Should I?

Men don’t think twice about it. Short, tall, big, small, they take off their t-shirts + walk around the pool deck with no thoughts of how their bodies look. No one shames them for a little pudge around the middle or a crepey skin. Even more, most don’t think about it at all.

But for women, donning a bathing suit can be completely traumatizing. We over-analyze the cut + the look from every angle. Does it show me in the best light? Is it age appropriate? Too revealing, too matronly? Will it cover THOSE areas? Let’s not even mention the “C” word – (whispers cellulite). We can be our own worse enemies. Forget that we believe other women will body shame us. We shame our selves.

So when I say, “Should I?” It was really my mindset around posting this video. My husband, the videographer, thought it was beautiful. So did my Mother, who is a truth teller extraordinaire. I anguished – maybe too strong of a word, but Dolls get the point – over my image of myself; but decided that I wasn’t going to be ashamed of where I am in my life with my body.

So, yes I will post it. As I embrace another year around the sun this week, I am going to work to get out of my head + embrace my body. What I don’t like, I’ll work on. What I like, I’ll maintain. And, at the end of the day, isn’t beauty also about what’s on the inside and our health? Isn’t that what makes a healthy body image?

Here are some gems I found about healthy body images.

💡 Deconstruct what the media is presenting.

💡 Be realistic about your individual size.

💡Appreciate the wonderful person you are.

💡Speak up when you hear others body shaming.

💡 Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep.

💡 Surround yourself with positive people.

💡 Work on shutting down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right.

Here’s to loving the skin we are in! 🥂

Until then,

The Pretty Domestic

More Clean Eating – Cauliflower & Lentil Taco Wrap

We’re continuing our quest to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but I admit it’s some times challenging to find new recipes to try. I was recently introduced to Food Babe – if you are not familiar, check her out – and came across this recipe for a Cauliflower & Lentil Taco Wrap. Doesn’t sound appetizing? It’s beyond delicious! I made it yesterday and we’ve been snacking on it ever since. As a matter of fact, it replaced what we were planning for dinner. Let me know what you think. Bon Appetite!

Cauliflower and Lentil Taco Wrap


  • 1 cup sprouted lentils
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into small bite size florets
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup of your favorite tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado cut in slices
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. For the taco filling: Rinse the lentils and drain well.
  2. Combine the lentils and 3 cups water in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes (or 5 mins if you are using sprouted).
  4. Drain off excess water and set the lentils aside.
  5. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor or chop by hand with a knife until reduced to pieces the size of rice grains.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Add the cauliflower, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the cumin and cook for 4 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook until the cauliflower is tender, another 3 minutes.
  10. Add the cooked lentils to the cauliflower mixture. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes more to blend the flavors.
  11. Combine with chopped cilantro and place mixture over romaine leaves
  12. Top with fresh lime juice, avocado and/or sour cream.

Until Then,


The Pretty Domestic

Healthy Start, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Hey Dolls! Coming off of a Valentine’s weekend of decadent food and plenty of champagne, I need to recommit to eating healthy and exercise this week. I really fell of the wagon! I have my exercise routine mapped out, now what will I eat this week. I have never been a person who eats breakfast, but have come to believe that feeding your body with nourishment in the morning is great way to jumpstart your day. Then there is always the notion of having enough time, or making enough time to eat in morning. But as my Mom says, “you make time for what you want to make time for;” and she is correct. That said, I am going to make time to eat breakfast.

I am not a person who is going to cook in the morning, but we purchased a new blender, and I can definitely make a breakfast smoothie. I came across the recipes below and am going to try a couple. I hope to adopt the habit of drinking a breakfast smoothie daily; one because it’s good for me, and two because veggies and fruits provide the nourishment my mind and body need for me to be the best me everyday.


Image: Gloverstreet Market

Watermelon Mist Juice

  • 4 to 5 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup cucumber, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 3/5 cups fresh squeezed orange juice or store-bought
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh mint leaves optional
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar

Go Green Juice

  • 1 green apple diced
  • 4 celery ribs chopped
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1 piece of Ginger Root
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1 stalk of brocoli (stem and florets, optional)
  • Tbsp. Agave Nectar
  • Tsp. Flaxseed Powder
  • Tsp. Hempseed Powder

Cool Cucumber Pear Juice

  • 1 large pear or pear juice
  • 1/2 cup honeydew melon
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Mint
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar

Feeling a Little Tropical Smoothie

  • 1 cup chilled orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1/2 cup chopped bananas
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 2 tsp. Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

There you have it! I am going try incorporating a couple of these recipes into my breakfast routine over the next several weeks. Leave a comment and share any recipes you may have! Here’s to a healthy start, healthy mind, and healthy body!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic


Here at “Stonewood Manor,” one of our New Year’s Resolutions is to eat healthier, as a part of larger lifestyle changes. Since the beginning of the year, my husband has been the driver of several changes in our home in support of this goal ~ healthier shopping, eating and incorporating exercise into our weekly routines. He is on it!

Together, we have been finding and preparing new recipes that are free of fat and an abundance of other ingredients, and GMOs, that are not good for you. It’s been fun, the recipes good, and more importantly, better for us. The other night he shared a recipe with me for Roasted Shrimp and Garlic. It looked really good, so off to Fresh Market we went to shop for ingredients.

Hubby prepared the meal when we got home, and “ya’lllllll” it was “some kinda good,” as my Grandmother would say. He also made Basmati Rice to serve with it; but when we tasted the first bite it was so good, we forgot to put the rice on our plates.

So today I share with you, “RS’s Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli.” Bon Appetite!

Roasted Shrimp and Garlic

Image: Stonewood Manor Kitchen


  • 2 lbs. broccoli
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp hot chili powder
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined

Directions. Heat the oven to 425. On a large cookie sheet, toss together 2 pounds of broccoli cut up into florets (but not teensy tiny florets, I like a little stem attached), 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground), 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/8th tsp hot chili powder. Spread into a single layer and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss together one pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, with 2 Tbs olive oil, lemon zest from one lemon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (I just eyeball the salt and pepper) in a bowl. When the broccoli’s been in the oven 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the broccoli and toss (carefully.)

Roast another 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the broccoli is tender and golden around the edges. Enjoy!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Our Clean Eating Journey Continues

Hey Dolls! We’re two weeks into the New Year ~ 14 days exactly! How are you coming with your goals, resolutions, etc.? Pretty Domestic is still hanging in their with adopting healthier eating patterns; although dinner tonight with my hubby and mother-in-law was a minor setback. Nothing wrong with a little treat from time to time.

Our Nik is still on the case though and has brought us another clean eating recipe this week to support our journey. Bon Appetite!

Nicole Nichelson

Nik Says:

Hey there! One thing you will see in many of my recipes is that I love to “hide” veggies in almost everything I cook. I load up my burgers, stews, etc. with vegetables; so, my latest meatloaf creation is no different. It’s perfect for moms who have picky eaters and also for those of us who like to make sure we get more than enough vegetables on a daily basis. Here is a delicious, veggie loaded Turkey Meatloaf that I created last week for my family. You can also play around and make this mixture into a yummy burger. I hope you will try it.
Turkey Meatloaf
turkey meatloaf
  • 1 small package of ground turkey (most packages are about 1.2 lbs.)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. almond meal
  • 1 tbsp. Herb de Provence

Directions. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add onion and pepper, and after about 3-5 minutes add your garlic. Stir together and let the onions get barely translucent ~ about 2-3 more minutes. Add the zucchini and mushrooms, roasted pepper and tomato, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cook.

In a mixing bowl, add your ground turkey, egg white, almond meal, Herb de Provence and the cooked mixture. Mix well and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and shape into a rectangular shaped loaf. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. You will want to take the meatloaf right out of the oven once it is cooked through to keep it from drying out or losing its moisture. Serve hot with mashed potatoes or parsnips, for those of us who avoid potatoes.
Until Then,
~ L.
The Pretty Domestic

New Year, New You

Happy New Year Dolls!

Pretty Domestic was forced to take a much needed hiatus last week, but is back with a vengeance for the new year. The holidays are officially over and it’s time to commit ourselves to all of the resolutions, goals, etc. we made as the ball dropped going into January 1st.

Like many of you, I committed to adopting a healthier lifestyle. In my mind, “pretty” starts from the inside out, beginning with what we put in our bodies. That said, Pretty Domestic will be featuring a new, weekly clean eating recipe, provided by our own Nicole Nichelson, to help us along on this journey.

So, here’s to a new year and a new you! Let’s begin!

Nicole says:
This is one of my favorite clean dishes featuring “superfoods.” This version is vegetarian/vegan and is perfectly delicious just the way it is, but feel free to make it your own by adding ground chicken or turkey and chicken or turkey broth for added protein. You can also add more broth (about 5 ½ cups) to make it more of a soup, which would be vitamin packed and perfect for the winter months.

Sweet Potato, Kale and Garbanzo Beans

Sweet potato)_Kale_etc

Image: The Vegan8

  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ pound of Kale, finely chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo/chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Directions. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, add the onion and sauté for about 1 minute before adding the garlic, cook until translucent about 3-4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, sprinkle with cinnamon and stir to incorporate all ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the kale, beans, broth and season with salt and pepper. Cover to allow to “steam” for about 5-7 minutes. Stir, check for seasonings. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
*Note: Lemon takes away the bitterness of greens. It’s great when enjoying your greens raw (like in a smoothie or raw green salad), as well with cooked greens. It also adds a little extra vitamin C to the dish. And who doesn’t need that this time of year? Enjoy!
Until Then,
~ L.
The Pretty Domestic

A Break from Our Normal Programming …

This week I’m taking a break from our normal Champagne Sundays programming, to give you an update on this week’s Pretty Healthy Clean Eating post.

I so am excited to share that guest blogger, Nicole Nichelson’s, tips on clean eating really struck a chord with Pretty Domestic Dolls, as well as some of our gentlemen followers.(Thanks guys!) A few of you commented privately that you really loved the information shared, but how hard it sometimes is to make a lifestyle change; particularly when it comes to well entrenched eating habits.

For many us, this change involves taking an assessment of what is in our kitchen cabinets and seeing what’s available to jump start our journey. We may also need to make a trip to our local grocer to pick up a few items.

I found this shopping list to share with you that can provide some guidance as you venture out to begin your clean eating journey. I hope that you find it helpful! I think Nicole is also going to provide us with a few more recipes in upcoming weeks!

Clean Eating Shopping List

PS ~ Today’s Champagne Sunday’s cocktails was the Bloody Mary! Leave me a message if you want the recipe.

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Pretty Healthy … Clean Eating 101.

Almost everybody I know recognizes the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle. No matter the reason ~ weight loss, tone up, maintain, brighten the complexion, post-operative necessity, heck just to feel better. Whatever the reason, the experts will say begin by eating healthier.

Lately, much of what I’ve read or watched about healthy eating it is frequently accompanied by the term, “clean eating.” Is this another trend? I think not. But, what is clean eating?

A dear friend, Nicole Nichelson, owner of Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, a boutique custom event and stationery design firm that specializes in home entertaining, has recently turned her passion for cooking and entertaining into promoting a healthy lifestyle and preparing clean meals.

I recently sat down with Nicole and asked her to share her expertise around clean eating with Pretty Domestic.

Nicole Nichelson

PD: I know that your “day job” involves running a successful event planning business, Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, that said, how did you get involved in clean eating?

NN: For the past few years, I have been transitioning my event planning business of 10 years into a home entertaining/lifestyle venture. With this change, came opportunities where I found myself sharing and teaching tips that I have developed over the years to those interested in pulling off the perfect home party. While sharing those tips, people noticed my love of cooking, and I eventually started sharing my recipes for how I eat and cook for my family.

PD: What exactly is clean eating?

NN: The way I eat and cook is called “clean eating.” Many of you may have heard that term, but aren’t quite sure what it is. Well, clean eating is simply eating your food in its natural state. Eating REAL, WHOLE, NATURAL foods and avoiding our processed friends that are so convenient to grab, eat and feed to our families.

PD: What are the benefits of clean eating?

NN: This is what I’ll say. Eating and cooking clean is not necessarily dieting. It should be approached as a lifestyle that is sure to create a healthier you. I describe how I eat as if I have every disease on the planet, and I’m combating them holistically and eating natural foods. Call me weird but, I absolutely love learning about the benefits of various vegetables and how they combat illnesses.  So, while I may not be ill, I don’t want to be; so, I eat accordingly and flood my body with all things “good.”

PD: What tips would you give about shopping for clean eating menu items?

NN: If you feel that you want to take the leap into this lifestyle, I suggest reading and trying Dr. Oz’s 30 day Clean Detox. This plan asks you to avoid processed sugar, coffee, soda, alcohol (I know! I know!),  gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, corn oil, creamed vegetables, peanuts, soy, pork and beef for 30 days. I still do not eat much on this list but, I have added eggs and limited amounts of dairy, wheat, pork, beef, and yes, the occasional cocktail back into my diet.

When shopping clean and visiting my neighborhood Giant, I find that I now only shop down five sections of my grocery store – fresh produce, meats, seafood, rice (for my brown rice and grains and beans) and organics (for my gluten free pasta products). I still stick to the same formula, but will explore more sections when I frequent my beloved Trader Joe’s, Mom’s or Whole Foods.

PD: Can you share a “starter” recipe for us “clean eating” newbies?

NN: Here is one of my favorite, and easy, clean meals that you can try to jumpstart your journey:

Oven Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli


1 pound of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 pounds of fresh broccoli crowns, cut into pieces

¼ cup sweet red pepper, julienned

¼ cup yellow onion, halved and sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, low to moderate sprinkling

Freshly ground pepper, liberal sprinkling

Trader Joe’s 21 Spice salute, moderate to liberal sprinkling

Directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl being sure they are coated with the olive oil and seasonings. Arrange on a large cooking sheet and place in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it, and once your shrimp becomes pink and opaque pull your tray out of the oven.  You do not want to overcook your shrimp where they will be chewy and tough. Serve hot over a bed of fresh spinach or a fist size portion of brown rice.

Portion control tip: Many of us don’t know how much we should actually eat. Follow these tips when practicing proper portion size while working to maintain a healthy body weight. Your protein should be the size of your palm, your starches should be the size of your fist, and your veggies can be at least the size of 2 fists. You should eat at least 5-6 small meals (3 main w/protein, veggies, etc. and 2-3 snacks) a day to insure you have the proper caloric and nutritional intake to your body.

I hope you find this information helpful and will strive for a healthier you!

PD: Thanks Nicole! Hopefully, I’ll be able to convince you to share some more clean eating recipes with Pretty Domestic in the future.

More Clean Eating Tips:

Eat five to six times a day. Three meals and two to three small snacks.

Drink at least two liters of water a day. Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic

Get label savvy. Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients.

Avoid processed and refined foods. This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta.

Know thy enemies. Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.

Shop with a conscience. Consume humanely raised and local meats.

Choose organic whenever possible. If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.

Consume healthy fats. Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day.

Learn about portion sizes. Work towards eating within them.

Reduce your carbon footprint. Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.

Slow down and savor. Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!

Take it to go. Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go.

Make it a family affair. Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones

Source: Clean Eating Magazine

About Nicole: Nicole Nichelson is the owner of Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, a boutique custom event and stationery design firm that specializes in home entertaining. Her passion for cooking and entertaining has helped her make an easy transition into promoting her healthy lifestyle of preparing clean meals. She now assists and prepares clean meals for many of her friends and family members. Nicole is a native Baltimorean, who is a graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Morgan State University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and resides in Owings Mills, Maryland with her husband, Kai and their beautiful daughter, Devin

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic