Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

I have never had an acorn squash before, but I decided to give it a try. I heard they tasted like sweet potatoes, and they really do! I didn't know how to make them, I know a lot of people stuff them, but I wanted to try something different. I made baked wedges instead - kind of like potato wedges.
  • one acorn squash, seeds removed, and cut into wedges
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • salt
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. lay your acorn squash wedges on baking sheet covered in parchment paper, and drizzle with olive oil
  3. season the wedges with salt and cumin
  4. bake for 30-35 minutes - or until soft
  5. enjoy!

My daughter really loved them, and so did my husband! This is a perfect side dish for bunless burgers!

xo, stephanie


Baked Grapefruit

If you are looking for a simple easy snack - I really like baked grapefruit! It's super simple to make, and is a great alternative when you are craving sweets.

  • grapefruit 
  • coconut sugar (you can any sweetener you prefer) 
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. slice grapefruit open (remove any seeds)
  3. sprinkle with your choice of sweetener 
  4. bake for 15 minutes
  5. let it cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy!

Clean eating, and cheating clean doesn't have to be hard!

xo, stephanie 


Staying Hydrated with Kor Water

Drinking water is the key to my weight loss, and fitness journey. I never realized how much it actually helps me, and I really notice a difference when I don't drink a lot of water. I drink a gallon of water a day. It probably sounds like a lot, but I didn't realize that I was almost drinking a gallon a day when I started my Gallon Challenge back in November.

There are so many benefits and reasons why you should drink more water
  • helps with digestion
  • makes you skin glow, prevents wrinkles
  • helps with stress
  • detoxes your body
  • weight loss
  • helps with sleep
I love my Delta Kor Water Bottle! I get a lot of compliments on it too! I really like the design of the bottle. It's really easy to clean, and I love how the top of the bottle locks. I don't have any problems with it leaking either.

Check out Kor Water Bottles here: http://www.korwater.com/

Stay hydrated!
xo, stephanie 


Cardio Sunday | Stair Master

On Sunday's I do cardio. I think the only cardio I really enjoy is the stair master. At first, I hated it. I felt really discouraged, and couldn't do more than ten minutes. Now, I can do all kinds of things on the stair master! Skipping steps, kick backs (with ankle weights),  and side steps.

It's an awesome booty workout too. Don't let it discourage you, start off small, and keep increasing your workout every time! Trust me you won't be disappointed with the results!

Just keep going!
xo, stephanie


Trader Joe's Haul

I haven't been to Trader Joe's in a while, but I love cruising around the store! I always find something new. Which can be dangerous. That store gets me every time I go in there!
I was really excited to find their pork belly, and I picked some some wild smoked sockeye salmon. They have really good prices on organic frozen fruit - which I love for my smoothies. 

Remember the days I used to get excited about going shopping for new shoes, and clothing. Now, I get excited about food. 


xo, stephanie 

Morning Walk

Love going to the mall and walking. It's a nice change from going to the gym - and they have a Starbucks. 

Lately I have been getting a venti Americano with two Kerrygold butters, and adding a dash of cinnamon. It's SO GOOD! I normally drink my coffee black, but this normally my weekend treat. This also gives me some extra energy to get my steps in! 

xo, stephanie 

First Day of Spring

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and it snowed in Northern Virginia. Even though it was the first day, it was kinda nice. I have been walking to and from the parking garage to get my steps in at work, but yesterday I wasn't able to do that.

Since I wasn't able to walk to work, I enjoyed a cup of tea while waiting for the shuttle. Yogi Tea makes so many good teas. I really like the Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin - the flavor is amazing! It's really calming too.

Now, I am ready for warm weather!

xo, stephanie 


Cheat Clean | Target Haul

Last night I went to Target to pick up a few things - you know the necessities. Kombucha. La Croix. My favorite soap.

Staying 100% Paleo sometimes is really hard, and I don't want to beat myself when the options are not there. After completing a lot of Whole30's and reintroducing certain foods back into my body - I know what does and doesn't work. I cannot eat gluten. When I eat it I get really bloated, my body aches, and I get really moody. Dairy isn't something I really care for, so giving that up for me was easy. Plus I notice when I do eat dairy, I break out.

I have decided when I do "cheat" on Paleo, I will cheat clean and eat foods that are both gluten and dairy free. So, last night I picked up a few things. I love Udi's Gluten Free products. I picked up a loaf of their cinnamon raisin bread, and their whole grain bread. Sometimes I miss certain foods, and their products are really amazing.

Also, Target is adding more and more healthy options to their stores!

Just trying to keep it real! 

xo, stephanie 


Smoothie Love | Kale & Banana

This is why I cannot do Whole30's. I love smoothies too much! I really love drinking a kale and banana smoothie in the mornings. Anything with maca powder is amazing!

  • one banana
  • one tablespoon maca powder - you can find it here
  • one cup coconut milk
  • a few frozen kale cubes - I will post a blog post on how do save your kale

Mix all your smoothie ingredients, and enjoy!

xo, stephanie


Costco Haul

Went to Costco the other day, and picked up my basic items, and then picked up a few new items. I am trying to cut back on eating red meat, so I picked up cod. I also picked up some thick sliced bacon - SO YUMMY!

Also, Costco has individual apple sauce packets that are half the price of the name brand apple sauce. The kids love it, and they are also Non-GMO!

Thank you Costco for offering more, and more healthy selections!

xo, stephanie 


VitaCost Haul

I placed my first VitaCost order, and I was really excited to receive my package!

I wanted to try a bunch of new items, and pick up a few of my favorites, so I decided to give VitaCost a try. First I would like to say their shipping was extremely fast (if you place an order over $49 it will ship for free). I placed my order on Friday, and had my order delivered by Monday. Everything I received was well wrapped, and nothing was damaged.

Here are the items that I picked up:
  • BlenderBottle - one in pink, and one in lime - needed something for my after workout protein shakes
  • Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder in Vanilla - you lift?
  • Desert Essence Toothpaste - this is my favorite brand - sometimes it's really hard to find so I stocked up and bought two
  • Navitas Naturals Organic Goji Berries - can't wait to try this in my smoothies
  • J.R. Liggett's Old Fashion Bar Shampoo Tea Tree and Hemp Oil - so I had to try this immediately, and I LOVE it! I didn't even need a conditioner, and it made my hair really soft. Plus it smells amazing!
  • Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner - if you haven't seen my IG pictures, I need a little help in the tan department, AND I refuse to sit in the sun. I wanted to try a brand that I haven't used, and I wanted something that was free of harsh chemicals
  • EO Essential Oil Products Everyone Lotion Coconut and Lemon - this smells amazing!!
  • Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - I have seen this all over Pinterest, and I wanted to try a great clay mask! 

VitaCost offers a wonderful Refer a Friend program. If you are new to shopping at VitaCost, you can save $10 on your first order using this link http://goo.gl/SH6Sp7.

Can't wait to update you on the new items I bought!

xo, stephanie 


Ecoscraps | Gardening 2015

Thank you Ecoscraps for sponsoring my 2015 NON-GMO organic garden, and offering such awesome products!!

Last spring I discovered Ecoscraps at our local Target, and that's the only organic soil that I use. They are such a great company. Their soil contains no chemicals, and is all organic.They recycle food waste into organic garden products, that are safe to use around your entire family. Also, they have recycled 60 million pounds of food waste since 2010. Ecoscraps has also partnered with COSTCO, to collect their food waste into organic compost. Need more more of a reason to use this brand?!

This morning I went Target, and picked up potting soil, and some fertilizer. Thank you again, Ecoscraps for being a great company, and sponsoring my 2015 garden!! So, glad I could borrow my mom's SUV to get all this stuff home!!

Check them out here!!  http://ecoscraps.com/

Now, it's time to start my seeds!! Screw the snow!!

xo, stephanie 


Eating Out | Healthy Options - Silver Diner

Silver Diner is one of my favorite breakfast joints. I love diners, and with all the snow we have had lately - getting out of the house was a must!

Silver Diner offers so many healthy options for any lifestyle. They even have gluten free french toast, and quinoa pancakes! I haven't tried them yet, but they look so yummy! Their menu is even locally sourced - which I love. Their prices are comparable to any other breakfast place you might enjoy too!

I always get the American Favorite with the pork sausage links - so yummy! 

xo, stephanie 


Alba Botanica Hawaiian Shampoo Review

Alba Botanica is one of my go-to brands for beauty products! I absolutely love their shampoos and conditioners, and they have an amazing sunscreen too!

I picked up their Body Builder Mango Shampoo, and I love it! It smells so wonderful, and really helps with the volume of my hair!

When using this shampoo don't expect it to get all sudsy and bubbly! This shampoo is free of harsh chemicals that include sulfates, heavy minerals, and has 100% vegetarian ingredients. When washing my hair, I only wash my scalp, and then condition my ends. I am not big on washing my hair everyday, and normally wash it every other day. Their shampoo doesn't leave my hair oily either, and I don't feel like my roots have a lot of buildup either.

Another plus to Alba Botanica's brand is NO animal testing - which is another great reason to try their products!

Check them out  here:
Alba Botanica, natural Hawaiian Shampoo and Conditioner, Mango, 12-Ounce Bottle

xo, Stephanie 


Eating Out | Healthy Options - Chipotle

Sometimes I just don't like to cook. Last night was one of those nights. They were calling for a huge snow storm to hit the NOVA area, and it did, but last night I just wasn't in the mood to cook.

One of my favorite options when we eat out is Chipotle. I normally get the carintas in a bowl, extra meat, no rice or beans, guac, and pico. Right now Chipotle is searching for a new pork supplier that meets their food with integrity standards - you can find all the info here. Last night I opted for their barbacoa bowl without the beans and rice, but had to get the guac.

I probably shouldn't have gotten the extra meat, it was so filling! Eating out shouldn't be hard, or stressful. Always ask if they can modify the dish to your diet needs.

xo, stephanie 

FitFluential Ambassador

Today I found out that I was accepted to be a FitFluential Ambassador!! I am so excited, and honored to become a part of the Ambassador program!

 Remember never give up on your goals!!
xo, stephanie



What can you do with $15?
Finding clothing at affordable prices is sometimes difficult, especially when you don’t have
the time to go from store to store comparing prices. And sometimes when you do find
affordable clothing it is less than stylish.

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Don’t even run, sprint to 15each.co for your next fashion discovery.

The store is able to accomplish this amazing feat by buying new items in bulk directly from
retailers at the end of each season. Paying only a flat fee, they pass the savings onto you.
Sometimes they take a loss on great items, but it’s all for the love of fashion! As for their gently used and vintage clothing items, they have the very best shoppers scour second hand stores and estate sales all across the country for the very best out there. All their items are put through a quality control test, ensuring that you’re getting high quality clothing with no tears, stains, or loose threads. There are absolutely no knock offs here, this is all the real stuff!

Aside from providing their customers with affordable fashion, they love to interact with you!

You can show off your fabulous finds by uploading pictures on social media using the
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It’ll be hard to find another online clothing store as amazing as 15each.co. So, whether
you’re a mom, a fashionista, a bargain shopper, or all of the above, 15each.co is the perfect place to find affordable clothing you’ll love wearing!

Check them out here !!


Transformation Tuesday | Post Baby

I am not big on posting transformation pictures, and REALLY not big on showing of skin in my pictures. Today, I am changing that. I need to start being more comfortable in my skin. With it being Transformation Tuesday, I figured today is a good day to start. I don't want to be skinny, I want to be strong. I used to want to be skinny, and now I am want to be comfortable with how I look.

It's been a year since I had my son, Jackson, and I wanted to do a post on how I got back to my pre-pregnancy body. It wasn't easy, I wanted to give up, but I kept going. Having a great support system also helps - A LOT.

Left February 28, 2014 | Right March 1, 2015

My pregnancy with Jackson was a lot easier than my pregnancy with Charlotte. I gained 40 pounds instead of 63. I stayed as active as I could - lots of walking, some yoga, and light weights. My diet was 80/20 Paleo - sometimes you need pizza. Getting back into the workout routine was a little tough. Having two C-sections, and getting back into the workout routine wasn't easy.

After having Jackson, I did a few Whole30's, I eat a mostly Paleo diet, and worked my ass off. Running, yoga, lifting weights. I was never big on lifting weights - that area of the gym scared me. Now, I have no problem doing the leg press, or working my arms. I used to just do cardio, and leave.

Don't mind my super red makeup less face!! I had a killer arm workout at the gym, and my arms were shaking trying to take my arm picture!! AND WHO WEARS MAKEUP TO THE GYM. HAHA!!

We should all inspire other people to be better, and work hard. Not compete with each other, and make someone feel bad for not looking a certain way. I have struggled with my weight after having my daughter in 2010 - it's not easy. Now I know what works for me, and what foods don't. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. KEEP GOING!

xo, stephanie 


New Month New Goals | Fitbit Challenge

New month, new goals. I absolutely love my Fitbit Flex. It keeps me moving, during the day. I have an office job, and I sit a lot. Wearing the Fitbit makes me want to walk further during the day just to go pee.

For the month of March, I am setting a goal of taking 10,000 steps a day. Yesterday was my first day, and it was a challenge. All I want to do is get outside and run, and walk. The icy weather, and all the snow has kind of put a damper on all outdoor activity. So, this will get me motivated to hit the gym.

Yesterday I worked arms - lat pulls, face pulls, and a few dumbbell exercises. Also, if you are trying to get your steps in, and working arms try taking those dumbbells on the treadmill with you. I walked at a 3.5 pace, 10 incline with three pounds dumbells. I did a bunch of arm workouts while getting my steps in. It might not seem like a lot, but it was a killer workout. Also, add some ankle weights to the mix, and you are working your bum. Walked out of the gym super sweaty!

Follow my fitness journey with my Fitbit at: peplumandcoffee@gmail.com

xo, p+c

Staying on Track | Meal Prep Sunday

Things I really look forward to is meal prep Sunday. I love to cook, and getting prepared for the week. Plus meal prepping not only keeps me on track, but I don't have to spend money on $10 lunches that I can make at home.

This week I made the following:
  • egg muffin cups with chorizo and tomatoes
  • grilled chicken breast with roasted broccoli
  • packed some fresh fruit
  • chicken and apple sausages - these are great for a mid morning snack or afternoon pick me up

I really don't meal prep our dinners for the week. I usually keep a calendar of what we might have for the night. Tuesday we might eat tacos, and Wednesday we eat breakfast for dinner.
I am ready for warm weather, and grilling!!

xo, p+c