Friday, July 31, 2015

Featured Friday: Sweet & Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat

This summer the *former* Armstrong girls (now Courtney Wolf and Heather Rhodes) caught the blogging bug! We both decided it was time to take our thoughts public and join the crazy community of bloggers! Heather’s blog Rhodes of Confidence will be going live next week so we thought what better way to give you a preview than to have her be a guest for this week's Featured Friday! I’m so excited to introduce yall to my sister as she has a great sense of humor, a creative view on health, and a heart for encouraging others.

                                        Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
I know most of us are ready for college football, fall, and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s but summer’s not over yet! Heather has created an awesome guide to healthy sweet treats to cool down when things heat up.

My passion for nutrition has taken me through winding "Rhodes" of what my opinion of "healthy" eating is. I believe in balance, real foods, convenience, treats, and so much ice cream. What I think is healthy for me may not be a nutritional philosophy that's best for you and that is so ok! My motto is "you be you!" Today, I've put together some summer treats that can be easily rearranged to impress varieties of different taste buds. 

Don't deny it ladies, from January through July bikini bods are on the mind. And no matter what shape or size- I hope you're owning yours this summer! Even though some places are preparing for fall, most of us are entering the last and hottest weeks of sweet heat. But whatever the weather, staying cool, fit, and confident is on our forecast for August. Here's a peak into my favorite summer snacks that keep me feeling light and looking right :)

My first rule of summer: Cold treats beat the heat. Always. That and always check for tags before hitting the beach (I spent a whole day last week rocking an inside out bikini). Something about the sweaty days of summer, flips on the craving switch in my mind for frozen, iced, and sweet desserts of all kinds. Therefore, it's by no mistake all my craving killers are chillers (obligatory blog rhyming).

Cocoa Crazy

I fell in love with Diane's Chocolate Covered Banana Bits. They're quick, easy, and have a small list of pronounceable ingredients. I'd recommend them to any one, any day. All summer, 2-3 of these bad boys created the perfect simple carb + low fat pre-cross fit snack. With my recent trial of a dairy free diet (for the anti- inflammation benefits with hopes to improve breakouts), I was craving a substitute for this treat to get me through early morning workouts. So, I made my own (check out the end of this post for the recipe). 

Ice-Cream Addiction
I can't even hide it. I legit have an ice-cream problem. Like a "spend an hour walking the frozen aisle of the grocery store, snoop in friend’s freezers (um… stranger’s too), just to casually gaze,  dream (and sometimes taste) the latest and greatest ice-cream creations" type problem. Ice-cream is bae. How do I make this work with a goal of balanced healthy eating, you ask? Just that- balance! Here are some of my favorite ways to fit bae into my diet and fit my booty into my shorts. 

Low calorie protein ice creams-
Halo Top and Artic Zero… Game Changers. Try these today, Iike tonight or right now. Look them up then finish this blog later while eating them. 

Halo Top
Arctic Zero
Homemade froyo proyo- In my opinion, protein is the missing (or deficient) ingredient in a lot of "fad" diets. Low calorie diets aren't fueling your body and maintaining your metabolism if they're filled with empty calories (coming from mainly sugar and carbs). I've made that mistake before but now protein is a staple macronutrient in my daily meals. How do I maintain high protein in my diet to build my muscles and rev that metabolism? Add it to my favorite things! Froyo is a summer favorite, so, below is a recipe for a protein frozen yogurt (proyo if you will), to use as a base for your favorite toppings. More summer treat rules--> Keep the concepts, change the contents, love the results. Swapping froyo to proyo to tone dat booty mo' doe'. 

Homemade natural ingredient options: Moreeeee recipes below for banana-based and coconut milk ice-creams. These are pretty paleo-ish and if desserts were allowed on whole30... Nope I won't even say it. 

Dairy free options: I alternate between homemade ice-creams and So Delicious brand coconut milk ice-cream. Right now my fridge is housing a carton of the creamy vanilla. I think it tastes like a snow cream dream. Don't worry though, that lone carton is not lonely. #squadgoals 

When you and bae break up: 
 Ice-cream isn't for everyone. So if it's not your thing, popsicles it is. There are tons of online recipes for variations of paleo, dairy-free, and all-natural homemade pops. But sometimes, ain't nobody got time for that, so I go to the farmers market and pick up individual pops for the hubs and I. Prep time: 5 minutes (all spent picking a flavor). Our market carries HYPPO Popsicles, so basically, I'm hooked. They're perfect after dinner or as a mid-afternoon cool-down. 

Don't forget though, as much as I love ice-cream, you'll feel better when you balance. Real, whole foods mixed with treats will help you to reach goals while enjoying life and avoiding a restricted lifestyle. 

Whether you're biting down on bananas, living it up with lemon cake Halo Top, or poppin’ bottles and sicles - keep cool, confident, and committed to your goals in August. Enjoy your summer- live in these moments. Pass on the pies and pastries, and instead, bring your own dessert to that late night cookout. Embrace your choices, own your ambition, and keep pushing towards the best you possible. Spend a little time reflecting on what your diet is doing for you and look into how you’re fueling your capable and powerful body. Thank your body for all it does and thank your God for all your beauty (and for ice-cream). 


"More Natural" Chocolate Covered Banana Bites & Dark Chocolate Shavings 
- 170 grams of banana (this was 2 medium sized bananas for me) 
- Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 1 ¼ tablespoon coconut oil 
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar 
Cut banana into slices and set aside. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cocoa powder, and coconut oil--> microwave (~6-10 seconds) until liquid and stir. Spray one plate or flat pan with coconut oil. You can then either dip each piece into the chocolate coating then place onto plate or place all bananas on plate and pour liquid over until all are coated (only do this option if using a plate with a dipped center, to avoid a kitchen disaster). Once fully coated, place plate in freezer for 1-2 hours. Then remove from freezer and with a sharp knife, scrape bananas one by one off plate. They may not come up easily and the coating will break into small shreds (this is good because the chocolate sauce is pretty strong, so a ¾ coated bite is perfect). I saved my extra coating left on the plate and used it as shavings to top my other desserts with—um, so good! 
Macros per bite (1f/3c/0.2p)

Proyo Base
-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder 
-1 6oz container of rage Greek yogurt (you can use of flavored) 
- ¼ packet sugar-free fat-free Jell-O pudding mix (pick a flavor or go with vanilla) 
- ½ banana 
-A sprinkle of xanthan gum (if you want an extra smooth base) 
Blend all ingredients. Freeze. Top accordingly. Eat dat stuff up. 

Cashew Milk Ice-cream
- ½ can Light Coconut Milk (a lot of recipes use whole fat- which is a perfect substitute; adjust according to your needs- you do you!) 
-2 cups Unsweetened Cashew Milk (or chocolate cashew milk if you're felling frisky) 
-2 tablespoons of honey (or agave) 
-Almond extract 
Mix all ingredients together then pour into ice cream maker. I have a Kitchen Maid and it take about 20-30 minutes to get to a good consistency. If you freeze leftovers, they'll need a good 10-15 minutes to at room temperature before eating. I top mine with more honey, fresh fruits, unsweetened coconut, or peanut butter. Makes about 670grams (I eat between 200-300grams per serving) 
Macros for 670grams (15.2f/38.5c/2p) 

Elvis Banana-Based Ice-cream 
-2 whole bananas 
-2 cups chocolate almond milk 
-2 tablespoons Crazy Richards peanut butter powder 
- ½ tablespoon carob chips 
-2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
Mix all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You can then put into ice-cream maker for enhanced texture or keep as is if you don't have an ice-cream maker. Top with more carob chips, honey, and bacon bits (1 crunchy piece of Jenny-O’s turkey bacon crumbled into bits)
Macros for ¼ of the recipe (4.2f/27.4c/4.5p) 

Be sure to let Courtney and I know if you re-create any of these recipes! We also love seeing your pictures of what healthy treats you come up with.

With Loads of Rhodes’ Cool Desserts,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: #WolfWeddingWeekend

I cannot believe it has been two full months since our wedding day! It literally seems like it was last weekend that all of our friends and family traveled to Cocoa, Florida for our #wolfweddingweekend! The second I got our pictures from our special day I knew I had to do a wedding post! However, I loved sooo many that I knew there was no way I could fit it all into just one post. So, Wedding Wednesday was created! Every Wednesday for the next few weeks I will be posting about a portion of my favorite pictures from May 24th.

Our wedding weekend kicked off on Friday night with all of our best friends traveling to the Sunshine State then going to a local restaurant in Cape Canaveral called Fish Lips! We had a great time singing along with the band, enjoying good food, and catching up with each other!


Emily and I had a great time pretending to be in the band ;)

Saturday was spent relaxing on the beach and running last minute errands for the big day! My mom was so sweet to throw the Welcome Party on Saturday night. She did such an amazing job decorating our house and making everything look absolutely perfect. We also had the best homemade southern food compliments of my grandparents! After a short rehearsal per this Bridezilla's request ;), we spent the rest of the night playing life size jenga and horseshoes, singing to the sound of an acoustic guitar, and reliving all the memories made in the past four years!

The following morning, aka, WEDDING DAY, us girls got up bright and early to start getting dolled up for the special occasion! My sister, Heather, made us the yummiest brunch to snack on throughout the day. She also did hair and makeup for half the bridal party and they all looked gorgeous!

I was so lucky to have had an amazing Glam Squad for the day that came and made me look fabulous! Everyone was in such a great mood and I am so thankful that morning was so relaxed and enjoyable!


                           Kati Rosado Photography
          Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
I want to say a HUGE thank you to Jessica Shultz for working your hair magic and being so sweet and bubbly! And to Patrick Starrr for giving us so much confidence and doing undeniably fierce makeup!

Meanwhile, at the hotel, my hottie hot Husband-to-be was getting ready as well! Did I get lucky or what?!

Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography

After all the hair and makeup was done, it was finally time to put on my dress and head to the venue!

Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography

Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography
Before leaving for the venue, Emily surprised me with a gift from Dakota! I was shocked because we had said we wouldn't trade gifts (though I surprised him the night before with his!). As soon as I opened it, I started bawling. It was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful and I couldn't believe he pulled it off! Dakota gave me a two fold picture frame with a picture of he and I and Kali and Barker on one side and a clay imprint on the other. The imprint had Barker and Kali's paws on it and said "Our family is complete." Anyone who knows me would tell you that I love my puppies so very much and they are so special to me so it really touched my heart that Dakota found a way to incorporate them into our special day! I also know how extremely difficult it is to get those two crazy dogs to put their paw in a foreign material as I've tried it before myself and completely failed! (Let's just say Kali walked away and tracked blue painted doggy prints all down my hallway!)

Don't mind the ugly cry, it makes many appearances in this series!

Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography

                     Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography 
Kati Rosado Photography
Kati Rosado Photography 
In the following weeks on Wedding Wednesday, I'll be posting more pictures of our wedding decor, the best wedding party ever, my bridal portraits, our couple portraits, and, of course, the ceremony and reception! I hope you enjoy these pictures from #wolfweddingweekend as much as I do! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things I'm Loving Tuesday 7.28

I’m so excited to be writing another Things I’m Loving Tuesday! I love these four things I’m about to share and I hope you’ll love them too!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
First up is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. If you haven’t tried these lip creams, you’re missing out! I love these for SO many reasons! They’re incredibly soft and creamy and a little bit of product goes a long way! They dry matte and, therefore, the color stays put for hours on end. Eating and drinking won’t even budge these bad boys. There is zero creasing to these creams as they are amazingly moisturizing and you can get a sharp line without having to use a lip liner. The Soft Matte Lip Creams come in 22 different shades and the best part? They’re only $6 each!! I love buying mine at Ulta because I always have a coupon, so I can buy two for about $10! The shades offer a variety of reds, pinks, plums, nudes, oranges, and a few darker, blackish shades for the daring gal!

My go-to shade is called Ibiza and it is a gorgeous warm, coraly-pink color. I also own Milan, Tokyo, Antwerp, and Prague. I love throwing a nude gloss over these shades to give them a subtle shine and seal in the color! The NYX Butter Gloss in crème brulee is my fav!

14 of the 22 shades! Image via Pinterest
After trying many different brands of lipsticks, glosses, and stains, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams have remained the only ones I continuously go back to. I’m also excited to try the new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks that launched a few weeks ago! I’ll be sure to do a review once I get my hands on them!

She Reads Truth Devotional
The next thing I’ve been in love with this week is the She Reads Truth devotional on the Fruit of the Spirit. She Reads Truth is a website that has many different devotional plans that you can follow along with or pick up here and there. They also allow access to past plans so it’s very easy to find one that suits what you’re looking for! I’m on day 2 of the Fruit of the Spirit plan and it has been so eye-opening and thought-provoking. It is the perfect length to get my day started and it incorporates a good amount of scripture to support the message. I love short devotions like Jesus Calling but I was looking for something with a little more “meat” scripture-wise, and this plan has given me just that! If you’re looking for a new devotion or you’re not sure how to go about starting a daily quiet time, I would highly suggest just browsing around She Reads Truth! I can guarantee that you’ll be able to find a plan that speaks directly to your heart and relates to whatever is going on in your life! If anyone would like to join me in reading about and learning how to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit, let me know!  I would love to hear other’s responses and reactions to the daily read!

Pastel Hair Color
If you follow me on Pinterest (and you totally should!), it’ll be no surprise that the next thing I have been lovinggg lately is the Pastel Hair Color trend! For those who don’t know me, I should let you know now that I believe life is way too short to never dye your hair! I have had many different hair colors and I just love being able to transform my look and change it up every now and then. So, of course, when I started seeing pastel hair color pop up all over my Instagram and Pinterest, I became obsessed! I think this trend is so fun, girly, and perfect for summer! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves...
                          Picture via Pinterest

Picture via Pinterest

        Picture via Pinterest

Picture via Pinterest
Seriously, how gorgeous are those hair colors!! If you’re thinking of trying out this trend, (like I am!) there’s a few things you should know. Having pastel colored hair is very hard to keep from fading! Simply because it’s so hard for the hair to grab ahold of the color and really get the pastel to lock in. I would suggest asking your stylist to go a shade darker or brighter than what you’re hoping for so when it fades after a shampoo or two, it’ll be the exact shade you had in mind! Which leads to my next recommendation of going to a salon and allowing a professional to work her magic on your hair. Especially if you are hoping to have the new color for a few months or so. If not, there are a ton of temporary options like hair chalk and Manic Panic (a temporary vegetable dye) that would be great for coloring your ends for a night out with girlfriends! I think this trend is best worn when the color has a lot of dimension and variation in the shades! Going an all over solid color can look very unnatural but giving the hair a highlighted,dimensional look will make you pastel hair look natural as ever! My last tip for those who are ready to jump on the band wagon is to take lots of pictures to your stylist and check out this guide before going to the salon! Also make sure you are incredibly clear when describing the shade and tones you want, while also talking about keeping the integrity of your hair! Lastly, be sure to send me a picture of your pastel hair afterwards!!

Picture via Pinterest
Becca Highlighter in Champagne Pop
The last thing I am obsessed with this week is my new Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop! This specific highlight shade is from the recent collaboration between Becca and Jaclyn Hill! Jaclyn is my absolute favorite Youtuber so I was over the moon when she announced this collab! Trust me, if you want to learn anything and everything about makeup, Jaclyn Hill is your girl. (I could go on and on about how much I love her, but let me tell you some more about this highlighter instead). In case you don’t know, a “highlighter” is basically a very shimmery pressed powder that is swept across the cheeks bones, bridge of the nose, and Cupid’s bow for a little “pop” of color on the face! The perfect highlighter will make it look like you have that natural, dewy glow that comes from being in the sun (but without the skin damage!).

 I have been obsessed with Becca highlighters for a few months now as their products are seriously top of the line! Though on the pricier side (slightly under $40), a Becca Highlighter is guaranteed to be smooth, creamy, and luminous. You also get a TON of product! I bought the shade Opal in March and it barely has a dent in though I have used it practically every day up until last week! This is another higher-end product that I put off buying and tried to find many dupes for. However, I’m so glad I finally took the plunge because nothing compares to the fabulousness of these highlighters and they are definitely worth every penny! The Becca Highlighters come in six different shades with a perfect color for every skin tone, My hands down favorite is Champagne Pop! Not only because I'm a huge Jaclyn fan, but because the peachy undertones are great for my olive-y complexion! Champagne pop also has a hint of pink that pairs fabulously with the Tarte blush I mentioned last week. I think a good highlighter is a must have for every girl’s makeup collection, so if you don’t have one, head over to Sephora and check out this amazing product! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!


 **All opinions are 100% my own. I was in no way, shape, or form compensated for this post. I just really love these things :)**