My current playlist…

When I was going through my time away, basically my only escape from the world was through music. I am a music freak! I can find a song for anything and everything. If you ever ride in the car with me or work with my at my job, you know that I will sing my heart out to almost anything. I may not always know the words, but it does bring comical relief to those who have to listen to me.

Right now, here’s my go to Top 5 songs that I’ve pretty much listened to at least once every day for the past couple of weeks.

  1. Boy with the Coin by Iron and Wine
    • This is just a unique song. It kind of has a sad meaning but I love the beat and music video. It’s a great song to play while you’re making dinner, and I know that for a fact.
  2. Be Still by The Killers
    • If you ask me about my favorite band, there is a 90% chance I’m going to mention The Killers. The Killers have a unique way of making all of their songs into one story. This song, arriving towards then end of their Battle Born album just kind of reminds you that you’ve got a long journey ahead of you but there’s no need to move too fast.
  3. True Sadness by The Avett Brothers
    • The Avett Brothers and I have come to know each other through their lyrics. I’ve known about them for a while but I guess I didn’t really appreciate their lyrics until I experienced what they were singing about. This song and also their new album, serves as a reminder that sometimes we go through sad times in life. There is no way around it, we just have to get through it. I’m super stoked because I’m going to their concert in a month and it’s going to be pretty awesome!
  4. Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
    • I absolutely love this song! I’ve heard of multiple meanings and I don’t really know why I like it. The song itself has a bittersweet feeling of sadness and happiness all at the same time. I’ve been told I have a pretty good voice, some have even said they would buy my album, but I can never sing quite like Stevie Nicks.
  5. The Perfect Space by The Avett Brothers
    • The twist in this song is probably my favorite. If you listen, you’ll pick up on it too. When I went away for a little while, it took me some time to realize that I didn’t really want help from anyone, I just wanted to figure things out for myself. You realize all the things that you want out of life, but sometimes you need to be alone to figure it out by yourself.

All in all, some things are better said through a song. Maybe you just need to find the lyrics that speak to you the most.

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Sometimes you just need to start again…

It’s been awhile everyone. I’m going to warn you, this post is not like my others. It may be very confusing and difficult for you to understand. But these words that follow are some that I’ve been trying to voice for a long time, so here it goes.

Last time we talked, I discussed the topic of grieving and how everyone grieves differently. It’s a funny thing actually, the way we feel emotion. The reason why I’ve been gone so long is because these past couple of months, I’ve felt a whole new wave of emotions. I experienced happiness, heartache, hurt and laughed so hard that I felt like I was getting a core workout.

Where did I go exactly? Well after the heartache had passed, I kind of just hid from the world. This place that I was once in just didn’t seem that welcoming anymore so instead of being the adventurous little thing I use to be, I chose to stay put. I let all of this horrible emotion pour over me like a thunderstorm.  There would be some moments where the sun would shine through, and I would be able to smile and laugh and have a great time, but then the rain came again. It brought thunder and lightning and I continued to hide.

Speaking of thunderstorms, did I ever tell you that I love running in the rain? I’m not too fond of starting the run while it’s raining, but when it starts to rain as you take your first steps. There’s something about it where it feels like the rain is washing everything away. It’s extremely soothing. But the thing was, it seemed to rain every day for me, but yet I had no desire to run. I just wanted to hide from everything and put on that strong face that people know me by. I would talk to my friends and they kept telling me the same thing over and over again. “Cece, you’re a fighter, you’ll get through this.” But yet I felt like I could barely catch my breath enough to keep up with what was going on around me.

So what happened to me for the time being? Why did I just stop living all the sudden?  I was this free spirit who questioned everything and went against the current. But then the current stopped and I just stopped with it.

What specifically happened to me isn’t as important as what I learned from it. I couldn’t move forward because I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.  I was in this ridiculous pity party because I couldn’t control what was going on around me.  It seemed like in an instant, everything that I had truly cared about was suddenly going away.

I felt so sorry for myself, that I lost myself and at one point forgot who I was. The feeling of starting over is a feeling that nobody wants to get used to. We go through trials in our life only to realize that starting over completely new is sometimes the best option for us to figure out who we truly are. It’s not something that is easy to do. Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough lyrics in the world to understand the journey of finding yourself.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: there are moments in your life when sometimes you have to experience sadness in order to find happiness. It’s important to know that you must work for what you want. You are going to have your moments when you just need to feel sadness. Grieve for a little bit, but don’t let it that feeling take control of you like I did. Focus on what you want and go after it with a clear mind, even if that means that you have to start over completely new.

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Just a Random Thought…

Tonight’s topic just suddenly came to me as I stayed up late waiting for the excitement of a new day.

What does it mean to grieve?

Grief that feeling you get when you have lost something and then try to find a new normal. We grieve for the things that people expect us to as well as for things for the fear of knowing that we will never fully understand the true meaning of the feeling that we keep holding onto.  There can be three people who all experience the same generic situation, but yet everyone is going to have a different outlook on it. We mentally tell ourselves over and over again that everything will be okay, but yet we can feel the regret in our words as we try to keep our eyes open just for that little light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes some of us are lucky enough to see it right away. Other times, most of us find ourselves wandering and stumbling through the darkness reaching for the wall to slowly guide us.


Eventually we come to the realization that we’ve made it through the darkness. We’ve overcome what our subconscious mind was trying to keep us from finding. The tricky thing about grieving is that it’s an emotional pain. You can easily feel the physical discomfort of when your bone breaks, but once the wound is healed your mind has shut down that memory. You may remember everything about it, perhaps the words that flew out of your mouth, or what the doctor told you. But you don’t remember the physical feeling of your bone breaking. You shut it down immediately because it was an awful experience, so why would you want to remember it in the first place. However, the minute your heart is broken, or you become embarrassed, that broken feeling comes back to you quicker than you can handle.  It doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself that you’re okay and that you’re happy. All it takes is one bad memory to bring you the pain that you’ve been telling yourself to forget.  It seems that at any moment, you can bring that feeling back no matter how badly you’ve prayed for it to be removed, you’ve prayed for the feeling to go away but yet at any second it can still bring tears to your eyes and ache to your heart.



These are the things I think about in the middle of the night. I stay up curious to know how others have overcome some of the most difficult times in their lives. In the end, the process is always the same: one day at a time.

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Cutting the habit cold turkey…

Have you ever tried to break a habit and someone mentions that you should wean yourself off of your habit, rather than just cutting it out completely?

What do you think about this?

I honestly believe in the cold turkey approach.

Here’s why:

Cutting cold turkey means to completely stop what you’re doing immediately. There’s not waiting until a new day to start or waiting until you finished the bottle of soda. It’s all at once.

It’s easier to break the habit when you stop immediately. Each time you say “I’m weaning myself off of it.” Whether it is soda, candy, sugar, television, social media, or spending money, you are giving yourself another chance to continue the habit. When you finally realize that the habit you’re trying to break isn’t good for you, why would you want to give yourself more and more opportunity to keep it?

Here’s the catch: When you cut a habit off immediately, you are going to be face with a challenge. Cutting out a habit requires constant thought and daily reminders of what your goal is.

Try these little tips of mine to help your decision of cutting your habit cold turkey to be more successful:


  1. When your craving for chocolate cake rises, break the craving by writing your goal down. Writing down your thoughts helps make them clearer as well as it’s a task that gives us time to process what we really want or desire. Writing your goal will help you remember why you’re cutting out sweets in the first place.
  2. Try using positive distractions. The moment you reach for the remote control, stop and take a drink of water, or do 5 pushups or listen to your favorite song, or grab that book that you’ve been dying to finish. Positive distractions such as these can change your mind because you are physically doing something, rather than thinking about what looks entertaining to watch on TV.
  3. Remember why you started in the first place. We’ve all been in moments where we create goals but then don’t follow through with them and eventually we’re right back where we started. Put constant reminders around your house or office and reward yourself in a positive way for your achievement. Write yourself little notes or have friends and family send you random words of motivation.

Remember that it is a challenge. You are going to have your bad days and your good days. Use the good moments to motivate you and to keep your Feet Facing Forward.

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What’s Cooking Wednesday?

On Tonight’s Menu: Chicken Teriyaki StirFry

Stir Fry is one of the easiest dishes you could make. It’s full of protein, veggies, and a ton of flavor!

My roommate and I quickly tossed this meal together in only about 20 minutes.

Here’s what we used:

  • Chicken
  • Red peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Onion
  • Basil leaves
  • Squash
  • Brown Rice
  • Teriyaki sauce

First we cut the chicken into strips and then cooked on the grill pan in olive oil. On medium heat, the chicken cooked for about 15 minutes. While the chicken was cooking, we sautéed the veggies in olive oil in another pan.  We decided to sautéed our veggies because we still wanted a fresh crunch in them, rather than having them 100% cooked. When the chicken was done cooking, we tossed it in the teriyaki sauce. After, it was time to combine the chicken and the veggies.

stir fry 1

While cooking the veggies and chicken, go ahead and start cooking your rice. With my rice cooker, the rice only took  20 minutes cook. For the finishing touch, feel free to add a little bit more teriyaki sauce to add a little bit more flavor to the veggies.

The finished Product:

stir fry 2

Need to change your dinner up this week? Try this recipe! It tastes so delicious that you’ll forget how healthy it is.

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What’s Cooking Wednesday?

One of my favorite things to watch is the Food Network. The other day while I was out shopping I decided to pick up my very own copy of “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” cookbook.

I decided that to do a breakfast recipe this week so I chose: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes.

Pancakes have always been of my favorite foods. You can come up with so many creations from dessert pancakes, fruit filled pancakes or even to the double chocolate goodness.

I followed Ree Drummond’s recipe and now here is my pancake review.

Two things I loved about this recipe:

  • The flavor of the citrus with the berries: Believe it or not, this was the first blueberry and lemon recipe. With the lemon zest and the juice of one lemon, I was a little concerned if the lemon flavor was going to be overwhelming. However, I was quite surprised to taste that the sweetness of the blueberries helped balance the tartness of the lemon.
  • The simplicity: This recipe was very easy to follow. When I first glanced over it in my cookbook, I was overwhelmed by all of the ingredients. However, combining all the ingredients only took about 5-10 minutes including measuring.

Anything to change for next time?

  • One thing I did not pay attention to was how to mix the batter properly. I ended up over mixing my batter with a spoon rather than mixing lightly with a fork. Because of this, my pancakes turned out to be thinner than desired. Note to self, watch your speed for next time!


The finished product:

lemon blueberry pancakes

For making this recipe only once, I must say that it was a very successful meal!

I highly encourage you to try this delicious breakfast recipe for yourself. I love watching the Pioneer Woman and I am more and more excited to use her cookbook.

**The link listed above is in reference to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for her recipe of Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. The recipe is does not belong to me, nor do I take credit for it.**

Drummond, Ree. 2011. The pioneer woman.

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Monday Motivation!

I stumbled upon this quote on Facebook just the other day:

“Be unapologetic about what you hope for. Believe it and you’ll receive it.” – Gabby Bernstein

These two sentences stuck with me and caused me to really think about the message it was displaying. Let’s break it up a little bit.

Part one: Be unapologetic about what you hope for.

Have you ever had a dream but yet you let one little thing get in the way due to worrying about later feeling regret? In the end, the only thing you regretted was letting your dream slip away. Have you ever caught yourself agreeing to something out of guilt even though you know that it prevent you from accomplishing your goal?

This one seven word sentence speaks loudly for those of who have put our lives on hold. We wake up only to commit to something because we feel it’s expected of us.   The point is that we are living someone else’s dream out of guilt.

I interpret part one as “don’t be sorry for working on yourself.” We only live the lives we choose to. If you are working to better yourself every day, then there is no reason to apologize for it.

Part two: Believe in it and you’ll receive it.

The second part is just as important as part one. When we stop being sorry for what we want, we quickly learn that the dream becomes more and more real. If you put all of your focus and positive energy into something, you will receive a positive outcome.  Think of it in the mind of a student: you believe in your potential enough to earn good grades. Every night when you study the past day’s notes, you become more and more familiar with the agenda. When it comes test time, you will receive the desired grade because you believed it was possible in the first place. By believing in the dream, you put for the work to accomplish the task at hand. Now if we add part one to the scenario….the student chose study and work time over leisure time and in the end, had no regrets because of the satisfaction of the end result.

The moral of the story is: don’t be sorry for putting your life first when it comes to believing in your dreams.

Let this quote motivate you for today, the rest of the week, or a lifetime. It’s never too late to start dreaming. Just keep your Feet Facing Forward and you’re destined for greatness!

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What’s cooking Wednesday?

On tonight’s Menu: Homemade Mac n’ Cheese

This one is a family favorite. We have it at all of our cookouts and get-togethers. It’s not as healthy as some of my other recipes, but this recipe serves as the perfect comfort food.


  • Pasta
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Milk
  • Butter

Only four ingredients, how simple is that?

The first thing to do is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Next, cook the pasta in boiling water for about 8-10 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a baking pan.

When the pasta is in the baking dish, add the butter and melt. I used about one stick of butter. It’s best to melt the butter first because it helps the milk and cheese blend better.

When the butter is melted, add just enough milk to cover the bottom of the pan. You don’t want the pasta to stick otherwise it will burn when you put it in the oven.

mnc 2

Lastly add, the cheese. I like my mac n’ cheese very cheesy so add at your comfort level. Stir everything together and bake until everything is melted and blended. The time may vary depending on how much mac n’ cheese you’re making.  We baked ours for about 8 minutes.

mnc 3

The end result:

mnc 1

This is the perfect side dish at any family get together. In my family, it’s not a holiday dinner until without mac n’ cheese!


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Do you run with your phone?

This past weekend, I went for a run and I always took my phone with me. I keep it in my flip belt so I can’t feel it and it’s not bouncing around. This morning on my run, I decided to pass. I was in the park and I thought that there would be no reason why I need it. After all, I wasn’t too far away from my car.

I’m coming around my second lap on the trails when I hear the strangest noise. It was this weird screech but yet it sounded like a cat purring. I looked over and across the river on this dry patch of land, I saw four baby raccoons and what I’m assuming was the mother raccoon. So I immediately stopped because my heart melts for baby animals and I reached for my phone to snap a picture so I could share with you all!

What was that Cece? Oh yes, you told yourself you wouldn’t need your phone. While standing there watching the raccoons I quietly caught my breath. They all looked at me and wandered back into the forest. I finished my lap and got my time in for the day. After the run was over, I went back to the spot to see if maybe, just maybe, they had returned for their scavenging.

This is where the little raccoons were playing. I took this picture to serve as a reminder that carrying your phone on your runs can be beneficial.


You may see cute animals or see the view that reminds why you got up early before anyone else to get your miles in.



Along with seeing cute animals and capturing the beautiful sunrise, there are also other benefits why I think you should run with your phone.

  • Safety. If something were to happen, or I trip and fall (I’m not very graceful), I like knowing that I would be able to contact someone in such emergency.
  • With technology increasing, we now have the ability to call someone and listen to music on the same device. Your phone is a great way to listen to music while out for a run.
  • Tracking your fitness. My phone and most phones nowadays have fitness trackers. I have an obsession with checking how many steps I have walked or ran in the day. I use both my phone and my Fitbit to track my heart-rate, calories and steps.


In the end, the run is your run. You can run with your phone, you can also leave your phone in the car like I did. What matters is that I got my me time in and now have the story to tell.

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What’s Cooking Wednesday?

On Tonight’s Menu: Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles

I took an Italian classic and gave it a little twist.

Ingredients I used:

-chicken breast, thinly sliced


-tomato based pasta sauce

– zucchini

– mozzarella cheese

The first thing I did was place the almonds in a food processor and blended until they were almost a dust. There were a few little bits in there but that’s normal, plus it adds a little crunch to the chicken. I put a raw chicken breast in the almonds and then covered with an egg and milk mixture. This mixture helped coat the chicken with the almonds. I put the almond covered chicken in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil until each side was browned.

After the chicken was slightly cooked from the frying pan, I put the chicken in an oven that was set to 400 degrees. Cooking at 400 degrees helps keep the chicken from drying out and also cooks in a shorter amount of time.  The total amount of time in the oven was 15 minutes. The last five minutes, I put pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese and then continued baking until the cheese was melted. I used mozzarella cheese slices. It was what I had on hand and it helped coat the chicken better than shredded cheese. Before putting the toppings on the chicken, make sure the chicken is cooked through. It’s easier to tell before everything is place on top.

For the zucchini noodles, I took one full zucchini and shaved off all of the dented or scraped parts. I used my spiralizer to create the noodles. Once the noodles were done, I sauteed them in some olive oil in a skillet for about 2 minutes. This cooked the zucchini while still leaving it with a fresh crisp taste. I topped the zucchini off with some tomato sauce and plated the meal. Ironically enough, I quickly realized once this meal was prepared that I didn’t use Parmesan cheese.

The finished product:


Yes, there is chicken under there, I promise.

For next time, it would be a good idea to try some seasoning. You can easily add seasoning to the almond mixture.

This meal was selected from one of my favorite Italian meals and with these few ingredient swaps, it now has more protein and it serves as a good way to get your veggies in. This meal was simply satisfying without overfilling or over-doing it on flavor.

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