that is pretty much a mainline of sugar to your liver first thing in the morning. And also make sure not to overdo it! Only put as much in the blender as you could eat comfortably on its own.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie:
2/3 frozen banana
small handful frozen organic blueberries OR 1/2 a pear
1-2 scoops Young Living Pure Protein Complete
handful fresh organic spinach
1/2 an avocado
1 drop ginger essential oil (optional)
almond milk to desired consistency

This is also delicious with a drop of ginger essential oil and a drop of tangerine essential oil!

For information on how to get your own oils and Young Living products at a 24% discount, click here.
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Saturday, November 22

Right Now...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, November 19

Life, Lately

Since coming home from Wyoming, life has been moving at warp speed with little to no breathing room. I feel like it's been a whirlwind of working, managing a household, taking care of a babe, and (not enough) sleep. On a happy note, today is my Thursday since I have a long weekend coming up, and I just. cannot. wait! I have so many recipes and DIYs I want to share with you, and I'm itching to start some holiday decorating and make some paleo peppermint hot chocolate. Yes, you read that right, but let me just repeat... paleo peppermint hot chocolate. 

Here's a little peek into our trip to Wyoming and the last week of craziness. 

{my happy little reindeer! this kid is so awesome, you guys.}

 {my boss brought us bags of apples from the north Georgia apple orchard - score!}

{I could hike all day in the beautiful Wind River Range.}

 {We had the best burgers & sandwiches on gluten-free buns in Jackson.}


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, November 10

The Anatomy of a Wall Collage

I love a good collage. Mixing prints, textures and colors is a general theme around our home. And  whether small or large, a good wall collage adds personality and depth to any room. Here are some of my tips for achieving your perfect mix. 

1. Make it personal
Use items from your life - your wedding, your adventures, meaningful quotes -- something from your favorite novel, a line or two of poetry or even an entire poem, or song lyrics -- perhaps the song you danced to at your wedding, or the one your mother used to sing to you as a child.

2. Find a common theme
Make one element of the collage cohesive  -- perhaps a color story {I went with neutral colors in my living room collage}, using the same frame for each piece, a wall of only poetry or song lyrics, pictures from your honeymoon or a favorite trip. Find something that ties a common thread between all pieces.

3. Plan it out
I like to lay the collage on the floor to get the perfect arrangement, then cut out shapes from paper that match each piece. Lightly tape each piece of paper to the wall and tweak the placement as needed. It may seem like extra work, but I guarantee you it is far easier than rearranging things after you've already made holes in the wall. I especially suggest this if you are trying to hang multiple things in one straight line.

4. Don't be afraid to switch it up
Changing out pieces in the collage helps keep things fresh, especially during the holiday season. I like to add silver Christmas balls to the antlers in our living room or string garland across the frames to make them more festive. Also, if you find another piece of art that you love, find a way to incorporate it into your collage.


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Sunday, November 9

Hello from Wyoming!

Life has been so crazy lately that when given the chance to visit family out west, husband and I gratefully accepted. We are spending a long weekend exploring Wyoming and Utah, hiking through the wilderness, eating gelato in bed and catching up on some sleep.

Fun things next week when we get back!

Wednesday, October 22

Motherhood // Thoughts of a New Mom 03

Grace was enough and grace is enough and grace always will be more than enough to change an old man young and an ankle deep stream to a sea. Grace can't be bought and grace can't be sold, not for the wages of a thousand days. Grace is the gift of a King who longs for His children to see they're not slaves.

I would have never considered myself as someone who struggles with anxiety. During high school and even college, school and studying were my focus but were like second nature to me. I dealt with the typical last minute project stress or worried over a big final, but that was the extent of my anxious thoughts. Studying comes somewhat naturally to me, and I honestly enjoy it. Pharmacy school was a bit different since the stakes are higher, but even then I was able to leave my worries at the door after completing and exam or even a difficult or stressful week.

Looking back, I think my anxiety actually began in the final months of my pregnancy. I was so ready for the 'new normal' and was actively preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the process of labor and delivery. What I didn't anticipate was the amount of tender healing that my own body would require. There was the learning curve of nursing, the sleepless nights and the fact that this perfect, tiny being was completely dependent upon me for survival. It can be so overwhelming.

Then I started back to work at only six weeks postpartum, which came with its own set of stressors. Juggling all the hats was, and still is, pretty exhausting sometimes. Work full-time, commute, make dinner, workout, spend time with my husband, oh yeah and take care of that babe. Not to mention sleep, shower and try to find a sliver of downtime to keep the anxiety at bay. The struggle is so real. There is a constant stream of thoughts in my head that I just can't shake. I worry about Elliot, how much he's eating, whether I'm pumping enough. I worry about vaccines and infections and his exposure to germs. I worry about my own health, lack of sleep, headaches and almost nonexistent workout schedule. I worry about my husband, and I miss him. I worry about money and jobs and health and all of the other things.

So apparently, mine is a story about anxiety... but it's also one about grace. And I share this to encourage all of you who may be dealing with the same thing. It's ok to be joyful about your new family and your role, but also be tired and overwhelmed and frustrated. It's ok to not be on the top of the mountain all the time. My son is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life, second only to the day when I married his papa. But that doesn't mean that some days with my precious child aren't incredibly hard, or that I don't stay up way later than I should trying to put tomorrow's dinner in the crockpot or that I don't have sleepless nights that have nothing to do with a  babe. Because I have all of those things. But I also have grace.

And sometimes grace takes clearing stones with a weary heart and aching bones to prove to you child that it was worth it all.

This season is most certainly a difficult one, but I have no doubt that it will be one of the most rewarding times of my life. My sole purpose during these days is to be an encouraging and faithful wife and an uplifting and caring mama. This will be a story of struggle but also one of great love.

Grace gets deeper the more you trust that the King is good and the King is just. And that forgiveness is stronger than the grave. Sometimes grace takes clearing stones with a weary heart and aching bones to prove to you child that it was worth it all.

Roll away the stones, roll away the stones.
Roll away the stones and come alive.

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Monday, October 20

Creamy Roasted Winter Squash + Kale Soup

I really love simple, one dish meals. The ease, the simplicity of flavors, and the ability to prepare a large pot of something delicious over the weekend then enjoy it all week. This soup was inspired by one that my mother makes which contains milk and great northern beans. Substitute a little coconut cream and roasted winter squash, and you have a paleo and vegan-friendly fall soup that is equally as good for breakfast as it is for dinner. The healthy fat from the coconut and the good carbohydrates from the squash and sweet potato make this soup incredibly filling. 

The first  time I made it I left out the meat, and we ate it for breakfast  for a change from our usual egg + vegetable scrambles. I made it again yesterday and added some shredded chicken for us to have for dinner, and it was just as delicious and filling.

You will need:
bacon grease (or olive or coconut oil if veg/vegan)
one medium yellow onion
one tsp minced garlic
one small delica squash
one small carnival squash
one or two small organic sweet potatoes
--- note: the roasted vegetables added up to about 3-4 cups total ---
one large bunch of organic kale or about 3/4 a bag of kale, washed & chopped
32 ounces (1 box) of organic vegetable broth
4 cups of water
salt + pepper to taste
one can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream

Preheat oven to 375. Saute your onion and garlic in the bacon grease or olive/coconut oil until fragrant and translucent. While onions are cooking, dice squash and sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and roast for about 35 minutes on 375. Add in chopped kale and saute until slightly wilted. Add in vegetable broth and simmer on low. When squash and potatoes are finished, add into the pot with enough water to cover, as desired. I added the water one cup at a time until it was a thick soup consistency. You may want more or less. Let the soup simmer on low for about 10 minutes, then add in shredded chicken, if using, and one can of full fat coconut milk or coconut cream. Simmer for 10 minutes until flavors are combined. Serve with a dollop of coconut cream.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Saturday, October 18

Weekends + Wishlists

Lately I've been compiling a small list of items that I would love to own. Husband and I didn't do anything for each other for our birthdays this year or for our anniversary, so I am thinking a few select gifts may be in order for the Christmas season. Also, considering the fact that last year every single gift I received (not exaggerating!) was for Elliot, a couple indulgences would be nice. Here is a carefully curated list of lovely things that would make excellent gifts, in my opinion:

This Pendelton blanket is at the top of my list. I have been wanting one for years now, and since we are finally at a somewhat finished place with our master bedroom renovations, it may be time to invest. The one I originally wanted is no longer available in the size we need, but I really like the pattern of this one as well. 

These grey and white striped napkins would be nice. We don't use paper towels too much in our house, but I'd like to limit our use even more by having some lovely but practical cloth napkins on hand.

A few new linen kitchen towels would be nice as well (perhaps this one, this one and this one). Because I typically buy white ones, but they become discolored too quickly, and honestly it's time to do some replacing. (But don't worry. Those old, discolored towels will be disinfected and transformed into dust rags and baby wipes.)

And maybe one of these lovely trays... to corral the random items on our coffee table and because I have a soft spot for trays

This stain remover bar. I am a recovering Tide pen-aholic, but since removing chemicals, etc from our home, I haven't looked back. Nonetheless, this is a great thing to have on hand, especially when the tiny being in your house has a penchant for spilling your coffee on the beige sofa.

A pair of short, colorful rain boots. Because they are practical.. and cute.

A pretty pair of kitchen scissors and a magnetic knife block

And if we are dreaming big.... this beautiful essential oil organizer

Happy weekend.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Friday, October 17

Birthdays + Marraige

Today is my husband's birthday.

I just have to tell you that I simply couldn't live without this guy. He is so strong and supportive of me and our little family, even when I have the worst attitude and feel completely overwhelmed with life. Motherhood is a difficult transition, but this man of mine has stood next to me, supported me and encouraged me even on my darkest days. He takes care of me in ways that are expected of a leader, but also in ways that are quiet and small and often unseen. It is these that I am most grateful for.

I would not want to share this life or this amazing journey of marriage and parenting with anyone else.

Happy birthday K.

Tuesday, October 14

A Weekend in Pictures 03

I just never want our weekends to end. The moments we spend as a family, the lower stress level my husband and I feel, not constantly rushing here and there and worrying about messing up Elliot's sleep patterns in the process. Weekends provide so much more room to breathe. So I have officially decided that weekends should last five days and the workweek should only last two. I'd even compromise to a four day weekend and three day workweek. Any suggestions on how to go about getting that changed? ;)

This weekend was especially fun since we took E camping for the first time. I have to say though, that things definitely did not go as planned. Between the rain, wet ground, unseasonably warm daytime weather and a babe who wouldn't nap, it was a little rough. We will probably wait until the spring for our next trip when E will hopefully be walking. Nonetheless, it was a good weekend and one that I am sad to leave behind.

Here's to never ending weekends, or at least dreaming of them!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, October 13

Homemade Baby Wipes & Wipe Solution

Whether you cloth diaper or use traditional disposables, this homemade wipe solution is so great. It it cost-effective, safe and gentle on little bums, and smells so sweetly of herbs. We prefer to make the solution and use it as a spray, but you can also make homemade wipes using this same recipe. We use these flannel wipes instead of disposables and most often just wash our little man's bum with plain old warm water. Sometimes, though you need reinforcements, and the essential oils I use are great for this!

Simple Wipe Solution:
1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon liquid castille soap (I like Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
1 tablespoon organic oil (olive, coconut or a mixture like this one)
2 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
*two 4 ounce glass spray bottles
*This makes 8 ounces, so I divide it between two 4 ounces bottles and keep one on the changing table and one in our diaper bag. Alternatively, you can store in an 8 ounce glass spray bottle.

To make the solution:
Place ingredients in a small glass bowl in the order listed and mix well. Pour into your glass bottle and keep at room temperature. I like to divide it between two small bottles and keep one in Elliot's room and one in the diaper bag.

To make wipes:
 Simply place cloth wipes or washcloths in a container of your choice and pour the solution over them. Alternatively, you can cut a roll of paper towels in half and place in a container and cover with the solution, if that suits your preference. 

Happy diapering.

To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and/or to get a starter kit of your own (and a 24% discount on all oils!) click here.

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Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. Keep out of reach from children. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP

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Friday, October 10

Hello Weekend 02

{Side note: this is my new favorite outfit, one that I bought for myself for my birthday (from Target if you're interested). It's been so long since I actually bought clothes for myself! Maternity wear, then a babe will do that ;) I'm so in love with these pants though!}

We are signing off for the long weekend to celebrate birthdays and focus on spending some much needed time disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature and each other. Picture day hikes, mountain tops, evergreens, mountain side sunrises, campfires, warm snuggly blankets, roadside produce stands and spiced apple cider. 

And finally finding some room to breathe.

Other things...
obsessed with oregano oil for the winter
excited about this class

Be back early next week with more fun things.