Coffee and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

There is nothing that speaks wonders in my life more than ice-cream, espresso, and chocolate on a hot summer day in the South… or “winter” day in the South.


Since beginning Paleo, I try to refrain from frozen delicacies like gelato and ice-cream. Key word: “try”.

I’m human and the struggle is real, people.


So, I’ve spent these past few sunny days on a mission to find an ice-cream supplement that would suffice my cravings without letting go of my pursuit of clean eating.

After a few tries, I found one that I’m pretty ecstatic about.

Ladies and Gents, I introduce to you Paleo Coffee & Chocolate Chip Ice Cream!


Coffee Art at it’s finest.

This recipe is Paleo and Vegan Friendly. In other words, it’s free of dairy, eggs, and refined sugar.

One of the best parts of this ice-cream is you can have it ANY time of day. Breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert. Monday mornings will officially have a whole new meaning.


Serves 6 Scoops

Time: 15 Minutes


~ 2 large ripe, frozen bananas

(break the bananas into pieces and freeze in a Ziploc bag for at least 8 hours)

~ 2 tbsp of Almond Milk

~ 2 tbsp Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee

~ 1 1/2 tbsp of Enjoy Life’s mini chocolate chips (frozen)

~ 3 sliced strawberries for toppings (optional)


~ Insert bananas evenly in the food processor

~ Evenly pour almond milk

~ Blend for 5-10 seconds.

(Check it every couple of seconds. You don’t want over-blend where it becomes liquified)

~ Scrape edges off edges.

~ Add in 1 tbsp of mini chocolate chips

~ Blend for 3-5 seconds

~ Scoop in a bowl and add the strawberries and the extra chocolate chips

~ Put the bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes

~ Inhale


How I Lost 130 Lbs in 18 Months

Once upon a time I stepped on the scale with much fret and uncertainty, and found the dreadful high number of 260 lbs scream out at me.

Talk about hard reality check!!! It occurred to me that I needed to change my life in terms of health although I was not sure what this life style change would all encompass.


Bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding in 2009

I am often asked the question how I lost weight, and I think secretly people hope that I tell them about a “magic” pill I took or that I worked out 30 minutes a day and binged afterwards (I know I hoped for the same when I used to ask others who lost weight prior to me losing mine).

The reality of losing weight weighs on three elements: eating, exercise and mindset. Initially, those words are equivalent to nails scratching a chalkboard, I know. But before you stop reading now…. a healthy lifestyle is attainable for anyone!


Under Grad Class trip in 2007

At the very beginning of my journey, I  wrote down 5 things I knew I needed to implement in my lifestyle to help me attain good health. I’d like to share them with you in hopes of it benefiting you as it did me. Feel free to take on these methods and individualize them to make them your own.

1. Believe in yourself. Our minds are an absolutely powerful tool that determine whether or not we will accomplish our goal(s). If we do not believe in ourselves then our goals are impossible to conquer. Often times, we are limited or unlimited by our thoughts, fears, and worries which can, in essence, consume us. The mind must change before the body can ever transform.

Ways I implemented #1: It’s was a daily routine of “self-talk”, internalizing the positivity others spoke to me, and my personal devotional time that helped me to really believe in myself throughout my weight-loss journey.

2. Cut out at least 3 of your favorite go-to foods or habits. Yes, three. You may cut out 10 things if you’d like, however, most people feel overwhelmed (including myself) with many commitments/goals at one time so it’s easier to focus on a few and be persistent in those. Whatever those habits or foods are you know you need to cut – CUT them out. They are in the way of your good health, therefore, they aren’t worth the time of day!

Ways I implemented #2: I cut out my daily venti white chocolate mocha. I also learned how to say “no” when I was invited out to eat. Lastly, I did not eat past 6pm (my absolutely hardest habit to let go of). Of course, your barriers may be different. Maybe yours is fast food or sodas, or chocolate cake, or…. yes, it is what you are thinking about right now.


Our wedding in 2013.

3. Have a consistent workout schedule. Consistency is key! Yes, this is challenging. We all have busy lives and excuses as to why we can’t workout. You have to make a decision – give up before you start or do the workout. Sure, you may feel silly or intimidated at first using gym equipment, but Keep.Going.Every.Workout.Counts.

Ways I implemented #3: I went to the gym 9-10:30pm Monday-Friday consistently. When I moved away for grad school in the last portion of my weight-loss journey,  I bought a workout video for toning and would take the triplets (I was a nanny) running for cardio. 

4. Drink your water!!! H2O is so important as it: improves skin complexion, keeps you hydrated, reduces hunger, and last but not least, flushes out toxins which in result helps one to lose weight! Start off with drinking 1 liter of water per day throughout the day. After about a week or two, up your intake to 2 liters.

Ways I implemented #4: I drank TONS of water daily!


Space Needle in 2014

5. Have a “comfort” meal (an unhealthy meal of your choice). My absolute favorite part of the week! Comfort meals are necessary, especially when you have had a long week of workouts and healthy meals. It’s nice to look forward to that one meal each week where you can eat your favorite foods with no guilt attached. When you know there is a comfort meal in the near future, you are more likely to wait for it rather than cave in and binge. So go ahead… indulge and delight in it.

Ways I implemented #5: Every Sunday after church, I would go with family and friends to a local Mexican restaurant. I would indulge in chips and homemade salsa as an appetizer and get a large beef and chicken, extra cheese quesadilla. Don’t judge.

Although I have added other elements in my journey of good health, the five methods above were always my foundation in my journey. It’s been about 3 years now since I hit my weight loss goal, and it’s a daily decision make my health a priority.  There are good days and bad days as we all can relate, but good health is attainable and worth the process.

As always, thanks for reading.

Caffeinated Love,


Sewell’s Lookout Coffee House in Vancouver, BC

Have you ever been to a coffee shop with a backyard consisting of an organic view of water, mountains, and bright blue skies with fluffy clouds?

I haven’t… until we found Sewell’s Lookout Coffee House across the street from the ferry entrance that would soon take us to Victoria Island from Vancouver City.


  After doing the tourist thing in downtown, this was a perfect spot to relax and enjoy this God-made view with my organic zen tea.


Here is my handsome mister with his latte.



 As I sat out on the patio with the view of this bright blue sky and melted snow on the mountains before me, I began to reflect on God’s love for me. It’s easy to be occupied with life’s daily responsibilities and personal setbacks thus finding ourselves forgetful of God’s boundless love and grace for each of us. Things as simple as blooming flowers and blue skies are created for our pleasure, and are one of the many ways God show us how much He loves us. When we look deep down into our insecurities and weaknesses, it is difficult to see how God cares for us. Be assured, His love for us is not based on the “scoreboard” we often have for ourselves. His love is timeless which means that He has seen our past, present, and future; nonetheless, His love for us never waivers. This reminder has given me a new perspective of His perfect love for me.



Here we are inside soaking in some reading and blogging, as well as the absolutely breathtaking panorama.


      Some pros and cons of Sewell’s Coffee House:


There was nothing extraordinary about their caffeine selection. It would have been nice to see original drinks or coffee art because, well, I am just a sucker for originality and coffee art.


First off, the view was gorgeous. I think we can all agree to that.

Great location across from the ferry entrance.

Prices are a little cheaper than Starbucks.

Overall, I enjoyed this spot. Definitely a calm and relaxing environment which was perfect as we waited for the ferry.

Caffeinated Love,


Blueberry Chocolate Lover Smoothie


 Blueberries and chocolate are my new obsessions!

I can have these lovely, Paleo eats any time of day, and all day if I could.

Whereas, medjool dates are a new fruit in my life. I’ve heard about them and seen them at the store, but it wasn’t until recently that I researched them.

What I learned about medjool dates:They are a type of tree fruit from the Middle East and South Africa. They have been described to have a caramel and honey like taste, and have a high amount of fruit sugar. Not only are they wonderful to suffice a sweet tooth craving, but you can do so without guilt. Why? They have nutritional value as they are a good source of fiber and contain minerals like potassium and magnesium.

The facts about this foreign tree fruit had me at caramel and honey like taste. I was convinced to try this new fruit out and combine it with my blueberry and chocolate addiction. What better way to make this happen then in a smoothie? After a little tweaking here and there I struck Paleo smoothie goldmine.


The texture is blueberry smoothness with a good dose of chocolatey goodness and a hint of cinnamon. The dates are a great edition as they add a little more sweetness and flavor. I had it for lunch today – no complaints here. One cannot go wrong here with blueberries and chocolate….and my new recipe addition: medjool dates (I’m now a sucker for them).


– two small bananas

– 2/3 almond milk

– 1 cup of frozen blueberries

– 1 chopped up a medjool date, without the seed of course

– 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp of enjoy life’s chocolate chips

– splash of vanilla

– dash of cinnamon

– 1/2 cup of ice


– Cut the bananas in pieces and throw in blender

– Add in the almond milk and frozen blueberries

– Blend until smooth

– Add in medjool date, chocolate chips, vanilla and cinnamon

– Blend until smooth

– Add ice

– Blend until smooth

Side note: It could just be me, but there is a much smoother consistency when I blend in between adding ingredients. You are more than welcome to add in all ingredients at once and blend.

Thanks for reading and Happy Friday!

Caffeinated Love,



Cafe Medina in Vancouver, BC Canada

There is something to say about waking up at 4AM to my mister rummaging through his luggage for his IPhone to check the time. That something is no bueno.

What was he doing up that early? Well, he did not realize the sun rises at very early hours in the North and thought it was later than it really was. Unfortunately for him, he wakes up with the rising of the sun. Fortunately for me, I can roll over and find myself in utopia.

Yup, this was our first morning waking up in a different country. Vancouver, British Columbia to be specific.

Fast forward a couple of hours, I woke up from a sensational sleep sesh and immediately checked my handy-dandy-Yelp-app for the best breakfast and coffees in town. Side note: I Heart Yelp! I found Cafe Medina sitting on 4 stars, read a few reviews, and lastly but most importantly, looked at the pics and knew this was a place our taste-buds would relish in.

So we hopped in a cab and were dropped off in the front of this very modern, crisp joint.

The first thing we saw at the entrance of this place was…


Oh how accurate this sign is. Since Cafe Medina and I have the same belief system in regards to caffeine, then naturally, I felt a kindred bond and was excited for this new caffeinated journey with my mister.

The host walked us to the back of the restaurant which had a more intimate but similar modernistic environmental setting. I immediately looked at the caffeine options on the menu, and realized I was craving one of each. It finally came down to the dark chocolate mocha or a white chocolate pistachio mocha.

…and I chose a dark chocolate mocha with almond milk with coffee art (of course).


It had a creamy, rich dark chocolate taste with the balance of almond milk and mocha coffee beans. This cup was full of sweetness and richness – just the way I like it.


Then to the breakfast… After  deeply studying the menu for what to stuff my face with, I came to the decision I would order two waffles with white chocolate pistachio rose water as a topping.


As you can tell, I halfway ingested my mocha when my delightful Belgium waffles came. The coffee alone was filling, but I was not about to forfeit devouring these delicious waffles. As I was admiring taste of my waffles, the last of my order came: a free range egg and Canadian bacon. Bring it on!


Eye Candy, right?! These waffles were hot and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The drizzle of  white chocolate pistachio rose water was sweet and savory. I would have never thought to combine those ingredients, much less over waffles as a drizzle, but it sure was a party in my mouth. The bacon was thick, glazed, and garnished with cilantro and onions.  I could not finish or else my husband would have had to roll me out, and that’s never a good idea. So I regained my self-control and sat on the fence before crossing over that fine line between being full and being gluttonous.


Here is my mister enjoying his Libanels plate which is two boiled eggs, cucumber tomato salad, baba ganoush, tabouleh, and fried pita bread. He was overly satisfied with his meal, and his only regret after leaving was that he did not get his own mocha.

So I gathered a few pros and cons for Cafe Medina.


1. Unlike the other yelpers, there was no wait for us. We walked right in. We did have our luggage with us since we were traveling to another island that evening, but it seemed to be no problem. They had us place our luggage in a spot which appeared to be designated for it near the area we were seated.

2. The food and coffee was hot, artistically presented, and exceeded my expectations in terms of taste.

3. Classy, modernistic environment with highly exceptional customer service.

4. Near downtown. We walked a couple of streets down and we were in the midst of tourists and little shops.


1. It is a bit on the pricey side, but you definitely get what you pay for.

2. I wish I could have gone back for lunch to try their Paella in their brunch menu….one day….


Caffeinated Love,


A NOTE FROM MY MISTER: The trip to this small cafe was beyond exquisite! I loved the ambiance. Beyond that, the food was divine. I always eat baba ganoush in Greek restaurants – because it makes me feel better about myself than when I eat the fried pita bread. But, it is normally a food that I would not, let’s say, crave and have to beam through traffic to obtain before the afternoon closing of a restaurant. Nonetheless, even the baba ganoush in this little shop was delightful. But most memorable was the mocha my wife selected- wow! I personally enjoy americanos with no cream or sugar, just good ol’ fashion espresso with a hint of water to smooth it out. However, when I took a taste of my sweet wife’s sweet mocha, I was instantly converted into a coffee with chocolate lover. All in all, it was a great experience, and being able to share it with a woman as wonderful as the founder of caffeinated journey made it all the more memorable and exciting. ~Aaron

Top 7 Lessons I Learned Year 1 of Marriage


So, my mister and I just celebrated our ONE year anniversary. Yay!!! We spent our anniversary weekend in Florida. We had an amazing time browsing at the local farmer’s market, admiring the beach, and climbing up a 200 step lighthouse only to find the most gorgeous view of Florida once we reached the top. It was definitely a perfect getaway for us.

Lately, I’ve been asked by others how my first year of marriage was, and it was this question that stimulated some reflection on all aspects of my marriage. I’ve gained perspective regarding my weaknesses, as well as my strengths, and have definitely grown in the process. Although I’m sure we all would add more to this list, I’ve  concluded 7 elements to living a fulfilling first year of marriage:

1. Go on Dates – Although I am not writing this list in order of importance, dates are SO important and should be number #1, especially in your first year of marriage. Dates are a time to turn off electronics and be in a non-stress environment to simply reconnect and enjoy one another. My mister and I go on Saturday morning coffee dates to talk about life. This is a very chill, fun date and has become a tradition which we prioritize. Some dates consist of being at home making dinner together or indulging in a Netflix marathon. The point is to be with one another and connect without the daily distractions.


2. Don’t Argue to Win – Ok, one of my quirks is always wanting to be right and for my mister to know it. Can you relate? In the same vein, I became painfully aware that I tend to want to argue to win even though I am not naturally an argumentative person. My husband and I have had to learn to check our intentions as to why we are arguing and to determine the end goal. Is it to prove I’m right and “win”? Do we not feel heard? Do we want to find a common understanding? “Winning” an argument at the cost of your spouse feeling unheard and defeated is a high price to pay for the overall health of a marriage.

3. Flirt – I don’t know why this is, but it’s easy for the flirting to fade away as life happens. The upside to this is that it doesn’t have to be so. It takes a little more effort once marriage happens (especially when the shock of added laundry, dishes, and food prep hits home), BUT being flirtatious is essential, and of course, fun. Make it a part of the day whether it be through sweet texts from work or a gently sweep of the hand while on the road together. Either way, flirting will definitely spice up the marriage! So spice away…


4. Speak life into your marriage. In Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) it says “The tongue has the power of life and death”. Our words carry weight – so much so they have a way of either hurting or encouraging those who hear them, especially in marriage. We all can relate to wanting to live a positive life. One way to accomplish this is to speak positively about our marriage. One thing I take personal is when couples speak negatively about one another or their children in pubic. No, our marriages aren’t perfect, but it’s never a good idea to speak down about it to our spouses or to others. Find the good and speak about it, especially during the difficult times. You will find in doing so will make a world of difference for both you and your spouse.

5. Magnify your spouse’s qualities. Ladies, I’m sure you can relate to this – I love, LOVE to make my husband beam. One way I found to make my mister stand a little taller is when I lavish him with compliments and thank you’s. I tell him things like “I am so happy for you passing your thesis with an A – you are so smart,” or “you are so wise for handling that situation the way you did,” and “I admire your passion for learning new languages.” I also thank him for the small things like going to work each day, putting gas in the car and throwing out the trash. Focus on all his qualities (small and large). It’s easy to focus on all the little aggravating things, but when you look at your spouse for who (s)he is, you can find multiple marvelous qualities to magnify.

6. Forgive. Being married is a great experience, but as amazing as our first year of marriage was, there were still moments of arguments, and in this, there were hurtful words or actions exchanged. Been there? We sure have. There are one of two decisions we always had to make in the aftermath of hurting each another: forgive or not forgive. As we all know, forgiveness is always the better option, but easier said than done. I learned that I truly had to forgive him and move forward, and if not, the consequences of unforgiveness would be much greater in that it would affect all aspects of our relationship. Think about it. Unforgiveness is a high price to pay compared to the outcomes of forgiving each other and moving forward, together.

7. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. This word is legendary and dynamic when I speak to people in my office regarding marital relationships. I have found it to be important to the growth of my marriage when I communicate to him when I am hurting, angry as well as when I am happy….or hungry :). I found when we communicate our feelings regarding topics and actively listen to one another, we tend to have less disagreements or misunderstandings, and of course, our needs may be more readily met at the same time. This takes practice, but the payoff is surely worth the effort.

Overall, our first year of marriage has been a journey with ups, downs, unexpected turns, along with learning how to grow deeper in love with one another.  I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything though. It’s our imperfectly perfect journey called marriage.

What are some things you have learned in your marriage?

Caffeinated Love,



“THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop. They will be waiting for you when you START DOING THINGS YOU LOVE. Stop over analyzing, LIFE IS SIMPLE. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. TRAVEL OFTEN; getting lost will help you find some of yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. LIFE IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MEET AND THE THINGS YOU CREATE WITH THEM SO GO OUT AND START CREATING. LIFE is SHORT. Live and Dream and Share YOUR PASSION.”

– no idea but it’s worth quoting


“Let’s travel the world together.” – My Mister

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

“Life is short. BUY THE SHOES.” – I saw this on Pinterest and my life was forever changed

“Good things come to those who sweat.” – Pinterest


Cafe Medina located in Vancouver BC

“A healthy marriage is fueled by healthy communication.” – Marriage 365

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Childs

7 Quotes I Live By