more than a cupcake

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I posted this on my Instagram (@emvalerioti) a few weeks ago.  It was a huge moment for me, one that I am still proud of.  It also is so prominent because Melissa Hartwig, Whole30 headmistress herself, gave me positive affirmations on my food freedom story, and approved of my selection of cupcake with the “proper cupcake to frosting ratio.”  Love. Love.  Love.  I don’t have celeb crushes really, Robert Downey Jr. aside, but I do have some serious author/blogger crushes.  Melissa being one of them.  Keep reading to read my original post on Instagram, word for word and see a pic of when I met Melissa two months ago, eep! Continue reading

paleo carrot cake

paleo carrot cake | Journey for Jessi

Hey there!  Like carrot cake?  I hope that’s why you’re here, because I love carrot cake!  Want to know my new carrot cake secret??  Whelp, you better keep reading then.  I have to say, I am craving these now, but then again, I am craving everything and anything sweet… someone say sugar?  I just completed day four of a sugar detox.  It was much needed.  Trust me.  I may eat healthier than some people, but when it comes to dessert, seriously look out.  Continue reading

dark chocolate rum cupcakes

dark chocolate rum cupcakes | Journey for JessiI know I never did my Whole30 wrap up… it’s in the works y’all.  Actually that’s kind of a lie… It’s in my drafts folder, but not much progress has been made writing wise.  My apologies, but this recipe must be shared ASAP! *Note: these are NOT Whole30 approved ;)*  Alright, enough beating around the bush, I made these babies for my friend’s birthday.  Of course I made some healthy-ish improvements, but there’s also booze in them so… there’s that… and here’s the recipe! Continue reading

skinny mini pumpkin muffins

skinny mini pumpkin muffins || Journey for JessiI have recently moved and although packing has never been a favorite of mine, this move was much easier than expected.  The packing, the transporting, the carrying, the unpacking, all were not quite as gruesome as I recall.  Maybe it is because I am use to moving every year and I have learned to make things easier (maybe I’ll do a moving tips post later).  I am not quite settled in yet…well, that’s an understatement.  If I am gauging this off of the level of groceries in my pantry and refrigerator, then I am dogging it.  One of the things I have learned from moving is this: it is a pain to transport food (in my opinion)–having to keep it all cold/frozen, worrying about spills and glass breaking etc.  That is why this time, I hadn’t been grocery shopping the two weeks prior to moving–and confession…I still have yet to go.  Needless to say, my food intake has been all over the place and it’s killing me and my workouts, but it has given me plenty of opportunities to use what I have and get creative.  Exhibit A: Skinny Mini Pumpkin Muffins.   Continue reading

easter feels

easter feels || Journey for JessiEaster is beyond my favorite holiday.  The spring season, the meaning, the feeling it brings inside me–everything about it just cleanses me and gives me an ignited appreciation for life and all the little things it brings.  I love Easter with all my heart, and why wouldn’t I when this holiday reminds people of new life and rebirth and hope?  I must admit to feeling emotional on Easter.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but I usually tear up in Church.  This Easter I have even more “feels” in me.  One of my favorite Easters was a few years back to my freshman year when I was warmly invited to spend Easter with Jessi and her wonderful family. Continue reading

hearts, hearts and more hearts

hearts, hearts and more hearts || Journey for JessiI have been both single and in relationships for Valentine’s day, so I speak from experience when I say that Valentine’s Day is a very weird holiday on both parts.  V-day has always just be eh for me.  I don’t hate it, I am not its number one fan.  In my opinion, it is just a holiday in which everyone gets all stressed out and–more often times than not–just straight up sad on the 14th.  Please people.  Calm down.  If you have a significant other, just relax.  Spend the day together.  Do not build these huge expectations of grandeur.  My best Valentine’s day with my boyfriend at the time was a night spend at home making dinner together and watching Scrubs.  If you are single, oh my gosh!  Enjoy it!  Once I embraced being single (and happy) this Valentine’s Day, I am more in favor of this day of love than I used to be.

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eggnog cupcakes

finished productMerry Christmas Eve!  Just to let y’all know, this is my favorite holiday (in front of Easter and my birthday).  The excitement of Christmas approaching, family getting together, and all of the festive parties.  I never like going to a party empty handed, so when I was assigned to bring a dessert, my heart rejoiced!  I immediately thought of my favorite–eggnog. Continue reading