strength is the new beautiful

wit wisdom & food

OUCH! Last week hurt. My ego hasn’t taken a beating like that in years.

I have worked hard over the last few years to become the person talking to you now. I had to learn to be positive when negative was easier. I had to learn to open up and be vulnerable when I prefer privacy over small talk. I had to overcome anxiety so I could keep moving forward and not stay in a place of fear.  I am extremely proud of what I have learned.

Last week when someone told me I wasn’t good enough it crushed me. It was like a bad break up. The one where everyone knows its over but you aren’t the first one to speak up so you get blind-sighted. I went through 3 long days of grieving. I probably should have donned a black armband to go with my gloomy mood.

Then I realized something.  This has nothing to do with my value. I may not be what they are looking for but it doesn’t mean I don’t have value. I have a lot to offer.

*Warning: It looks like this is going to be one of those cliché life moments that is a blessing in disguise. Cue the sappy music.*

I have such a clearer picture of what I want to do now. I spent the weekend diving into my talents. No more focusing on my weaknesses unless they get in the way of using my strengths to the fullest potential. The rest of this year is going to be all about the things I am good at. Celebrating my strengths and making them even stronger.

I am good at:

  • seeing others strengths and encouraging them to use them
  • learning new information and mastering new techniques
  • brainstorming and creating new solutions to problems

All of this is going to come together in some great tools you are going to be able to use to improve your own strengths. I am very excited to get started.

What talent do you have that always impresses other people but you think of as second nature?  What are you good at?



apple bacon potato salad

When the big announcement came on Thursday that potatoes are on the approved foods list I didn’t waste any time coming up with a potato salad. My apple bacon potato salad is a great option for all you whole 30/paleo eaters this summer.

potato salad

I love potato salads! I was very excited to make one and I kept saying it to Tom and his enthusiasm just didn’t seem to be matching mine. I didn’t find out until after I had almost finished the salad that he isn’t a big fan of potato salad. uh-oh! He is a good sport so I knew he would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised when, while I was taking pictures of the food, I heard him say how good the potato salad tasted. It was declared to be the best potato salad ever!

It is good I will give you that but best ever might be reaching a little. I created this with things I had in the house. Apple, jalapeño, bacon and green onion. I like the crunch apple added. Celery in potato salad bothers me because it has too much crunch. The apple had a very Goldilocks crunch; not too much, not too little, just right!

Do you love potato salad? What are your favorite ingredients? 

apple bacon potato salad


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Potatoes
  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 medium granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook potatoes until barely tender approximately 10 minutes for baby potatoes
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing, cook the bacon and toast the walnuts.
  3. For the dressing:
  4. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Whisk in thyme and lemon zest.
  5. For the potatoes:
  6. After the potatoes cool enough to touch cut them into quarters. Gently fold in the apple, bacon, green onion, jalapeño and walnuts.
  7. Whisk dressing to make sure all ingredients are combined. Fold in dressing until potatoes are dressed to your liking. You may not use all the dressing.
  8. You can serve the potato salad warm or at room temperature.
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whet your whistle wednesday: capsule wardrobe

I am by no means a fashion blogger. That said I like to get dressed up and feel good. I don’t shop a lot because I tend to buy things I like and wear them over and over. I am my mother’s daughter.

I haven’t purchased clothes in a while and since I have lost inches, not weight, from my new eating habits very few of my clothes fit properly. Add in that we are moving to the midwest in the fall I am going to need to add to my closet.

Enter the capsule wardrobe

This was a new term for me just a few weeks ago. After a little research it sounds like a good option. It is often referred to as a minimalist approach to a wardrobe. I prefer the term essentials wardrobe.

Pictures in this issue link directly to the online store so you can purchase them for you collection

Project 333 has a great jumping off point to start your capsule wardrobe. It walks you through the steps. I was very happy to hear her say she does hers in 3 month capsules.

I have been lusting after these shoes for months. The are an investment but they would be an essential for all 4 seasons.

I have been lusting after these shoes for months. The are an investment but they would be an essential for all 4 seasons.

One of the things I learned in this research is the amount of pieces is really up to you. But keep in mind we are trying to just go with essentials. Over at Unfancy it was 37. My favorite tip for this was that you shouldn’t shop until 2 weeks before the next season. Combine these posts and you have a great foundation to start your own capsule wardrobe.

Want to see the concept in action check out Kendi Everyday. Years ago she start taking only 30 items and challenged herself to make them last 30 days.

Playful button-down shirts are my favorite! I don't need another but a great example of a staple that can be dressed up or down with a variety of bottoms.

Playful button-down shirts are my favorite! I don’t need another but a great example of a staple that can be dressed up or down with a variety of bottoms.

Tim Gunn is one of my favorites. His book Tim Gunn’s guide to style is a book I devoured. It is also why I want to call this my essentials wardrobe. Here is a little video where Tim describes his essentials.

Don't get all neutrals! Add some of your favorite seasonal colors. I already have this in green and purple so pink will be good addition.

Don’t get all neutrals! Add some of your favorite seasonal colors. I already have this in green and purple so pink will be good addition for the spring season.

Just because it is about essentials doesn’t mean it has to be boring. It just has to mix and match. Plus you must love the items because you will be with them for 3 months. Don’t forget accessories count!

pearls real or fake go with every outfit!

pearls real or fake go with every outfit!

Do you think you will start pairing down your closet and trying an essentials wardrobe?

For those of you that are new whet your whistle wednesday is a themed link post I do on Wednesdays. That Wednesday part was shocking I know. These are all topics I am excited about and I hope these posts will whet your palette and inspire you to find out more.