I Don’t Want a Small Butt

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Today while I was at the grocery store, I got behind a woman who must’ve been in her 40s, donning all spandex and doing so quite well. Black capris, a blue tank top with white clouds that mocked a sky scape, and brightly-colored minimalist running shoes. The first place my eyes traveled after noticing her brilliant blue top was her tiny, tiny spandex butt.

‘Hmm, she’s in really great shape,’ I thought. ‘She doesn’t even have thighs; that must be nice. I bet you she doesn’t eat any ice cream, though.’

Yes, these are the completely vain thoughts I have while comparing calories in salad dressings and digging to the back of the bread shelf to find the bag with the most impressive “best by” date.

I bumped into tiny butt several more times before leaving Dillon’s, each time admiring her lean physique. And, I suppose like many women do, subconsciously began thinking of ways to whittle down a few pounds myself, though that endeavor only lasted a few moments.

I don’t inherently think this is a bad habit. After all, wanting to be thin is an OK goal in my book. It perhaps becomes dangerous when you start comparing yourself to others and it kills your lady ego, or you start trying a new diet every week in hopes of becoming unrealistically thin.

That may be what it sounds like I was doing, but it wasn’t. I was simply admiring her figure – a ‘well done’ if you will – considering my own body, realizing I’m perfectly happy with the one I’ve got, and then moved along.

After I was done paying for groceries ($64 for a week’s worth, I might add), John helped me out to the car and we crossed the street to Freddy’s Frozen Custard for a late lunch.

As he was eating his straw fries one by one, John caught me staring out the window and asked what I was thinking about.

“Oh, I was just thinking about that lady behind us in line at the grocery store with the spandex. I noticed she was in really great shape and it made me think that I’d like to be in that great of shape when I’m her age. But you know, I like ice ecream too much to be that thin. It’s not worth it.”

Honest thoughts shared over (veggie) burgers, fries and custard. I think that’s a more accurate picture of real life than me trying to squeeze into size 0 pants.

Plus, John finds me gorgeous and who else am I trying to impress?

As I read my September Real Simple later in the afternoon while stroking John’s hair (he was down for the count with allergies), I was pretty pleased about the conclusions I’d come to.

When it comes down to it, I like the way I’m fashioned and I’m really happy with the way I am. And at this point in life at 26 years old, I’m glad that I’m no longer comparing and pinching and hating the little extra padding I have. It’s well earned! At least one ice cream cone a week, solid. Instead, I count it as healthy and perfectly acceptable. Nah, it’s sexy.

In short, I’m never giving up ice cream, no matter how thin I ever decide I want to be. And while tiny spandex butt has it going on, so do I, in a size 6 sort of way.

( mint choc chip ice cream + cappuccino chunky chocolate – my favorite combo as of late.) 


Posted by in food, happiness, life | 18 comments

5 for 5 Kombucha Green Tea Wonder Drink Giveaway!

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I’ve always secretly wanted to be a hippie. Or maybe not so secretly considering I almost bought a VW bus a couple years ago and advertised the fact to most my family and friends. My dad even drove me 2 hours across the state so I could test drive it. But one bungee chord on the shifter and two cautions that the bus would break down later, I opted to forgo the purchase.

But, that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to be a hippie. Because I do. I really, really do. [dreadlocks and all, shhh.]

From what I’ve learned, hippies love natural foods; good-for-you things that benefit their health. And one of those ‘good-for-you things’ is kombucha, properly pronounced as kom-BOO-cha.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is slightly sweet and bubbly, comes in a variety of flavors, and touts such health benefits as aiding in digestion and detoxifying your body. Some even believe it to relieve and help prevent major health problems and extend a person’s life! While these theories may not yet be scientifically proven, a drink that even potentially promotes such health benefits gets two thumbs up in my book.

Plus, it tastes delicious – somewhere between soda and iced tea –  and if I could afford to drink one [or two] every day, I would.

But thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that, and neither do you. Because Portland-based Wonder Drink is giving FIVE of you a box of FIVE of its organic, green tea kombuchas! So exciting, right?

Here’s what you’ll get: five flavors of kombucha including Cherry Cassis, Essence of Lemon, Essence of Mango, Essence of Juniper Berry, Spearmint and Lemon Myrtle, and Green Tea and Lemon.

I’ve already tried several of them and have LOVED every single one, especially the Cherry Cassis. Delicious. Wonder Drink is honestly the best tasting kombucha I’ve ever had, hands down. And they also leave me feeling light and refreshed afterwards, and mysteriously healthier. I think I’m in love.


To enter the giveaway, simply ‘like’ Kombucha Wonder Drink on Facebook and post this comment on their wall: “5 for 5 Green Tea Kombucha Wonder Drink Giveaway”. Wonder Drink will then reply to each entry letting you know you’ve been entered [one entry per person]. Then they’ll randomly select 5 winners after 2 weeks and will contact each person via Facebook, as well as post a comment on their wall with all of the winners names so everyone will see the conclusion of the contest.

Sounds like fun, right? I think so. Let’s get started.

Not only is it motivation enough to enter for the free drinks alone, but Wonder Drink is an amazing company that produces a quality, organic product its customers can be proud of. I am one of those many happy customers and I hope you will be, too.

Thanks again to Wonder Drink for hosting such an awesome giveaway! I can’t wait to see who the lucky winners are.

good luck! dana.



Posted by in food, happiness | 18 comments

Very Vanilla Vegan Pancakes.

Posted by in food, happiness, recipe | 37 comments

Oh my gosh. I feel so hipster right now.

I made vegan pancakes using mexican vanilla and then shot them in my makeshift photography studio.
In my tiny, one-bedroom urban apartment.
While listening to my new favorite all female pandora station.

I know, I know.
If you call yourself a hipster that actually proves that you’re not, in fact, a hipster.
But still, I felt pretty dang hipster. Just sayin’.

Alright, about these pancakes. They’re amazing.
Think light, fluffy clouds of vegan delight oozing with sweet vanilla flavor, all doused in melted butter and warm maple syrup.


Yeah, they pack some serious breakfast gusto.

Sprinkle party! Ey oh.

But seriously you guys.
Sprinkles on pancakes?
Don’t ask questions, just do it.

Very Vanilla Vegan Pancakes
makes 8-10 pancakes | adapted from food.com


1 c flour {I used all purpose}
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder {no, not teaspoons}
pinch salt
1 c light vanilla soy milk {I used Silk}
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp Mexican vanilla {or any vanilla extract}

Method | Turn griddle to medium heat. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet and then add them to the dry. Stir until just combined and no large lumps remain. Spoon about 1/3 c measurements onto the greased griddle. Carefully flip when bubbles appear on top or the edges look dry, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. Serve with vegan butter and agave nectar or maple syrup. Or sprinkles, if you dare.

You know I went the peanut butter banana route. I can’t help myself.

These pancakes are my new favorites! They have that quintessential pancake fluffiness along with sweet cakey flavor that hardly requires any additional syrup. Plus, they’re vegan, which makes me all the more pleased about them.

And that does it. I hope you enjoy these lovelies as much as I did!

happy eating. xo. dana.


Posted by in food, happiness, recipe | 37 comments

Delayed Christmas-fication.

Posted by in happiness, life | 24 comments

You guys, I’m trying something different this year. I’m not celebrating the Christmas season until after Thanksgiving. I know, this is a big deal.

Normally, right after Halloween I get so excited for all-things mistletoe and Christmas tunes that I nearly spontaneously combust and turn into the most obnoctious Christmas enthusiast you’ll ever meet.

We’re talking 24/7 Christmas music.
Floor-to-wall decorations.
Lights on the tree at all hours.
Inhuman amounts of baking.
Uncontrollable squealing at any trace of Christmas in magazines, stores, neighborhoods, coffee shops or elsewhere.

I’m like an 8-year-old on Christmas Eve hyped up on 13 sugar cookies and 4 slices of pie dressed in red and white from head to toe, pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace waiting for Santa to plop down the chute so I can show him my drawing from school and tell him how great I think he is and how I’ve been waiting for him to come all year and how, after he gives me lots of gifts, I’d like to get his autograph.

In other words, it’s kind of pathetic, in a wonderful sort of way.

But this year, I’m practicing delayed gratification. Or delayed Christmas-fication, rather. That means no tree, no Michael Buble Christmas album, no watching Elf on loop, no peppermint hot chocolate, no wolfing down sugar cookies, no gift shopping, no caroling, no joy until December 1st.

DECEMBER. ONE. Lord be with me.

I’m doing this because I’ve become a more mature, patient adult who’s able to practice self control, clearly. It comes with age, just like wisdom and wrap around sunglasses. You’ll understand when you get to be 25.

No, really I’m doing this because every time I start celebrating Christmas in October, by the time Christmas actually arrives I’m kind of over it. And I don’t want that to happen this year. I don’t want it to be a let down and I don’t want to be too exhausted to party by the time I get to the ball.

So, if you think about it, I’m doing this to preserve Christmas spirit.
You guys, I’m saving Christmas.
You’re welcome.

But you can expect an all-out holiday jubilee on December 1. Trust me. I’ll be out in full force. BEWARE. You have been warned.

Until then, unjoyfully yours [until, you know],

Do you start celebrating Christmas early?
Would you like to join me in my challenge?!


Posted by in happiness, life | 24 comments

1 year Bloggiversary and a Giveaway!

Posted by in happiness, life | 63 comments


Hey you guys, it’s mah bert-day. Do you-wanna come to my party?

Well, it’s not my birthday per say, but it is my 1 year blogging anniversary and that’s worth celebrating right? Especially if there’s [cheese]cake involved. Sign me up!

If you’re a diehard fan of my blog then you know that my first post ever was on September 8, 2010. [Don’t worry, I had to go back and check, too. Lame.]

And if you’re a super observant person you noticed that my 1 year blog anniversary came and went unmentioned. Oops!

But it’s not that I forgot, because I didn’t.
And it’s not that I wasn’t excited, because I was!
It’s just that I spent too much time mulling over just how to celebrate such an occasion and am now officially 2 months late to my own party. How embarrassing.

Now I could go back and do a lengthy recap of all my favorite posts and fond memories of the past year, but instead I think I’ll keep things simple and just say THANK YOU for reading my blog! You have made this such an enjoyable experience for me and it’s been an absolute a blast to keep this show going.

In the past year I’ve found that I will gladly spend 40+ hours on my blog per week because I honestly enjoy it so much. It’s a creative outlet for me and it forces me to practice the act of writing and art of photography. It documents where I’ve been, what I’m doing and, perhaps more often, what I’ve eaten.

It allows me, in a small way, to celebrate life daily, which is what this blog is all about in the first place. So in short, I think I’ve done what I came to do and I hope to continue doing just that for some time to come.

So in honor of my 1 year anniversary I’m doing the best thing I can think to do, and that’s a giveaway for my amazing, beautiful, hilarious, super awesome readers!

This lovely little giveaway features 4 of my very favorite things:

  • A copy of Carmindy’s “Get Positively Beautiful” book chock full of colorful beauty tips and life advice.
  • A jar of Kona coffee home-roasted by my own adoring husband.
  • A bar of Ghirardelli Intense {86% cacao} Dark Chocolate.
  • And an ELF all over color stick in Pink Lemonade, perfect for adding a punch of rosy color to your cheeks, lips and eyes.

Does it get any better than that?! I briefly considered adding some baked goods like cupcakes but quickly abandoned the thought after picturing the whole batch getting completely decimated by the mail guy. So, no baked goods this time. But maybe for my 2nd anniversary.

To enter simply leave a comment telling me your favorite part about my blog, or what you’d like to see more of.

For extra entries you can also:

  • like me on facebook
  • follow me on twitter
  • tweet about this giveaway
  • and share about this giveaway on your blog.

Leave a separate comment for each action, pretty please. And I will announce the winner on Friday, so be sure to enter by Thursday, November 10.

have a great day! dana.




Posted by in happiness, life | 63 comments

Today I…

Posted by in food, happiness, life | 8 comments

Took in a beautiful fall day with all the doors and windows open.

Ran/walked 2 miles at 7:30 followed by core work.

Ate toast and eggs for breakfast.

Rocked a different look with my new eyeglasses.

Made a to-do list to ensure productivity.

Sipped on a french press while checking e-mail.

Put on bottom eye liner and them swiftly removed it to avoid a garish appearance.

Wrote a few ‘just because’ notes to people I love.

Had too much fun on photo booth.

My husband really shouldn’t leave me a home alone all day. This post is proof.

What did you do today?

p.s. tomorrow’s the last day to enter my giveaway. It’s super easy. You don’t have to join the challenge just leave a comment about the video and you’re in. 5 winners will be chosen. You may just be one of them.

ciao! xo. dana.



Posted by in food, happiness, life | 8 comments