Easy Egg Muffins

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This has quickly become one of my favorite go-tos! Mostly because it’s so simple to make, but also because of how easy it is to mix it up. I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over if it’s good, but I love being able to substitute different “add ins” depending on what I’m craving or what I’m trying to use up.

I will apologize in advance since I don’t exactly use a recipe for this, but what I’m going to share with you is a really good outline that you can tweak as needed depending your preferences.

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What do you need? 

  • Muffin pan
  • Cooking spray
  • 6-12 eggs (depending on how thick you want your “muffins” to be — I’ve learned 7 is a good amount for me)
  • Desired “add ins” (this may be greens, meats, cheeses, etc)
  • Milk (I used almond milk, but regular milk works just fine)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray the muffin slots with cooking spray so your muffins easily come out once cooled. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Add a splash of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Prepare your “add ins.” Most commonly I’ll use spinach (chopped small) and either bacon or deli meat in small pieces, but this is totally up to you! Place your yummy extras at the bottom of all 12 muffin slots. Pour your egg mixture over each one. Sprinkle cheese on top if that’s your thing (it’s definitely mine) 😉

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch or if an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan a few minutes before removing. You can enjoy immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days! These can also be stored in the freezer — just move to the fridge the night before to thaw.

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I usually make a batch at the beginning of the week to have for breakfasts. Pair a few with some fruit and BOOM — filling and delicious meal. I’m all about simple and nutritious, so this wins for both! What’s your favorite on the go breakfast? I’d love to add a few other recipes to my rotation 🙂

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Punta Cana — Honeymoon Part 2

Punta Cana holds a special place in our hearts. It was the location Eric chose to pop the big question 2 years ago — all the feels ❤️ At the end of April we headed back to the beautiful blue waters and fantastic all inclusiveness for another vacation. Much needed!!

Our first Global Entry/TSA Precheck experience went flawlessly and we found ourselves on our honeymoon… part 2. We were treated like royalty and enjoyed the luxury from the moment we got there.

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This “welcome drink” became our daily go to — The Majestic

The timing of our trip was a bit funky, a few months early for our anniversary. We were supposed to be on an earned trip with a company I used to work with — long story short the week of the trip we parted ways with that company and the original trip was canceled. Nothing like a scramble to make new plans the week of your international trip!

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Eric found a reasonably priced all inclusive resort (definitely the way to go!) that had good reviews, so we went for it! I always get a bit nervous for things like this. Will the place actually look like the pics? Are the reviews legit? Our “backup” plan did not disappoint: Majestic Elegance was our new home for 4 days!

Everything was incredible. Our butler, Victor, was the absolute best. He made sure we were always taken care of — well really we were more than taken care of. All the time in the world to do whatever we wanted… what do we even do with ourselves!?

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Watermelon mimosa + nutella crepe with plantains on top. Heaven!

It was overcast most of the trip, but the first full day we woke up to rain. That may have been frustrating to some (and don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want that the whole trip), but it was a welcome invitation to sleep in and take it slow. We definitely needed it!

Needless to say, the all inclusive resort meant lots of food and lots of drinks. My only stress that vacation was trying to figure out which drink to order next. Some worries, right!? Nothing like reality, so we soaked it up… every last drop! 😉

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Vacation is good for the soul and good for marriage. It’s not always possible or realistic to take a big trip like this, so we fully embraced it. At home there’s so many distractions: chores, bills, dog (kids maybe for you?), work, responsibilities, etc. How much can get in between you and your most important relationships!? But on vacation, all that is set aside and many many miles away.

We’re not a couple that’s full out on the romantic gestures, but can’t ever go wrong with room service breakfast, rose petals, champagne, and chocolate. We were so pampered and I felt like a princess. The big event I was excited about was the romantic dinner on the beach. Food + beach is a very good idea!

My happy place is the beach. My first beach love was Atlantic Beach where my family has a condo and I’ve spent countless moments, but this beach was pretty nice too. When we weren’t on the beach, somehow we were getting encouraged into games hosted by the resort staff. Eric even won a shirt (he was super proud). Not pictured (although there are videos) is me having to be a bartender and shake shake shake it! ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!

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I couldn’t get over the gorgeous colors and scenery. Nature’s beauty will never stop impressing me. Thank you, God, for being such a beautiful artist and allowing us to enjoy sights like this!

Definitely a trip we will always remember! It didn’t happen as we had originally planned, but I believe it turned out so much better!

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Until our next adventure (which I’m eager to begin planning!)… Cheers to us! An amazing trip with my favorite travel partner.

I’d love to know what’s your favorite destination!? I’m always down for a tropical getaway, but I’m willing to consider other locations. Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much in advance!

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Giving up the “one day” for today

One day when I’m in a new job… then I’ll be happy.

One day when my schedule settles down… then I’ll start working out. 

One day when I have more time… then I’ll start cooking.

One day when I lose the last 5 pounds… then I’ll love my body. 

One day when I’m not so busy… then I’ll catch up with my friend.

One day when I get that raise… then I’ll take the trip I’ve always wanted.

One day… then…

Fill in the blank with whatever sounds “right” for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered these or similar phrases. Even more often have I thought them. It’s a common problem — we always think things will be better once we get acquire that next right thing. We’ll finally be happy once we do the thing.

Has that ever been true? I’ve convinced myself of this so many times and each time it’s not as fabulous as I had imagined. The joy, excitement, happiness are fleeting and then I’m right back out searching for the next fix of goodness. When I’m placing my ultimate happiness and fulfillment of my life on external circumstances I will always come up short.

I’ve felt especially convicted of that this week.

I’ve been wanting to get fully back on track with my health and fitness lately, but something in me keeps holding me back from really going for it. The best time to start is today. I shouldn’t let past slip ups (like weekend splurges) completely derail my efforts. I know these to be true, but I’m hanging on to one day.

“Well I’m going away this weekend, so I’ll really get started next Monday.”

I’ve actually been taking a lot of trips lately, so this has been a common thought. At first, it seemed okay. “Yeah, you’re right. You’ll do much better if you start on a Monday. If you start now you’ll just have to take a break in the middle of the program, so just wait.”

Yall, I am way too good at justifying things that I maybeeee don’t really want to do.

Deep down in my heart I know it’ll be best for me if I put in 100% effort. Yes, summer is coming up so I want to feel most confident in my bikini, but bigger than that is my long term health. I guess I’ve been having a hard time because what’s pushing things back one week when I have my whole life to get healthy and fit??

I don’t know about you, but the way things are going in my fitness life is a direct reflection of the other areas. If I’m focused, giving my all, and really committed, that positive energy and determination shows up in other areas. I’m a better wife, dog momma, friend, coworker, etc.

It’s definitely been that reflection. I’ve been letting myself slack and so I’ve been pushing off things in other areas too. That “one day” mentality is creeping into other areas and I’m not a fan.

Enough is enough.

I’m claiming back control of my own happiness and fulfillment.

I’m letting go of the power “one day” has on me.

download.pngYou know the saying, we always think the grass is greener on the other side. But truth, it’s greener where you water it.

Stop giving the destination the power! The destination can be amazing, wonderful, exciting, but really it’s just the next step. Once you’re there, you’ll be looking for the next one, so don’t get caught there.

Keep your head up, eyes open, and priorities straight.

So here I am making a commitment to you. I am not going to continue to put things off for that magical day when everything comes together. I’m going to make it happen now. My happiness, my joy, my health, my relationships. They deserve my attention now with whatever I’ve got.

What you’ve been waiting for is sitting next to you — will you stop and notice it?

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Learning to Trust

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I’ve struggled with trust.

I’ve posted about it before. I’ve worked on it. I’ve acknowledged it. Yet it still continues to be an area of weakness for me.

I enjoy having a plan.

I enjoy following said plan.

I enjoy knowing what’ll come next and being completely prepared.

But that’s not really the way things work. God doesn’t expect me to know all the steps. Sometimes I find myself not even being able to see 5 feet in front of me.

He invites me to trust. To rest. To slow down. To just focus on what’s next. Not what’s a week from now. A month from now. A year from now. Not the final outcome. But just the next right step.

I am in a season of transition. I’ve made a transition in my business and soon there will be a transition in my “corporate” career. I won’t say much about the details of the upcoming change yet, but what I can say is that I feel different.

For the first time {maybe ever} I feel peace. Even though change is scary and unsure. I feel peace knowing that I can trust in my Creator. I can trust in His plan and I believe that what He has in store for me is good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I had an interview today. It may or may not be the next big step in this exciting/scary/hopeful journey. But no matter what happens I trust.

I was myself and I did the best I could do. It’s all in God’s hands now and that feels safe! He’s holding me and my future securely in His hands. I’m not sure what’s exactly in store, but I know it’s good!

There is a definite change happening in my heart. This is not the reaction of Rachel in the past. Past Rachel would be worrying, doubting, consumed. Still trying to plan even though that’s not her place. The change of heart feels so good. My soul can rest because there’s trust.

If you’re in a similar place — a place of unsure, fear, doubt, figuring out next right step — be encouraged that good things are coming! I can’t tell you what the right answer will be or what path to take, but I can tell you it will work out. I guarantee it! You got this!!! Keep doing your best. Keep going where you’re guided. Keep doing the work even when it feels like it doesn’t matter. Because it does.

Bigger and better things are on the other side. Trust.

Put down your plans, put down your guards and allow yourself to be carefully carried to the depths of the goodness in store for you.

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April Progress & May Goals

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every month, but really, where did April go!?

It was a beautiful whirlwind. More adventures. More memories. More progress.

I was feeling discouraged in April because it didn’t seem like much was happening in moving forward with my goals and intentions. The day to days were filled with hits and misses, but when I step back and look at the big picture, I can see I’ve moved forward.

Progress is progress. No matter how small.

April Progress

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Monthly Goals

  • Margin — create space: this goal has been on my list in previous months and I’m not sure when it’ll be fully accomplished. It’s one I’m always working on getting better at. I don’t think I’ll ever “arrive” at good margin, but I’m striving for an improvement!
  • Budget — track & communication: I’m proud of how my husband and I been handling our budget! We’re remaining open and transparent with each other about money spent and how we want to utilize our incoming funds. We’re working together and staying on top of it. Win!
  • Hillary and Marc’s Wedding: What a fun time! Not a goal, but definitely a big focus for April. I had the honor of standing next to Hillary as she became a Mrs and it was such a joy!
  • Punta Cana: Again, not a goal. But that’s okay! I like to include big projects, adventures, focuses here as well. We had an amazing trip!!! A blog post will be coming more about that 😉
  • Pack: Check (x2)! I’m getting pretty good at it…
  • Next right step — job: The job I’m currently in isn’t the best fit for me. While it’s served us very well financially, I’ve been feeling a need for a change. After much prayer and discussion, I’m excited that Eric and I have determined the next right step! More to come…
  • Cultivate life — plants: I’ve recently developed an interest in plants and I’m working on improving my green thumb. So far, most of the plants are still alive and well, so yay!

Weekly Goals

  • Unplug: It’s another repeat, but there are some goals that you need to be reminded of month after month. It’s still a struggle for me and I need to have it on my tending list to encourage myself do it, so it’ll stay right here.
  • Breathe — meditate: I did not get into meditation as I intended to in April, but I did slow down and take moments to breathe. Any tips/resources on meditation for beginners, please share in the comments! ❤
  • Date night: This one can be easy to say “oh we’ll just go another time,” but I think being intentional in your marriage (and all important relationships) is crucial! It’s a great time to connect and unwind.
  • Intentionally reach out: Cultivating strong relationships is a main goal of mine for 2017 and I want to be sure I’m doing all I can to make that happen. This has looked like an encouraging word to a friend, letting someone know I’m thinking about them, a phone call to my parents. I love it!
  • Blog — plan and execute: This one started out pretty strong, but as you may have noticed I took an unplanned break. Thing got a bit crazy and instead of forcing content, I allowed myself the space to step back. And I’m okay with it!

Daily Goals

  • Speak life
  • Sleep 7+ hours
  • No snooze
  • Time with God
  • 10k steps/day
  • Espanol
  • Handletter

Some daily goals slipped away and some I stayed on top of. It’s clear where I put my focus and what I was fine with letting go of if needed. Despite the fact that all boxes aren’t marked off, progress was still made. The goal here isn’t to be perfect and check off every single item. The purpose is to do my best and cultivate the positive habits that are important to me. I’m still working on them and getting a little better every day.

Now, what’s ahead for this new month??

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Monthly Goals

  • Love Eric well
  • Budget — communicate/decrease debt
  • Serena’s Bachelorette weekend!
  • Bridesmaid dress alteration
  • Margin — space & days
  • Anniversary gift complete
  • Biz growth — samples out!
  • Procedure

Weekly Goals

  • Unplug
  • Self care — meditate
  • Cultivate relationships
  • Be my own health success story

Daily Goals

  • Pray/journal
  • Sleep 7+ hours
  • NO SNOOZE
  • Exercise
  • Espanol
  • Be creative

I love the beginning of a new month! It’s a fresh start yall! No matter how April went, it’s a new chance to move closer to our goals and chase those desires of our hearts. I’m about the growth this month. Growth for my plants and growth for my soul. So excited for what’s ahead!!!

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What’s a goal you have for May? I’d love to know and encourage you along the way!

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5 lessons I’m learning from plants

I’ve never been the one to have a green thumb. I’d be able to keep flowers alive in a vase for maybe a couple days — definitely would never dream of actually growing anything.

But over the last month, something new has been stirring in my heart. I’ve had a desire for growth. To cultivate life, to nurture it, and enjoy the process.

SO I convinced my husband to let us purchase some plants. I claimed a Peace Lily that was donated for my Poppa’s funeral. And soon I will be growing cilantro at home. From scratch. That’s kinda scary, but it’s exciting to me!

I love all the new life in and around our home. 

It’s teaching me lessons that I want to pass along to you.

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Lesson 1: Growth happens from little by little progress

We live in a world of immediate gratification and we forget we weren’t made for that. We have instant access to pretty much anything we want, but nature doesn’t work that way. There’s little by little progress. And that’s how growth happens. You don’t plant a seed Saturday and expect a full blown tree Sunday. So why do we do that in our lives?

Lesson 2: There’s more going on beneath the surface

So much about planting and nurturing hangs on patience. There’s also a great deal of trust involved. I can’t see what’s going on beneath the surface, but I trust. I trust that roots are taking hold, I trust that growth is happening. All of this change is out of our sight — there’s usually more going on beneath the surface than I can see or understand. Trust.

Lesson 3: Sun + water 

This plant is the most responsive I’ve ever seen! Its home is in our living room and there are 3 windows that give it access to sunlight. Last week we had a ton of rain which means there wasn’t any sunlight to come in. By Saturday, our Lily was sad and droopy. Luckily the sun was shining, so her temporary home was moved to outside in direct sunlight. After some water and time in the sun, she perked right up.

I couldn’t help but think how true this is for me too. Life gets dark at times. I may go days or weeks without some sunshine in my life, but how much better do I feel when I step out? I get into nature. I breathe deeply fresh air. And hydrate! Or if I’m lucky, escape to the beach. The sun and water are such amazing cures.

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Lesson 4: Be patient and keep doing the right things

Again, patience. Trust. I can’t emphasize this enough. If I continue to do the right things, I can trust there will be a fruitful outcome. Just like what I’ve been experiencing with these lovely plants: if I consistently give them the water and sunlight they need, I can expect growth. And it’ll be beautiful.

Lesson 5: Focus on the flower, but don’t ignore the weeds

Focus on the blessings. Focus on the growth. Focus on the beauty. But while focusing, don’t ignore the weeds. Weeds like to creep up and take over. Sometimes they even pretend to be a beautiful plant too. They pretend they’re meant to be there, but they’re not. They take a hold in the garden and suck up resources from the things that are actually meant to be there.

Pull those weeds. Don’t ignore them. Don’t let them convince you they can stay. There is too much good growing and not enough room.

Lets cultivate life. Thank you for joining me in this season of growth — I’m so excited for what’s to come! ❤

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How I pack… without stressing out

I love traveling. But packing… not my fave activity.

It used to cause stress and overwhelm until I realized I need to do what I do with most other stressful/overwhelming things: create a list!

If you’ve been following along, March was a month of travel and this past weekend involved travel as well as we took a 2ish hour trip to Cleveland, NC for one of my best friend’s weddings.

I want to share some of my tips to help make packing a breeze.

Tip #1: Pack from a list

Not only will this make packing quicker, but you’ll be less likely to forget something. Create the list once then you can modify for all future trips!

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This list is generic so you can modify and adjust as you need. Depending on the destination, these categories may require different things. For example, shoes for a tropical getaway will be much different than shoes for your winter trip to the mountains. Check out the weather before you go and consider the types of activities you’ll be doing as you’re planning your apparel choices.

Tip #2: Pack ahead of time

There’s nothing worse than panic packing. I know there’s those of you out there where this is your usual, but that is even more stressful to me! You’re likely not thinking things through and then you’ll be ever more likely to overpack or, worse yet, forget something important. Plan and pack as much ahead of time as you can.

Of course there’s those items that you can’t pack ahead – toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, etc. For these types of items, lay them out on your counter with its bag and then pack as you’re getting ready. This is will a way to double check you have everything you need while giving yourself the peace of mind that you’re mostly packed and ready to go.

Tip #3: Coordinate with any travel companions

This will not apply if you’re going on a trip alone, but if you’re traveling with others, coordinate! There’s no reason for every person to bring a hair dryer. Sharing is caring 😉 Identify items that are easy to share and designate an appropriate amount of people to bring that item. It’ll make packing lighter and have less clutter once you get to your destination. Win win!

Tip #4: Keep it simple

I try to keep my travel outfits and other items as simple as possible. I’ll opt for dresses and pieces that can be worn in multiple ways instead of super specific items. I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry or other accessories on vacay, but just bring my favorite pieces. This may seem pretty obvious, but it helps a lot! When you can mix and match items, you’ll have a lot more outfits without taking up all the extra space and you won’t have to put as much thought into what’s going to match what. Keep it simple and when in doubt, it’s probably best to leave it behind.

Tip #5: Unpack immediately 

This is a post trip tip, but it’s still useful. Once you get home go ahead and unpack. This is especially important if you have another trip soon after. You’ll want clothes washed, any necessary items restocked, and bags cleaned out. Plus, you don’t want this hanging over your head. So just get it done!

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Happy, organized travels, yall! Share your best travel tips with us below.

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