It Has Been An Awesome Four Months!

Happy 4 month anniversary to Give It A Whirl Girl! I started up this blog four months ago on June 6th. I was recovering from a hernia operation when a lightbulb went off in my mind! I had to fire it up and get the ball rolling on starting up a blog! My number one passion in life is cooking and baking. It was also my new year’s resolution to get a blog up and running. It took me half a year of planning to finally take my first step. I am so incredibly grateful for my husband, my daughter, and my mother for holding my hand along the way!

Give It A Whirl Girl making paleo dark chocolate fudge cupcakes

Give It A Whirl Girl making paleo dark chocolate fudge cupcakes

I was tremendously nervous to start this new venture. It takes a lot of strength to write and put yourself out there for the world to see! In the beginning, I would have a little anxiety attack before hitting that publish button. Fast forward to four months later and now I am incredibly eager to hit that publish button and share my foodie venture with the world! When I discover a new food or a new recipe that I fall in love with I want to spread the word.

I have learned a TON and taken in a lot of information in these past four months. Starting up a blog is a lot harder than one would think. There is a lot of knowledge that needs to be fed to your brain so you have a clue on what the heck you are doing! I still have a lot to learn. Learning about things like SEO makes me feel dumb. Blogging is so complex! I am determined and committed to learning and embracing all of this knowledge so that when my one-year anniversary arrives I can look back on all of this and see how far I have come.

Give It A Whirl Girl with a loaf of bread for paleo French toast

Give It A Whirl Girl with a loaf of bread for paleo French toast

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Why You Should Give It A Whirl TODAY

I was not always this way. I created a lot of routines in my life and my life was beginning to feel so mediocre. Today I live life for the experience of trying out new and different things. I would definitely slap the label of “foodie” right across my forehead. I am in a committed relationship with food. Trying out new foods injects a ton of happiness and joy into my life.

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What is a foodie?

A foodie is a person who is very passionate about food. It is more than just having a love for food. It is about the experience of savoring unique flavors and exploring what the world has to offer. Every single day new foods are hitting the market. On each of those days I am scouring the web and admiring them and wishing I could just get them down into my belly! A foodie has a strong, genuine interest in food and experiencing food is a hobby to them. There really are no requirements to being a foodie. There are several definitions of what it takes to be a foodie online but I feel that if you have that passion and desire about food then that is all that it takes to be a foodie.

Why is it important to try new things?

Trying out new foods is beneficial in so many ways. You approach food with an open mind, and they do say that variety is the spice of life! Doing so breaks you out of a rut. When I first began cooking I would make the same recipes over and over: spaghetti, chili, chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, chicken Parmesan, etc. I picked up some cookbooks for myself and explored different recipes and cuisines. I think my family was nervous at first when I began venturing into these new meals. We just did not know what to expect. You never really do know what to expect and that is the beauty of it!

Even my 8 year-old daughter, Chloe, is on-board with food exploration. She may be 8 but she is not a picky eater. I am so glad that she eats with an open mind. She comes along on our dining adventures and explores different cuisines with us. I was nothing like that when I was a child. I think it is really neat that she is brave when it comes to food.

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When you try out new foods you overcome a fear. We always pose the question of, “what if I do not like it” and “what if it is gross”. You really will not know unless you get adventurous and allow your taste buds to be the judge. When you hold back and deprive yourself you are only creating a roadblock. So cook that new recipe. Take your family out to dinner at a restaurant you have never stepped foot in. My family enjoys seeking out a new dining experience often. We are always down for the challenge of a new experience. We have discovered many interesting places to dine at when we have an open mind about it. If you do go to a restaurant that you are a regular of, don’t order the same cheeseburger you have ordered a bazillion times. Challenge yourself and say, “I’m going to try this today”. I have done this so many times and have very few regrets. It does not always agree with me but I often am glad that I took the plunge and had a new taste experience.

 

 

What’s for dinner tonight?

I use Kroger’s ClickList and I work on my shopping list all week. I use Pinterest for dinner inspiration. I created a board there and add interesting dinner recipes and snack/dessert recipes to my board whenever I come across something that I think my family would enjoy. I don’t often repeat recipes and seek out new ones to try each week. While I am adding items to my shopping cart I explore different brands.

Did you know that you can actually write to a company and inquire about free samples or coupons? That sort of lessens the fear of being bold and trying new things. If you can get a freebie or a discount coupon at least you are not out the full cost of the product. I have become a repeat customer of several different brands after requesting a sample or coupon from them. Every week when I am working on my shopping list I’m cruising around and tossing new foods into my cart.

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**samples and coupons I received in the mail**

So now it is question time!

What is the most adventurous food you have ever tried? 

I will answer first. I recently had the pleasure of trying pho at Minh Chau that had tripe (stomach lining) and tendon in it. It also had sliced beef, brisket, and meatballs in it. It was hands down one of the greatest soups I have ever had in my life!

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Let me know in the comments how adventurous you are. I am so curious to hear about your experience!

 


Showcasing a little bit of my cooking skills

I figured that showcasing my cooking skills would be another great way to introduce myself here and what I am most passionate about. This is a part of the day that I often look forward to. I really do get so much happiness and joy cooking for my little family of 3. In my kitchen it is a new adventure every single day. I am always seeking out new recipes to crank out so we can have a taste of some new concoctions here. As you may already know I love to try out new things, hence the name~ Give It A Whirl Girl!

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**photo of me with the new Circulon cookware my hubby bought me**

I have been cooking for a few years now but I really did not fall in love with it until last year when I began my weight loss journey. For awhile there pretty much anything passed as a meal… processed foods, loads of carbs, etc. I started falling into the trap of blaming my medication for weight gain. Until I changed my eating habits I realized I was dead wrong. I was the one to blame for my weight gain. I had been a skinny girl my whole life and when I plumped up I felt like I was in a foreign body of some sort. I realized I needed to make changes and amp up my recipes to pave the way for a healthier lifestyle.

As mentioned in my previous post I stated that I started out on a Mediterranean diet. It really did work and I saw results! I dropped quite a bit of weight but I will be honest that I got bored with the cuisine after while and needed something new.

I started looking into paleo (no grains, beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils, and refined sugar). What I was left with was meats, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. I was never strict with paleo and just tried my best to be as paleo-ish as possible.

I also ventured into the world of grain-free paleo baking and nice-cream. I love paleo desserts so much and they satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthier way every single time I whip them up. I am aware that they are not totally healthier… keyword is “healthier” for you! Life just isn’t worth living if you can’t have a tasty dessert every now and then. I live for the sweets!

Oooooh and let’s not forget Cheat Days! There are plenty of those around here when I just stuff my face with whatever my brain desires! I believe that life should be balanced. There is no way in hell I could ever be strict.

Hoping you will stick around to see what I am capable of. I am having a very productive day and filling up my Erin Condren planner with all sorts of ideas for future posts. I have so much to learn and I really want nothing more than for this blog to be a great resource and an exciting spot to visit. I look forward to engaging with my new readers. Thank you to all for being a part of my dream.


I am Kimmy Ripley “believe it or not”!

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Hello and welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog! I have been putting off doing this for quite awhile because it seems like a daunting task to get it started. I honestly have no idea how to start a blog BUT I am “giving it a whirl”!

I am Kimmy Ripley. I am currently 37 years old. I am happily married to Joe. We have been together happily since 1999. We have one daughter, Chloe Pearl, who is my dream girl. All my life I wanted a daughter named Chloe and now I have her in my life. Let me tell you… this girl is sweet as sugar. She makes everyday worth living and she brings me so much happiness even on the darkest days.  I am blessed to have my family of 3 and everyday is a new adventure for us!

A little bit about me…

I graduated from Wayne State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I wanted to be a photographer so bad. Once I got a taste of working in a studio it hit me over the head that it just was not for me. Photography is still a passion of mine but for the most part I have sadly dropped out of the art scene.

In 2009 my daughter was born and that is when my entire life changed! I got a new career and that was raising her as a stay at home mom. It is what has worked out for the best for our family.

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** My Pearl Girl!

Once she was born and started to eat solid foods I realized that something needed to change in my life. I needed to learn how to COOK! I used to think that throwing a jar of Ragu pasta sauce over a box of spaghetti noodles was cooking lol! When my daughter started eating those solids I wanted to do what was best for her and I prepared most of her foods for her myself. I rarely used any prepared baby or toddler foods. This is when my journey and passion for cooking began.

I started scouring the internet for tasty and nutritious recipes. I started checking labels on foods more to see if I wanted to feed those weird ingredients to my family. I became a lot more aware of what was healthy.

Last year I began my weight loss journey with a mostly Mediterranean diet. I introduced many interesting meals to my family and I was so pleased that they enjoyed them. In the end I started going more paleo with my diet. I am not strict paleo so I am just paleo-ish. I try my best to avoid processed foods and feed them more whole foods and organics. We still have plenty of cheat moments because hey… who doesn’t love an indulgent treat like a deep friend peanut butter and jelly?!?@!

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**Cherry smoothie bowl

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**Teriyaki chicken served in a pineapple with wild rice

The content of this blog will contain the following topics for now:

  1. My passion for cooking! I try to cook new recipes as often as I can. Sometimes I get brave and create my own dish without a recipe.
  2. My journey of trying out new foods and beverages. I am telling you that I live for trying out new products. Total foodie right over here. Food is completely on my mind all day long.
  3. My new adventure with coupons and sampling because who doesn’t love a great deal? Am I right?

I am sure that over time things will change with my blog as it experiences growth. I would also love to host giveaways on my blog because I enjoy them too! I have discovered a vast array of new products by entering giveaways. I end up being a fan for life and new customer to these brands that I get lucky enough to win from.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stumble on over to my first post that I was nervous to whip up and then hit publish on! Anyone want to hold my hand LOL! This is a big step in my life. My goal and resolution for the year was to start up this blog and try my best to keep up with it. Being a SAHM during the day while everyone is away gets lonely and I am hoping to connect with people along the way. Thank you again for stopping by. I really truly appreciate any new fans I acquire here!

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