Full Life Nutrition & Wellness, LLC. I Started a Business!!

I finally bit the bullet and did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – start my own private practice, Full Life Nutrition & Wellness!! While I focus on nutrition, I incorporate personal training and yoga into the healing and full life living approach.

As my practice continues to expand, the content of this blog will expand as well into more personal reflections, thoughts about various nutrition, fitness, or wholeness topics, and other content readers may find enjoyable or beneficial.

While I still love to cook and bake, to be totally honest, I haven’t had as strong of a passion for it in the past year as I’ve had previously. I find that I need to be authentic to myself. I will still post and share recipes that inspire me, but content is going to be much more varied moving forward.

For more up to date food, stories, personal musings, and cute puppy photos, continue to follow this blog’s and my personal Instagram @sugarspicefitlife.

Holiday Gifting

The December holidays are fast approaching and it seems like everywhere you look, companies, bloggers, and Instagramers are sending out holiday specials and gift guides. While so many people are running out to overextend their budgets and stressing about finding the perfect gift I’m not feeling the stress one bit. What’s the secret? Well the secret really it’s any secret other than more than a few years back I stopped giving holiday gifts – at least to adults anyway. I’ll still get something for my niece and nephew – because they’re still small.

Now I want to be clear – I may give the occasional gift if it is something I know the individual is really going to value and appreciate. But for the most part I just got worn out. Everyone determining an equal value of what you would spend on each other and then exchanging gifts for items you probably would have purchased yourself but instead waited 2-3 months to get.

I’m not trying to be cheap or ungenerous. I’d also rather not receive gifts just because it’s a designated day or marketing tells me I’m a failed friend, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, etc. for not buying everyone the latest and best widgets of the year. So I also request that others not buy me gifts. I’ve found that my headspace is less cluttered when my physical space is less cluttered. As I became an adult (had a big girl job) I found I did have extra money to buy the things that I needed and without a list of needed items come Christmas time, the items tend to become more obscure and more random or collections begin to form.

While I LOVE throw blankets, I can really only use up to two at a time (so as I’m trying to become more of a minimalist, two is all I really need… I have 8). I could always buy more yoga pants, but do I really need 10 identical black pairs? And even at this point, I have just about every kitchen gadget under the sun (from my mom, grandma’s kitchens, and gifts over the years) and lack for very little in that department.

We don’t need more stuff. (Does it bring you real joy or fill a purpose/need?)

Before I go off sounding too whiny (and it may be too late),  just buy from the heart, not because you have to but because it’s something you know the other person will really value and cherish for more than an hour past unwrapping gifts. Give experiences, give time, give attention, give a letter, give something home baked – there are plenty of gifts that don’t have a price tag and can make a lasting impression.

This holiday season I plan to take time to mentally care for myself – read a book, take some long walks with the dog, drink some tea, make lefse, curl but watching movies with my husband while listening to the pup snore, and being thankful I’m able to make time for these little luxuries.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Not The Perfect Yogi


I’ve been teaching yoga for over 3 years and practiced (sometimes intermittently) for 7 years. And for whatever reason within the last year I’ve had thoughts of shame creeping up on me that I wasn’t setting a guiding example for my students – I wasn’t the perfect yogi. I’d compare myself against other teachers in the area and of course the perfect forms you see on Instagram. I would see myself as lacking because I wasn’t doing the handstands or wasn’t (and probably will never be) the most flexible. But yoga is and should be about YOUR PRACTICE and what it means to you. It shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what’s on the outside and how poised you appear to others – it’s about how it makes you feel and the changes happening on the inside.

So I’ve decided to say, f*ck it, I’m human, I love yoga, and I’m going to embrace me. And hopefully that true light will attract other like minded individuals.

10 Ways I’m not the perfect Yogi

…and I’m ok with that.

  1. I don’t do yoga for hours a day or even 20 minutes all days.
  2. My flexibility has and always will be a work in progress.
  3. I’m not vegan or vegetarian. Although I gravitate towards more plant based options, I know that sometimes I like a piece of chicken or pulled pork.
  4. I don’t only eat organic – because sometimes it’s a waste of money. Seriously, organic sugar substitute? Just eat the sugar. Eat whole foods and limit the processed crap.
  5. I don’t always have positive thoughts about people.
  6. I’m afraid of handstands and going upside down, but I’m working on it.
  7. I like wine & yoga classes – they’re fantastic, and let’s be honest, no one is there for the full on yoga experience. So let’s just stop discussing how it’s not true yoga because alcohol won’t help your center or your breath.
  8. I love doing yoga to jazz, pop, and club dance music. Flowing to a beat.
  9. I’m not 11% body fat and never will be again – mainly because that was a very, very unhealthy time for my body. (FYI – that percentage is low for women).
  10. I don’t meditate daily or sometimes even weekly, but it is one of my goals – someday, eventually.

Bottom line. Be who you are. Don’t try to fit a certain mold or stereotype – you end up a poor imitation and feel awful in the process.


I try to keep my own practice and my classes true to who I am and how the body feels in that place and time – sometimes I completely throw out what I initially set out for my class because moving into this feels better than moving into that in the moment.

Shame can be a natural/normal feeling that creeps into various parts of our life and can in some cases take years to work through. Especially when we’re bombarded with the picture perfect images on Facebook, Instagram, and even blogs! The most important piece to remember is photos are staged and all we’re seeing is the highlight reel. The moments in between the highlights are where real (not reel) life happens and that is just as beautiful (mess, pain, work, and all).

Namaste y’all.

Peace and lots of love,



Finally Official! We’re Married!

All images are by Alchemy Creative and use without written permission and notification is prohibited. 

A few weeks back, C and I had ourselves a small wedding/elopement in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. While this is typically a food and wellness blog, sharing some of the exciting moments in my life has got to be a part of it, so just bear with me if you’re just here for the food.


Toward the end of 2016, C and I finally decided to make things legal and start planning the wedding that was right for us. Maybe someone is wondering, why now? Why didn’t you tell anyone? Why didn’t you want all the pomp that goes into celebrating a wedding and beginning of a marriage? For the why – basically I finally got over my marriage issues and C eventually convinced me with his explanations of all of the legal benefits to it. (…I know, we’re super romantic.) So once I was convinced, knowing he would NEVER ask outright, I asked him one evening if we should set a date to get married and make everything legal – and he said “sure”. (The stuff of fairy tales, right?) I didn’t want an engagement ring, just a wedding band, so it worked well with our plans of doing an elopement and not really telling anyone outside of our small group of attendees.


Our rings!! Mountain inspired!

When we talked about getting married, we always pictured something small – maybe even eloping just the two of us. We decided to do a small casual ceremony in which we married/officiated ourselves (something you can do in Colorado) and since the location was remote with restrictions on number of guests, decided to include our immediate families and a few close long time friends. While I have no problem speaking in front of a couple hundred people, C is much the extrovert, and we both love hosting a good party, the decision to get married and how was very personal and intimate to us. We wanted to keep as close as possible to what we needed from the day. Any party later!

BUT, I am very excited to share pictures and talk about all the wonderful people who helped make things happen.

C and I arrived in Boulder on a rainy Tuesday evening, quickly changed and went for a nice dinner at The Kitchen. Wednesday was still raining, so we spent the day exploring some of Boulder’s breweries and getting our marriage license. That evening we ate at Bramble and Hare (highly recommend!) before hitting the road to arrive in Estes Park for the evening. Thursday we explored the park and did some hiking and by evening everyone was starting to arrive. We spent Friday enjoying time with people and then went to dinner at Cascades Restaurant at The Stanley. To make everything easy, everyone stayed at Mary’s Lake Lodge in Estes Park for the long weekend.

We woke up bright and early Saturday to get ready for our morning nuptials. Our fantastic photographer, Brittany from Alchemy Creative, arrived at 6am along with my mom and older sister to help with a few last details.

Since C and I got ready together except for my dress, which he hadn’t seen yet, we didn’t have far to go for our first look.


We went down to Mary’s Lake, right next to the lodge before we would set out to the park.



Can’t decide if the view behind me or in front of me is more spectacular.

As we drove into the park, the view kept becoming more and more amazing. Early May still had all of the snow on the mountains and we really lucked out with fantastic weather! (It was supposed to rain all weekend. And the following weekend they got 31″ of snow!)


We went over for some pictures at Sheep’s Lakes first – despite all of the rain earlier in the week, the ground wasn’t wet and the water was still enough to capture these gorgeous reflections.


(I’m holding off on completely overwhelming y’all with pictures – trying to pick just one or two from each location.  It’s so difficult!).


Find a partner you want to travel the world with – because where they are, you’re home.

Around about 9am we were back over at Sprague Lake for our vow exchange and to meet up with everyone else. All total we were a group of 24.


We said our vows (which, btw, I completely cried through all of mine) and did our exchange of rings. We did a self uniting ceremony, which was completely perfect for us, but also meant we couldn’t just repeat after someone and needed some scripts. 🙂


A huge thank you to both of our families for traveling to the mountains to share in our day!


Very luckily to be welcomed into such a fun loving family.


My lovely, lovely family – and super cute niece and nephew who make every picture special.


The whole gang!

After one last smooch…


it was time to get some food in our bellies!

We did coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. And instead of a cake, did a cinnamon roll tower!


After everything at the park, we headed back to the lodge for some brunch-y foods hosted at the condo rented by my family. Then in the early afternoon we had our official wedding lunch at Tavern 1929 – the food was great and so were the views! Since we’re doing a couple “receptions” later with the rest of our family and friends, we wanted a low key lunch where we didn’t need to decorate anything, no gifts were expected, and everyone could order whatever they wanted off the menu. The Tavern didn’t push us into anything or make any comments once we arrived – me dressed in a white dress. It was the perfect day.



  • PhotographyAlchemy Creative (one incredibly talented photographer and perfect person to capture our elopement)
  • DressDreamers and Lovers, Natalie Gown
  • Blanket – Kilim Throw from Turkish T
  • My ringWaylon Rhoads Jewelry (Seriously gushing over this ring – he custom made everything, even the mountains where carved off of three picture I gave him. Serious talent and highly, recommended if you’re looking for any piece of custom jewelry.)
  • FlowersBoulder Blooms
  • Cinnamon RollsCinnamon Cafe (she even put sprinkles on them after telling her they were for our wedding cake! and probably the best rolls I’ve ever had.)
  • Jewelry – mixed from two stores off Etsy – jacket from Tosh Jewelry and pearls from Pearl Kissed.
  • His ringRing Paradise, custom mountain etched
  • His suit – custom from Final Stitch in Albuquerque

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Ok, totally lied. Here are a few others I absolutely love!

Work Life Balance

Hmm, seeing that I haven’t posted any pictures to Instagram or published a blog post in a month must mean that something is up. And it kind of is – feeling burned out in one part of life tends to transfer to other parts – in this case my ability to find creativity with new recipes.

(Update 6/16/17 – post was lost, update will come with next period of burnout.)

Turning 30

Today I turn 30. (And my little niece just turned 1.)img_1776

Is it time to hyperventilate yet? I’m entering another decade!

Just kidding, I’m actually really looking forward to it and have be ok with it since I’ve been trying to act older than my age for probably 10 years now (I guess I was pretty comfortable at 25/26 though).

Although I’m a planner – I’ve come to realize planning 5 years in the future is not super advisable, let alone looking at the next potential decade, so I’m going to write a bit about my secureness in where I am now at 30.

  • I know what I want and don’t want in my career.
  • I love the job I currently have.
  • I no longer care what another person’s opinion of me is – and really haven’t for a while.
  • I’m with a great life partner – the happiest thing is when I can see us as old people together (we’re both pretty old souls – or maybe it’s just wanting to go to bed at 9pm)
  • Most of the time I walk around wondering how and when I became an adult and really disliking some of that reality. (When did the wrinkles show up!? I’m expected to know how to figure out insurance and investing?)
  • Some days I sit in my PJs for half the day ignoring the fact I am an adult – sometimes you just need a break.
  • I will march to the beat of my own drum and conductor dance to it’s music. And acknowledge with those actions I have become my mother.
  • I know that life isn’t always happy or perfect, but that’s kind of the deal.
  • I may be compassionate and sometimes nurturing but don’t think I’ll ever be a mother.  (Sorry, Mom and sisters – not a burning desire I have.)
    • Because everyone’s life and dreams are different I respect others and hope they do the same for me.
  • I’ve been blessed to find a partner that likes our little family the two of us and our dog (maybe a second sometime in the future).
  • I absolutely adore my niece and nephew and being an aunt (and think my friends’ kids are the cutest). It’s been my dream in life to be an auntie and be able to take them on trips, spoil them, and help pay for their college. I’d give those kids a piece of any organ.
  • I’m more comfortable in my body and being completely content when it’s not perfect.
  • My yoga practice has helped tremendously in “letting things go that no longer serve me” and holding on to someone else’s idea of how I should be or look REALLY doesn’t serve me.
  • Practicing the yoga yamas and niyamas  – especially after reading The Yamas and Niyamas by Adele have made me more aware of my actions.
  • I accept all the bumps in life and don’t regret anything – it brought me to where I am now and it’s exactly where I am meant to be.
  • As much as I am the “master of my own destiny” I’ve had too many “fate/coincidences” not to believe it plays some role.
  • I will always be young at heart and forever an old soul – do those two conflict?
  • My main goal in life is to adventure – and I have a hard time understanding people who would turn down an opportunity to travel.
  • I don’t like the idea of being too attached to any one place – sometimes a change of scenery is a good thing. This is why a travel – so when I come home I can see and appreciate the world for how unique it really is.
  • Some goodbyes are for the best – lives and people change, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great story worthy of telling.
  • With the happenings of the last week, I am deeply saddened for the future and wonder how a place that used to be a place of refuge and hope is now a place of hate and fear. (Welcome to the second dark ages.) Everyday I wake up to a new policy and feel sick to my stomach – it goes against every fiber of my being – we are taught to be compassionate, loving human beings, to see the good in someone first, not judge them based on their sex, skin, sexual orientation, religion, or country of origin.

Ok, now breathe (deep yoga breaths every damn morning, afternoon, and night). Maybe 2017 and the year of being 30 won’t bee so bad?


Visiting Minnesota Summer 2016 Edition

We just got back (about two weeks ago) from visiting Minnesota for a little over a week and although I didn’t capture everything – I’ve been doing something like trying to stay in the moment and not feel the need to photo document every moment, and while that is great, I sometimes look back and think – why don’t I have a picture of that?! We ate breakfast at the same place three times and I still didn’t get any pictures.

Oh well, I suppose? But here is a brief summary of our time and how we spent it:

Brewery hopping in Minneapolis and visiting friends from undergrad and grad school… although again – why do I not have picture of people? I think Sociable Cider Werks (top left) was my favorite.

Next on the road trip of Minnesota we headed up to Duluth and Gooseberry Falls (above) to meet up with one of my best friends from college -Dana! We hadn’t seen each other in three years!

Being on the North Shore meant a stop at Betty’s Pies for their Great Lakes Fruit Pie.

Lots on the menu!

A walk out on to the pier.

The view from our hotel – morning and evening – I could get used to that. Or at least in the summer time.


We finally headed back to my home town of Battle Lake. And there are some new features in town! The Boathouse (we went back to three times… not ashamed at all because they had good drinks and pizza hit the spot too), the Rusty Nail (remodel of an old dive), and even a cupcake/coffee shop – Smackin’ Cakes!

While there I got to spend time with my adorable niece and nephew (who were up for the wedding).

It’s she a doll!

C and I rented some bikes from the Galloping Goose and rode through Glendalough State Park.

It’s gorgeous any time of year, but I loved riding down those paths.

We celebrated Jessica and Derek at their grooms lunch.

And Carlos Creek Winery with my sis.

And finally time for the big day! This gorgeous lady is probably one of my favorite people I’ve known all my life and I was incredibly honored to officiate!

And of course I got to spend time with my younger sis as well. 🙂

These two have known each other since they were a few days old. Don’t be fooled… Anna has heels. 😉

After the wedding C and I stayed at Spirit Cove Lodge which was only 10 minutes from the winery. It was such a sanctuary and the breakfast was fantastic! Look at that French Toast Crown!

The view from our room over looking the lake.

We finally made our way back to Minneapolis for a sleep before heading to the airport. And I will say that we got an excellent breakfast – look at those steel cut oats with berry compote! And of course Earl Grey tea with milk and honey.

I haven’t been back to my hometown in the summer for almost 4 years and I’m so glad we spent a long week exploring and acting like a tourist.

What are some things you do to act like a tourist in your hometown?

June Balance: Moving Past the Unknown and Fear of Failing

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past month (and a little afraid to say write it out loud), but some of the “why” fell into place during an evening last week as I was out walking the dog and listening to the Ted Radio Hour podcast’s recent episode “Nudge”. For the last couple years I’ve really fallen in love with podcasts. Some of my favorites are the TED Radio Hour and Stuff You Should Know. Does anyone else love podcasts? What are some of your favorites or recommendations?

Ok, let’s move back on target – fear of the unknown and failure. This all started a few months back when C and I were discussing our 5 and 10 year plans… and because of the people we are (weird and never questioning it wouldn’t include the other) it centered most around what we want to be doing, living, and where we want our careers to be.  For the longest time I’ve know I want to work for myself… eventually, or at least to be able to work from anywhere. For the record, I’m currently in a job and position I absolutely love (employee/corporate wellness) and have no near plans to leave it. However, in less than 10 years (gonna give myself a very large cushion), I’d like to be not tied to an office so we can travel, explore, and visit/work close to family when we want. With my niece and nephew now small and growing quick, I’d like to be able to visit for a few weeks without having to take PTO.

Now that I’ve put that plan and goal out into the universe, the fear sets in… well not necessarily fear, but as I made more and more steps in the direction to build my “brand”, which is ME if I’m working for myself, at times I found myself more sluggish or only tentatively engaged. I’d look at myself and practically yell, “you know what you want, why aren’t you working to go out and reach for it!?” So I really took a step back and looked at what I was doing. I had signed up for a few different trainings and the Food Bloggers Summit; I was feeling inspired by all of the individuals working on their own blogs and food products, but a few days after that initial inspiration the old feelings would creep back in.

I stepped back again and began to look at other “things” I had already achieved and why did I go for those but was dragging my feet on this? Why?  – MY LIFE HAS BEEN EASY!! And I’ve been very LUCKY. My race, upbringing, economic situation, and education set me up for advantage from the beginning. Wow, that kind of slapped me in the face. I rarely ever failed but didn’t necessarily attempt something if I wasn’t at least 75% sure I could succeed. Overly cautious to the extreme? From the outside looking in, yeah, I’ve hustled – worked hard in school (although that too came easy), got my Master’s so I would be a more “hirable” candidate (I wanted a MS and love learning, but I knew what to do to look good), found a job in an area I liked (and had the good fortune to be picky with that too), I was brave and traveled to study abroad for school, I moved twice without knowing but two people in the state. From all outward appearances I had been brave and branched out of my comfort zone. How small was that comfort zone? Yet,everything seemed like fairly safe bets. Starting a new business venture however is/was not a safe bet.

From the outside my demeanor and “everything will work out” attitude felt like a complete fraud. Although I do like to “let the universe take it”, I realized that with this entirely new venture and future goal I was/am petrified of failure. What if I don’t succeed? How will I recover and how will my family and friends view me? But if I don’t try my hardest, I’ll always have the excuse that “I didn’t give it everything I had and if I did, I’m sure it would have turned out differently.”

While listening to the Nudge episode, Carol Dweck discussed how from a young age we’re praised for achievement and getting the right answer rather than encouraging the process and praising the continued growth. Yep, that hit home and made sense, but the next voice of Reshma Sujani came almost too close for comfort – we don’t raise girls to be brave and take risks, we raise them to be perfect. Perfect is crippling. We have been taught and raised to never show our failure – which eventually becomes not trying or only staying within our little bubble of what we know we can already do. In the media there’s a physical image we’re supposed to fit but it goes way beyond that. The expectations are so deeply engrained that by the time we’re women, many times it’s too late and we don’t ask for that raise, take a new job, or branch out on our own.

Am I doomed stuck from the beginning? Thankfully, no. I know where that risk-taker needs to step up and take charge.

Either I will achieve my dreams or fail beautifully – and either way I’m going to grow.

Peace and love,