Thursday, January 12, 2017


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I started this blog last year when my husband was working out of state. I was left with our toddler alone in a big empty house for 2 months with no car. I desperately needed an outlet. Blogging has always been a dream of mine but it took that moment in my life to finally take the plunge. Although it's still a lifestyle blog it has evolved. I expected my main focus to be on mommy/family posts but instead it has lead me to being passionate about things I never was before like beauty and fashion trends; things I always have known or aspired to but never fully took pride in. 

Now as a stay at home mom, childcare provider and aspiring Etsy shop owner, I find myself writing more on topics that keep me feeling like a woman and make me happy rather then just being a mom. Please don't get me wrong, being a mom is the best thing in this life but as I've said from the moment I found out I was pregnant- I just want to be a good example to my daughter . What kind of mother would I be if I don't learn to take care of myself and show Maggie how to do that. 

So as before this blog will evolve but I'm proud of what I'm doing with it. This year I plan to do some new things with The Allyn Life, add to it and get adventurous or better yet, brave with my topics. I want to try new things and instead of saying "new me" I want to say "new possibilities". This life is truly what you create it to be and I plan on making 2017 awesome! 

Thank you, as always, for sticking with my rants fumbles and sometimes tortuous postings. And thank you for sticking with me this past year! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


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My whole life I've been very in tune with my body. Knowing exactly when something is off and generally can figure out why by simply talking it out with my husband and mom. However there has been a few things that have been left unexplained over the years. With my recent diagnosis I find myself wondering if those unexplained ailments were a result of my new autoimmune disease. 

In August 2016 I was diagnosed with having Hashimoto's thyroiditis an autoimmune disease causing hypothyroidism. Not only am I playing the "I wonder" game but I'm also going "hey- so that explains that!". Prior to being diagnosed, a couple years back I was "recommended to go vegan" which did have me feeling better. Almost 6 months later a new doctor told me that the previous doctor was nuts so I reintroduced meat products and not long after started to not feel as good but I didn't think anything of it. Then I began having bruising and hair loss and exhaustion and memory loss that made me honestly think I have cancer. I enternalized only telling my family after I had seen the first doctor and prepared for a diagnosis that would change my life and it did but this was not what I was expecting. Likely the doctor that recommended I go vegan was preparing me then for this diagnosis but was skeptical to suggest it. Whatever the reasoning I find myself thankful and upset. Thankful she helped me but upset that I could have been helped sooner. 

Just 4 months in and it's still an adjustment and learning process. Being diagnosed with something that is going to completely change your life can be overwhelming but the promise of feeling even 20% better then before is enough. Attributing a lot of what I deal with on a daily basis doesn't come naturally I still find myself trying to come up with other reasons I feel the way I do.

Recently I have been going through pure exhaustion and it's completely unexplained. I get plenty of sleep (and even little because they say too much sleep can make you more tired). But lately every single day I can hardly keep my eyes open and function. Just a couple weeks ago I was able to do things all day long and work during nap time but now I'm finding myself so tired I crawl into bed at nap time myself and I don't just close my eyes to rest I'm falling asleep hard. I was telling my friend Andrea what was going on and how i don't know why I'm so tired when she said... "Um, hello! Maybe it's your hashimotos!". Her and my mother both encouraged me to get in touch with my doctor. 

Point is, I hadn't even considered that my exhaustion was caused by my thyroid issue. But it makes perfect sense. I have a friend who had thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed. She goes through periods of exhaustion and then needs a medication change or dosage change. 

I have gotten pains in all parts of my body but a common spot is in my hips where my bones just ache. If you've ever broken a bone and go through bone aches from cold weather- it's a lot like that but this happens even when it's hot out. A fellow lucky winner of autoimmune disease life goes through something similar in her legs and ankles and what helps sometimes- a bean bag blanket. I have a smaller more flexible version in my freezer for headaches but this kind is firm and big and adds weight to the bone. It's on my wish list to make or get one because it really does help! It doesn't take it away completely but certainly helps me to deal with the pain. Sounds so silly how a heavy bean blanket could help my bones but whatever works. 

There are a number of other symptoms and many things I'm just discovering are because of my hashis. I'm still learning and figuring it out even 3 1/2 months from my diagnosis and it's taking an overwhelming toll on me but I have a great support system of family and friends and that is half the battle. 

I'll write more on the topic as I learn more and throughout my journey which includes going gluten and dairy free and balancing weight loss with my thyroid problem. 

Until then- happy hashis! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Me...New Possibilities!

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7 Goals for 2017

1. Read more. I am making a goal of reading a minimum of 17 books this year. I love to read and really want to work on disconnecting from electronics and reading.
2. Put away laundry. Does anyone else have a problem with doing your laundry, folding it but then leaving it in the basket? Because that's my life and that stops HERE.
3. Making my bed. I'm not terrible at this but its a goal I would like to continue to strive for. I need to be more consistent with it.
4. Keep the bedside tables clutter free. We are getting new bedside tables this year so this will be much easier then since right now we only have whicker baskets that we store bedside items on top of and that gets cluttered fast if we aren't careful.
5. Keep the kitchen counters clean. I started this about 6 months ago and then the holidays happened. I really want to make the effort of keeping our kitchen orderly and cleaned up from just the every day stuff.
6. I'm naturally a homebody so I really want to spend the next year working on just getting outside more often. The sunshine and fresh air are so important for your health and skin and overall mood that I need to work on getting outside.
7. Disconnecting from social media. Its hard to disconnect completely as a blogger and social media is kind of my job but I want to work on setting up a family charging station, plugging our phones and tablets in at the end of the day and not having it with me at night so I can completely disconnect. I have read that winding down with Facebook before bed actually makes your REM cycle less effective. Setting a put away time is something I want to strife for. 

I don't like resolutions but goal setting is something that has always worked for me. And although I would love to say this next year I'm going to lose all the weight and get super toned and travel and make lots of money- that's not realistic. I want to make goals that are attainable. Those other things are definitely the goal but things I will work on my whole life not just this year.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Eat Pie

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I don't remember the year it all began but for the better half of my life my father always said I made the best pumpkin pies. I was so proud of them because he loved them so much. Each year I would strive to make them even greater. Just as the year before, he would say how "goooooood" they were. I basically made two pies; one for him and one for everyone else.

Food was always the way to my father's heart so to make him this happy was the best feeling in the world and at this time of year I think of that wonderful memory often. Baking pumpkin pies every year has become my thing, so much so I nearly took my husband's head off when he told my in laws we'd stop and get pumpkin pies at Costco this year- he's been with me long enough he should never have uttered those curse words.

And I know I probably make an okay pumpkin pie, it may not be to everyone's standards and if you follow the recipe on the can of pumpkin I'm sure you'll make something just as good but for as long as I live I will hold claim to the best pumpkin pies because it was to my daddy.

Monday, November 7, 2016

AIP/Whole 30 Friendly Thanksgiving

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I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that effects my thyroid. After my doctor's recommendations, I began the AIP (Autoimmune protocol) and shortly after that switched to whole30 (its slightly less strict). I followed whole 30 for 6 weeks before completely going rogue Halloween weekend with minor cheats (yes, I paid for it). So as Thanksgiving approaches, I've decided I cant afford to go off program for the special occasion.

At first thought of traditional Thanksgiving meals, you'd look and think you wouldn't have to change much but after further looking into it you discover the meal is gluten, sugar and dairy packed which are huge no-nos in AIP and Whole 30. But I've come up with some alterations that will have you feeling just as stuffed as any Thanksgiving before.

Here I'm showing you a small chicken because this was just my test meal before the holiday but you can certainly have either from the poultry family (chicken or turkey) but sans butter, opt for olive oil instead. Growing up my mother always stuffed the turkey cavity with stuffing but for this AIP friendly meal I opted for onion, lemon, rosemary, carrots and celery.  

As a common side, most have a version of potatoes such as scalloped (Mmm...cheese!) or mashed potatoes. I went with roasting red potatoes in the same roasting pan as my chicken, coating them in olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I also added celery, carrots, onion and lemon around the bird too. On top of that I added sage and thyme. I found a package of Sage, Thyme and Rosemary labeled as a 'Poultry Herb' pack at my local grocery store so you really can't go wrong with those fresh herbs to add to your dish.

This is really a one pan meal but you can also add green beans or Brussel sprouts sautéed with bacon, a nice garden salad tossed with a homemade vinaigrette and/or a mashed sweet potato; without the brown sugar, go for a vegan butter like smart balance and almond milk to make it creamy.

When I began this journey with my hashimotos and feeling so defeated and overwhelmed, my husband taught me to not dwell on what I can't have but to focus on what I can. You don't need to be concerned or fretting over your meal and diet when what is most important about this holiday is getting together with people you are thankful to have in your life. The ones that support you and love you, even from afar. The ones in your life that have molded and shaped who you are and the ones you can count on. Its a time of thanksgiving for everything and everyone you have, its not about the food...  so don't make it about that, enjoy what you can and are allowed to have on this day and make it about the thankfulness in your heart.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Feast Mode

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Thanksgiving is always a tricky holiday to plan outfits for. You want to dress cute and stylish because its a holiday, you're seeing family and friends you may not spend a lot of time with and there certainly will be pictures. But then you also want to dress comfortable because well, unbuttoning your trousers isn't necessarily appropriate and defeats the cute aspect of things... besides, do you really want that look documented in pictures? I think, not. There was once a relative (or two) in my family that wore outrageous prints because if she spilled anything or dropped anything on herself while eating, it wasn't as noticeable so you could always go that route. If you're looking for something more with the current fashion trends, below is a lovely option and although it seems early to be planning your holiday outfit, now's a good time to make those purchases while things are on sale!

This year, my family is spending Thanksgiving with my in laws. It is sure to be snowing where they are at so I am readily preparing for warm clothing (but cute and comfy too).

These black high waisted jeggings are perfect for a day of stuffing and you can score them for only $18 here.

I am obsessed with this cardi-coat from Old Navy. I pretty much feel like I'm wearing a blanket. It's normally $54.94 but it's on sale for $38- get one here.

Here you can layer a long sleeve shirt under the cardi-coat for extra warmth or opt for a plain t-shirt, bonus- this one is super soft!
For a slightly monochromatic look add a pair of black booties for style and comfort like the Almond Toe Ankle Booties at Charlotte Russe, here.

Don't forget to gobble till you wobble!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

GUEST POST: Staci Castle- Fitness Rules!

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 "People let me tell you 'bout my beeeeeest friend!" This is Staci Castle, she's one of my very best friends and one of the people that I look to most for fitness advice. So of course when I was contemplating a guest post about fitness, she is who I thought of. She's incredibly talented and the sweetest person you'll ever meet. Hope you take away something from her article and then go give her a follow on all the social things because you don't want to miss what she puts out there into the world!

We’ve all seen those cheesy motivational quote memes about weight loss. The ones that say things like “strive for progress, not perfection,” and “make yourself stronger than your excuses.” While those are all very inspirational, and true, the fact of the matter is that the road to a goal body is a rocky one, and unfortunately no pictures with catchy phrases are going to make it any smoother. I know that seems negative, but stay with me, it’ll get better.
I started my weight loss journey about a year and a half ago. I’ve always eaten decently healthy, I gave up fast food completely in 2010, and I’d dabbled here and there in the gym for years. Things changed, however, when I got into modeling. I started modeling by accident. I set out to take some pictures with a photographer that I thought made amazing art, just because I wanted to be part of that artwork myself. I thought it would be fun, crazy to see myself transformed, and I’d have something cool to post to my facebook to show my friends.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I’d actually LOVE modeling the way I do, or that it would have taken off in the way that it has. I started doing tons of shoots, rather quickly. The more I saw myself on camera, the more I wanted to eat right and work out harder. It’s taken lots of trial and error on my part, but I’ve learned over these last couple of years, that there are rules to reaching goals in fitness. Maybe knowing these rules before you get started will make your journey a little bit easier. Here are my top three:
Rule one: BE POSITIVE!!! This is the most important rule, and I still struggle with it daily. We are a generation that wants instant gratification. We want to see results like.. Yesterday. “I ate a salad last night for dinner, why do I not have abs this morning?!” As much as I wish that were the way it works, it’s not. No matter which way you’re going, [weight loss or weight gain] or what your goals are, changes to your body are going to take TIME. Quite a bit of it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be your dream body. Stressing about not seeing results as quickly as you’d like is only going to slow down the process. So relax. Take things day by day, trust the process, and look at how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go. I know, I know… Some of my friends are rolling their eyes so hard in their head right now, they can see their brains, because they know this is my number one downfall when it comes to health and fitness. I stress SO easily, and I’m the most impatient person on the face of the planet. Positivity takes practice. My advice/what I’m doing for myself every day: Wake up in the morning and let the first thought you have be a positive one to start out the day. Mine, most days, is simply something like “I’m going to hit all my macro targets today!” Or “I’m gonna kick butt in the gym tonight!” It may not be much, but it’s a start. And it’s way better than “Ugh, waking up sucks!” …Even when it does.

Rule two: DON’T COMPARE! Another tough one. We all do it. If you don’t think you do, don’t worry… The world will do it for you, especially if you’re on social media. YOU are the ONLY YOU that there’s ever going to be. You’re unique and extraordinary, just the way you are, no matter what size. You should only be trying to alter your body in any way because YOU want to, and not for ANY other reason. When I first started modeling, I needed to learn. I had no idea what I was doing. So I started following a ton of models, photographers, and makeup artists on social media. When I started getting into fitness, I started following a bunch of fitness models on social media. Social media is amazing, when it’s used correctly. It can get us in contact with people we’d never be able to talk to otherwise, it can help us learn and grow our business, it can help us make friends, and it opens up a ton of doors. It also doesn’t tell the truth. Not the whole truth, anyways, and that can unfortunately be detrimental to the way you feel about yourself, and your progress. When you post a picture on social media, you want it to be your best. You try to put your best foot forward, and show the world the person you are in the most positive light. Most people do, anyway. You don’t see the bad days. You never see the struggles, the bloated, “fat days,” the “what the heck is my hair doing?!” days, the “I just ate a whole cake” days. So, when you’re comparing yourself to these people online that look so perfect, and wondering where you’re going wrong, you’re only unnecessarily driving yourself crazy. These people you’re comparing yourself to have struggles just like you. They are human and make mistakes, just like we all do. Some days they break down, some days they skip the gym. You have to remind yourself that social media is only showing a very teeny, tiny glimpse into their life. And even then, it’s easy to smile for a picture, even if you’re not really feeling all that happy on the inside.


My biggest problem was body comparison. I wanted my body to look just like so-and-so fitness model’s body. What I wasn’t taking into consideration was that so-and-so fitness model works out FOR A LIVING. Instead of going to sit at a desk job 40+ hours a week like I do, she was in the gym instead. It’s her JOB to look the way she does. The average person just doesn’t have time for all that. We can go our HARDEST in the gym for the hour or two we have after work, but it’s just simply not going to compare to the hours and hours they have every day. There’s also the fact that people are different sizes. That fact is something that’s so obvious when we look around the room full of people we’re in, yet it seems to skip our mind when we’re looking at someone’s picture on social media, wondering why we’re not as fit as they are. If you’re a 6’4” person with a big frame, dreaming of being the 5’3” fitness model with the tiny waist, it’s just not realistic. You have to play the cards you were dealt, and love the body you were given. SO STOP COMPARING

Rule three: Remember that every BODY is different. This is still along the lines of comparisons, so it may be more of a rule two, part two. But I feel like it’s important enough to get its own number. I’ll admit it, I lurk pretty hard on social media sometimes. When I was first starting, and researching ‘macros’ online (if you don’t know what macros are, that’s a story for another day), I wanted to make sure I was setting my numbers accurately and doing things right. I found a fitness model who was the same age and height as me, with a similar build, and I tried to base my numbers off of hers. I figured we were so similar, it had to be right, right? SO wrong. This girl and I could be actual twins, and our numbers/goals would most likely still be different. Everyone’s body reacts to food and exercise differently. There are factors in everyone’s life that make our bodies do different things, and process everything in different ways. Someone, like this fitness model who’s working out WAY more than me, is going to need WAY more food to fuel her body than I do when I’m sitting at my desk all day, writing this article. Making your own goals, setting your own numbers to hit (both for your goal weight and your target daily macros, if you’re counting macros) is very important. You can’t copy anyone else’s plan exactly, and expect it to work for you in the way that it’s working for them. Sure, there are guidelines you can follow, and apps that will calculate things for you. But it’s all about finding what works for you and your body. Remember, this is the only body you get. This process is all about YOU. It’s okay to be a little selfish.

Okay, so that’s only a few of the MANY things I’ve learned along my journey so far, but I feel like they’re some of the most important. If you hadn’t noticed, nothing I’ve mentioned has to do with any change in your actual diet or workout plans. The main thing you need to get in line, when starting your fitness journey, is your mind! Negative thoughts, stress, and not sleeping because you’re up, worried about things, all play a huge factor into the progress you make. When we’re negative, and stressed out, our bodies react in negative ways. If you’re trying to gain weight, you can stress out so badly that you don’t feel hungry, and forget to eat. If you’re trying to lose weight, stress makes our bodies pump out excessive amounts of the hormone Cortisol, which reduces our ability to burn fat. Simply put, it’s highly important for us to CHILL OUT. So, even though we all know those cheesy meme sayings aren’t going to jump off the screen and actually help us on the journey to our goals, they definitely do hold some value and get you thinking. Read a few, and get your mind in a positive, motivated state.  With that said, I’m going to end this with one of my favorite quotes, as seen on said cheesy, inspirational meme: “Reaching your goal body is a mind game. Change your mind, change your body.”

Staci Castle 

Find me on all the social things! :)
Main Instagram: @StaciDeana
Fit Foodie Instagram: @TheBombNoms
Twitter: @StaciCastle
SnapChat: StaciCastle3

Snail Mail:
Staci Castle
PO Box 292987
Sacramento, Ca. 95828