DSD Blog Hop...North of Ordinary

Check out all the great things happening at Pixels & Company for Digital Scrapbook Day!!! Spend more, save more, games, contests, speed scraps...

and check out this awesome collaboration from the designers at p&co...

I know...& you can get it for FREE if you go to each blog on the hop & collect a part of the code from each... put it together & there ya go...FREE.AWESOME.KIT.

But first...I don't have any tips today...but just wanted to show you a little of what's been inspiring me lately. I totally want to get back into hand lettering...it was what I absolutely loved in design school. Maybe, one of these days I'll find the time to get back at it... all of these images were found on Pinterest, of course. What's inspiring you lately? Do you have something that you used to be passionate about that you want to get back to?


...and now...here's what you came here for in the first place, so, here's my portion of the collab...

next... you'll want to go here, to Laura's blog Beginning Post: is on the P&Co blog. Marie-Eve Amanda Mari Dawn Willemijne Shen Sabrina Shannon Kim Celeste Jen Leah Nicole Kelleigh Robyn <<< YOU ARE HERE Laura Anita Deena Karla Gen    

next... you'll want to go here, to Laura's blog

Beginning Post: is on the P&Co blog.















Robyn <<< YOU ARE HERE








& my part of the code is...

garlic chicken pita pizza

Earlier this year I made a trip to Utah to see my ladies from the online digi shop I sell at. The first night, we ate at this awesome restaurant & I had a garlic chicken pizza. Tons of garlic & it was drizzled with balsamic glaze. {drool} I tried to re-create it the other night & I think it was pretty dang good.

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This was so easy! Here's the recipe: 

Garlic Chicken Pita Pizza

1 low carb pita

Grilled or baked chicken breast

Minced garlic

Shredded romano cheese

Feta cheese crumbles

Balsamic glaze

Lay the pita on a baking sheet or baking stone. Spread the pita with the garlic. Add the shredded chicken on top. Sprinkle with a little romano & feta. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Cut like a pizza & EAT PIZZ!


The other day... I turned 39. This is somewhat annoying to me. Not only am I inching to the big 4-0, but I'm realizing I wasted so much time being unhealthy. But, I'm gonna keep working hard & am happy to say I feel & {hopefully} look the best I ever have. IN.MY.LIFE. I didn't have this body at 19. I didn't have it at 29. But now, I'm enjoying the rewards of eating healthy, being fit, taking care of myself. It's most definitely my birthday present to ME. If you're thinking about starting... stop thinking. Start doing. You won't be sorry.

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pro push up 30 day challenge

So a few months back, I did a push up challenge that an IG friend had up on his feed. It made a huge difference in my arms, shoulders & back. Guess what? We teamed up to make up a new push up challenge this month & doubled up the work! This is gonna be tough, but worth it, I promise. As long as you get them done in said day, you're good! Start whenever you want. I'm currently on day 6.

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gingerbread mugcake

Cake. Who doesn't love it? I've been testing out a few healthy recipes from some IG feeds recently. Some good, some bad... this one was awesome! So I thought I'd share.

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1/2c ground oats {oatmeal ground to flour in a blender} 

1T coconut flour

1tsp baking powder

2 egg whites

2T unsweetened applesauce

1T greek yogurt

2.5T almond milk

1.5 packets stevia

1T vanilla extract

2tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a greased mug or bowl. Microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes. 


1T higher protein cream cheese

2T cottage cheese

1T almond butter

1/3 scoop vanilla whey

1T sugar free maple syrup

Flip cake onto a plate, drizzle icing on top, add pecans if you'd like. EAT CAKE! 

Plank challenge

Thought I'd show you one of the challenges I'm doing this month. I'm also doing a burpee challenge {omg}. Not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to this. Oh yeh, I'm wanting to see some big changes by my birthday come November. Anyway, I'm roughly at my halfway point now. Another thing I'm trying to incorporate is more running. It really seems to help in leaning things up. I've started working with kettleballs as well & am feeling that for sure! Changing things up is definitely a way to make progress happen.


Currently eating | chicken & spinach

I thought I'd give you a little peek into what I'm currently eating a lot of. Chicken is happening quite often. It's low fat, a great source of protein & is pretty versatile. It's fairly inexpensive & I can grill or bake several at once to be able to use later. I'm also eating a good deal of spinach. Not only for salads, but I'm also putting it into my post workout shakes as well {really you can't even taste it}. So here's the lowdown: spinach & chicken are great with cashews, pepitas, craisins, blueberries, apples, quinoa, brown rice, avacado, cherry tomatoes, feta, mix it all together for a cold salad, in a pan heated through, add a little low sodium teriyaki, or throw in a low carb tortilla. I'm loving a balsamic vinaigrette along with everything as well. Try out any combo you like. These are just a few ideas.


3 months

Last week I reached the 3 month mark since I took my first before pics & posted them to my Instagram. It seems like so long ago & like no time at all at the same time. I'm excited about the changes. I'm down 10 lbs & my body fat has dropped. The most exciting thing is how my clothes are fitting. Pants & shirts are needing replacing. Oh & I've been trying on dresses for a wedding...& new jeans. I'm fitting in sizes I've never ever been in before. That said, it hasn't been easy. You have to invest the time & effort into both your eating & your workouts. It takes a lot of juggling to figure out what's working for your body. I'm still learning new ways, new foods, new exercises to challenge me & my body to change. It's addicting when you see these changes & seeing them in the photos is a great incentive to keep going. {new smaller clothes is a pretty great reason too}


Pumpkin pie proyo

Most mornings my breakfasts consist of Greek yogurt, protein powder, fruit & muesli. Oh & coffee...can't forget about that ;) It's filling & a great way to start my day. Yesterday I was looking to mix things up a little & tried this interesting concoction.
Pumpkin Pie Proyo
1/8-1/4c Lowfat cottage cheese
3/4c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla whey
2T pumpkin
1/2-1tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix this all together, then add whatever you'd like. I added a tsp chia & about a 1/4c Bob's Red Mill Muesli. Yum!


favorite snacks

It seems I'm in the car a lot lately, taking kids here, picking them up there, running errands. Whatever. Plus, with trying to eat several times a day instead of just at meal times, I need good quality snacks to fill in those holes. I'm still not a master at it yet & I'm figuring out a lot as a I go on, either by trial & error or good suggestions from friends who are in the same boat. If I leave the house, though, I definitely have something with me in my purse or car. 

apple, cashews, quest bar

apple, cashews, quest bar

justin's almond butter

justin's almond butter

greek yogurt, Kind bar, apple, cold chicken

greek yogurt, Kind bar, apple, cold chicken

So, depending on if we're all out together or if I'm on my own, of course, I can grab a yogurt to eat if someone else is driving. Otherwise, I generally stick to fruit like apples or bananans, nuts or seeds {cashews, almonds, pepitas} , protein bars like Kind Bars, Quest Bars or Zone Bars. The Zone bars are the least healthy, not really clean at all, but if you keep it clean otherwise, here & there it's ok to have that every once in a while. Plus, the Strawberry Yogurt ones... so good. Sometimes if I have some cooked chicken pieces in the fridge & it's around lunch when I'm running out I'll bring that too. The Justin's Almond Butter is amazing & you can usually find these packets at the grocery store. They're great for on the go. I always, always bring my big water bottle with me full of ice water. So there's really no excuse to not eat healthy. Be prepared & have good stuff on hand & it becomes second nature. Take time to take care of you.

8 weeks

So today marks 8 weeks ago that I started photo documenting my progress of clean eating + exercise. It's been amazing. I'm still learning what works, what doesn't. I feel awesome, I'm seeing changes & am definitely determined. I can't wait to see where the next 8 weeks bring me. I've been so lucky to find some wonderful people to help & encourage me along the way. Thank you for all of you who have been there & I hope that somehow I'm encouraging you as well. 

before {left} 7.18.13 155lbs | today {right} 9.18.13 148lbs

before {left} 7.18.13 155lbs | today {right} 9.18.13 148lbs

I may not be seeing tons of movement on the scale, but I'm definitely seeing the changes in my photos. I never imagined 8 weeks ago when I took those photos I'd see what I'm seeing now. The key is to start. Just start. You won't regret it. I promise.

lemon blueberry baked oatmeal

So, I've recently found some freaking awesome feeds to follow on Instagram that give all kinds of fitness, clean eating & inspirational information. One of my favorite food Instagram pages to grab ideas from is @missk_j6. I've tried 2 of her baked oatmeal recipes & they're both soooo good! Truthfully, I'd eat them for breakfast or dessert... maybe another meal in between. I bake them in a big mug & I haven't been able to finish one yet. I think next time, I'll split it into 2 & share. This one's my favorite right now.

lemon blueberry baked oatmeal

lemon blueberry baked oatmeal

Lemon Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

based on a recipe by @missk_j6 {IG} slightly modified

1/2 c rolled oats

1 egg white

1/8 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/8 c cottage cheese

2 tsp raw honey

2 T sugar free maple syrup

1 T lemon juice

1/4 tsp bkg powder

1/4 c blueberries

1 tsp coconut flour

1 T almond butter

Mix all ingredients except the almond butter & coconut flour together. Grease mug or small oven dish with coconut oil. Add oat mixture & sprinkle top with coconut flour. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy warm with almond butter.  


are you up for a challenge?

So, I was wanting to come up with a challenge for September & hoping some of you would like to tag along. I was thinking along the lines of a squat challenge, since one of my goals is to work on that back side. Of course, the first of September came & I still hadn't put it together. I found this one from Tribe Sports today & thought it was a great one!  

image via tribesports.com

image via tribesports.com

So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge?  I plan on making up my first 2 missed days today, along with the day 3 workout. Join in any time!

daily routine | beauty

I'm probably the last person to ask in regards to "beauty". I do love makeup, hair products & am not too shy about changing up my hair frequently. But, I don't like to spend a lot of money on things I won't use. I've found many of my daily go to items through things like Birchbox or, more recently Ipsy. {both are monthly mailings of beauty products}. So, I thought I'd share with you.


So upper left, is me, of course. Fresh makeup. Slept in hair.   I don't wear a lot of makeup, I think I look ridiculous if I do, so I keep it pretty natural. That said, I do NOT have perfect skin. At all. Over the last several months I've found a facial wash I love {DDF Brightening Cleanser}  . I've been blessed with my mom's skin, it seems, lots of hyperpigmentation & this seems to even it somewhat & leaves my skin in an even tone, instead of those spots being dry. On a whim a while back I bought this BioOil at WalMart, thinking I'd try it on my skin where I have scars & stretch marks. I'm not sure why, but a tried it on my face. I loved it & just kept using it. Ok, so basically, over the last 6ish months I've been using it... no breakouts. This is HUGE for me.  Another plus: use it on a sunburn... no peeling {at least in my experience}.

On to makeup. I found this bb cream through my Birchbox.  It's from Boscia. I like BB cream because it's not not heavy, hardly feels like I have it on & it adjusts perfectly to my skin tone. Concealer has always been a tough one for me. It usually seems to thick & ends up making my wrinkles way more apparent than I'd like. Recently I've found this one at Target from Neutrogena. It's called Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector. It has a brush that you twist & the goodness comes out onto it. Not too thick. Not too thin. I like my face to have a matte look & this seems to keep it pretty good for an entire day. I also found this at Target from L'oreal Hyrdra Perfecte Perfecting Loose Powder. This Cheek Stain! Oh my gosh, I received this in my Ipsy this month & have been using it ever since. Perfect for that little rosiness. City Color Cheek Stain - Pink. The eyeshadow was also either in a Birchbox or Ipsy bag. It's Make Bentonite Clay. A great base color that I wear about every day, sometimes I add to it, most days, I don't. The eyeliner is a cheapo from WalMart, not even sure what brand. Can't.Live.Without.My.Eyeliner! lol. The mascara is per-fekt lash perfection gel. I found this through Birchbox as well. I don't even know what it is, but I just love it so much more than anything else I've tried. Usually I finish off with some SoftLips. Sometimes some gloss or lip crayon over it.

Alrighty. Hair. I've had my hair short pixie-ish cut for over a year now & looooove it. It's not for everyone, but I've had several people compliment me & also have told me it suits my personality. Now, I have an older sister that was formerly a cosmetologist, so I constantly changed my hair & played with products growing up.  She's told me I'm partially blessed with good hair {aka it's thin, but with good body}. In the picture above, I took this morning. I had washed & went through to do my hair yesterday, so this is slept in, basically with my fingers fussing around with it, nothing else. My usual routine with it is wash, towel dry, add the salt spray allover. Let air dry partially. Blowdry with fingers {I hate using a brush}. Add some of the surf paste {not very much}, fuss it with my fingers. Spray a little of the Kenra finishing spray all over. done. I found the salt spray & surf paste at WalMart & the Kenra I buy from a friend's hair salon.

So, what's your daily beauty routine? Involved, time consuming? Simple & short? Any great products I should try out? I'd love to hear!

Measuring progress

I know a lot of people measure progress strictly by the scale. That's ok. I probably depend on the scale a little too much too. But, even if you're losing weight on the scale, how do you know your body is changing in the way you need it to? Optimally, you'd like to lose fat, not the precious muscle that you need to make that newly thin body look healthy, toned & with {minimal} jiggle. I should probably take my measurements, but somehow I take them once & then by the next time, my tape has mysteriously disappeared. Hmm. Life with kids. Anyway, recently, on a friends IG feed I noticed he had a body fat measuring tool. I really had no idea they existed, thought it was something you had to have a trainer or doctor take for you. I ordered mine off Amazon {one of my favorite places}, asked some stupid questions {I'm clueless} & when it arrived a few days later, took my first reading.

I  really had no clue what I'd be. Hoping for under 30% dreaming of about 20%. Ha. I'm on the shorter side, curvy & tend to gather pudge all over. So, the reading was ok. I know I want to be in the low 20s. 26% puts me about mid-range of normal for my age group {20-39}. Eh. Not bad, but I know I have lots a fluff yet. You see, I barely, if at all exercised when I was losing a large portion of my weight. So, I might be making up for lost time here.

A little over a week later, I took another reading. 25.3. I was excited...I've been putting in the work in regards to exercise & eating. This is showing I'm moving in the right direction. This motivates me to keep pushing myself & thinking I could just get to that 20%. I'm definitely seeing & feeling the differences too. I can feel {& sometimes see} the muscle in my legs, abs & arms. I can tell I'm losing the fat & gaining the muscle.

150.4 | 25.3% 

150.4 | 25.3% 

So, that's my "this is where I'm at" photo as of 8.25. Every Sunday I post my progress on my IG feed {click on the bottom of my site on the little IG icon to follow me}. Initially I was die hard on trying to get rid of that mush right above my c-section scars, & it's definitely reducing, I'm not sure if it will completely go away. But I'm excited for the changes I'm seeing in other parts that I wasn't so focused on... things I didn't think I could change.


Here's to kickin' that voice in the a$$ . If I can do it, so can you. xo Robyn

>>>If you want to find one of the BF calculators I show above, you can go HERE <<<

Plank challenge

I've been working my way this month through this plank challenge. I based it off of one I found in Pinterest. I'm incorporating a few challenges this month, hoping for great results just in time to bring in my 39th year the beginning of November. Besides this challenge, I'm doing a burpee challenge, working on increasing my amount of running time, as well as a better 5k time, trying new equipment like kettleballs & trying new foods. So, check out this challenge...I'm definitely feeling & seeing improvement all over from them!


the awesomeness that is OO

So, I've been hearing about OO {aka Overnight Oats | Oats in a Jar} for a long time. When I'm pinning away on Pinterest for recipe ideas, I'd see them a lot, but never tried making them. Then, when I started following some new healthy accounts on Instagram, I saw them everywhere. So, I tried them for the first time about 2 weeks ago. I started with something I knew I loved... oatmeal {of course} & peanut butter. I was probably a little to excited to wake up & eat breakfast that morning. I couldn't wait to try.
Let me tell you... the 'word' mmmmmm was used more than once.

Peanut Butter OO

Peanut Butter OO

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

1/2c old fashioned oats

2T natural peanut butter

1/2c FF plain greek yogurt

1 scoop chocolate whey pwdr

1//4c unsw. almond milk

2tsp chia seeds

1tsp raw honey

Combine everything together in a leftover peanut butter jar & mix. Cover & put in the refrigerate overnight.  

vanilla berry OO

vanilla berry OO

Next I tried some with berries in it. I keep a stash of frozen berries around for smoothies so I had these on hand. This was definitely a great summer breakfast. Filling & fresh tasting.

Vanilla Berry OO

1/3c old fashioned oats

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/4c plain greek yogurt

3T cottage cheese

2T chia seeds

1/2-3/4c unsw. vanilla almond milk

blueberries, blackberries, raspberries  

Mix all together in a jar & refrigerate overnight. 

PB Banana Chai OO

PB Banana Chai OO

Now this... was a sorta weird idea I had. Sticking a chai tea bag in the center of the mixed up oats. It lended a sort of subtle spice to the oats.  

PB Banana Chai OO

1/2c old fashioned oats

1/4c plain greek yogurt

1/4c cottage cheese

1/2-3/4c unsw. vanilla almond milk

1T cinnamon raisin swirl PB {pb&co} 

1T PB2 {powdered pb} 

1/2 banana cut into small pieces

Spiced Chai tea bag

Mix everything in the jar except the tea bag. Push tea bag into the center of the oat mixture. Refrigerate overnight & take out tea bag. Stir well. 


I hope you try these or your own version of OO. They're so awesome/yummy/filling. They're also great to take on the go. Make them ahead & take them with you on the way out the door in the morning to work or school. 

a week of workouts

I started posting my daily workouts on my Instagram last week. It's a good way for me to go back & keep track of what I'm doing & how I'm advancing later on. I'm also doing a push-up challenge this month, so LOTS of push ups. I can feel myself getting stronger already! If you have any questions about what an exercise is, either leave me a comment or google it. You can usually get a great visual or YouTube on how to do certain exercises. This is how my week went. I took yesterday as a rest day. 


I do most of my walking|running workouts on my treadmill. If it's nice out & I can get away without the kids, I'll go outside. Generally, though, the treadmill works best for me because I can do it most any time when the kids are around & my husband isn't.  

>>>fast walk for me is between 4-4.5 level on my treadmill. it usually works out to a 14-15 minute mile<<<

>>>all out run for me is between 8-9 on my treadmill<<<

>>>if you want to follow me on instagram scroll to the bottom of the blog & click on the instagram icon<<< 

bbq chicken flatbread pizza

If you love pizza as much as I do {meaning you crave it several times per week} you have to get creative. I try to fit the "real thing" in once a week or week and a half. For instance, tonight, we had my absolute fave pizza {bbq pork} from my cousin's local pizza place. So good. As long as you're keeping yourself on track, you can for sure enjoy indulging every now & then. I came up with this extremely yummy bbq chicken flatbread pizza the other day. Damn fine, if I do say so myself.


Here's how it goes...

1 Flatout Spicy Italian Flatbread

1-2 T Ragu No Sugar Added Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 Chopped Chicken Breast

Thin sliced Red Bell Pepper

Diced Onion

1-2 tsp Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet & Spicy BBQ sauce + water

1/8-1/4 c Sargento 2% Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

Lay out the flatbread on a baking stone or baking sheet. Spread with sauce, add a little over half the cheese, top with chicken, peppers, onions & drizzle the bbq sauce {mixed with a little water to thin it down}. Add the rest of the cheese. Bake at 425 degrees. Eat.it.up.