Sam Michelle Designs

If you’re like me and enjoy shopping for unique, affordable, costume jewelry, then you have to check out one of my new favorites – Sam Michelle Designs. Sam Michelle Designs is an online etsy store, but you can find her on Facebook and instagram as well.

I absolutely LOVE these black leather earrings by Sam Michelle Designs. They’re lightweight, look great with something casual or dressy, and they’re affordable. Sam Michelle Designs has a wide variety of styles and designs too. You can even personalize your earrings! How cool is that?

They arrived in a super cute envelope, beautifully wrapped and presented. GREAT gift for a friend, sibling, aunt or niece. 

Thank you Sam Michelle Designs for these gorgeous earrings!

Please visit her website at or check her out on Instagram @sammichelledesigns

Use my DISCOUNT CODE ZBQ15OFF for a 15% discount on your purchase.


*Earrings sponsored by Sam Michelle Designs. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Thoughts on ‘The Wheat Belly’ Book

I found “The Wheat Belly” book at Barnes & Noble about 2 weeks ago and haven’t been able to put it down since. I have heard so many positive reviews on this book from a number of people who have celiac, crohn’s, IBS, and a number of other chronic illnesses to do with inflammation of the gut, that I had to read it myself.

This book is an eye opener and life changer, truly. As a fitness pro, I know a little about health and nutrition, but I didn’t realize just how horrible wheat is for the body. We constantly hear that whole grains are good, and to eat wheat for good digestion… Um… No and never again, no thank you! I have been struggling for years with gut issues, but thought that wheat was ‘healthy’ and so it became one of the staples in my diet, so long as it was always about 45 calories per slice (bread). Not anymore – my diet has drastically changed.

For the past 2 weeks, I have avoided eating anything with wheat in it, although I did have a couple slices of thin crust pizza about a week ago at a family outing, and regretted it immediately afterwards… The stomach pain was unbearable and I ended up taking something natural to settle my tummy.

After being extra careful with what I put in my mouth and checking every label, I am happy to report that I am down 1 dress size as of today. The bloat is disappearing and I know it’s going to be a long journey, but it’s one that I am very excited about. Reading this book has brought about a lifestyle change and is helping me with other gastrointestinal issues that have been bothering me for years.

*Wheat Alternatives to Watch Out For: Flour, bulgur, semolina, spelt, frumento, durum/duram, kamut, graham, einkorn, farina, couscous, seitan, matzoh, matzah, matzo, and cake flour. These are often marketed as being a wheat alternative, but none are gluten-free.

Here’s a great video from Dr William Davis
The Wheat Belly Guide to Grain Free Baking

Here’s a snippet from an interview with Dr William Davis on why wheat is harmful in it’s current form.

“I learned just how bad wheat was when I asked patients in my cardiac practice to remove it from their diet. I did this because 80% of people I’d meet for the first time were diabetic or pre-diabetic, situations that double or triple heart disease risk. In an effort to minimize this situation, I applied a very simple fact: Two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of sugar, higher than a Snickers bar. (Most people are unaware that the glycemic index of whole wheat bread is among the highest of all foods.)

I asked everyone to remove wheat to observe the blood sugar effects. People would come back after a 3-6 months and, indeed, their blood sugars and HbA1c (a measure of prior 60 days blood sugar) would be much lower, even to the point at which some diabetics were no longer diabetic. But people told me plenty more: They lost 30 pounds, lost 4 inches from their waist, felt better than they had in 20 years with more energy, less moodiness and deeper sleep. They told me how they experienced complete relief from acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, hand and finger arthritis and joint pain, sinus congestion and chronic sinus infections. They told me about how their asthma improved so much that they threw away three inhalers, their rheumatoid arthritis was so much better they were in the process of reducing medication, their ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s had improved so much that no medication was required any longer, their leg edema had disappeared and rashes were gone.

At first, I dismissed it as pure coincidence. But the effects became so frequent and consistent that the conclusion became unavoidable: Wheat was the underlying cause for an incredible array of health problems and weight gain, and that eliminating was key to astounding health.

And note that this was not gluten avoidance for the gluten-sensitive; this was wheat avoidance for everybody, as it was a rare person who didn’t experience at least some measurable improvement in health, if not outright transformation. I now recommend complete wheat avoidance for all my patients, as well as anyone else interested in regaining control over health and weight.

Wheat is a weak opiate. Eat wheat, you want more wheat, you want more carbohydrates. The gliadin of wheat is converted to exorphins, morphine-like compounds that can be blocked with opiate-blocking drugs.

Even worse, we’re advised by our own government agencies like the USDA and Health and Human Services that whole grains are good for us and we should eat more. Eat more “healthy whole grains,” we eat more, we gain weight, we acquire all the health consequences of wheat and weight gain such as hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, acid reflux, and diabetes. Big Food makes out, Big Pharma makes out; we all pay the price.

The epidemic of diabetes and obesity has been blamed on us. We’re told that Americans are overweight and diabetic because we are gluttons and we’re lazy. I don’t buy it. I believe the majority of Americans are fairly health-conscious and try to get at least some exercise. I do not believe we are that different from, say, the people of 1950 or 1960. I think we’ve been duped into blaming ourselves, when all along a big part of the blame should be placed on this corrupt product of genetics research, propagated by agribusiness, and put to profitable use.”



What is Your Valentine’s Love Language?

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and while gifts are nice, do they speak to your partner’s love language?

My hubby and I did a course called “The Five Love Languages”. We learned that what makes one person feel loved will not necessarily make another person feel the same way. We all express love toward others in the way we want to receive love. When our partner doesn’t respond positively to our expression of love, we get annoyed, disappointed, and frustrated. The problem is not how sincere we are; the problem is that we are not speaking our partner’s love language.

Do you know what your significant other’s love language is? You can take the Love Language Test here.

Here’s a brief overview on the five love languages through my eyes.

Words of Affirmation
These are things we all need to hear. Compliment your partner on the way they look, a character trait, or something they’ve done for you. Use words like “I truly appreciate you doing xyz for me” or “You know, I really love xyz about you” or “You look lovely/handsome today”. Your compliments need to be unsolicited.

Receiving Gifts
There is nothing more generous than receiving a little something that says, “I was thinking about you.” You don’t need to be extravagant with your gift, let it be simple but thoughtful. Think about what your partner always looks at while shopping, or talks about, or enjoys as a hobby.

Acts of Service
We all enjoy it when our partner pulls alongside us to help out with a chore or project. Things like helping with dishes, taking the trash out, cooking, cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, changing diapers, wiping snotty noses and bathing little ones, are all acts of service. We’ve heard for decades that “Actions speak louder than words” and guess what? They truly do, when you’re with someone who lists acts of service as their primary love language.

Quality Time
Give your spouse undivided attention – don’t make them feel second best. Giving undivided attention is not watching a tv show or movie together. It means doing things together that require you both to look at one another while talking. Go for a walk and talk, go out to dinner and put that phone away – look your partner in the eye and have a conversation without interruption. Hearing your partner say “We don’t ever spend time together” is your partner telling you that you don’t give them enough undivided attention. It’s not about just living together and residing in the same home, it’s all about focusing on one another and conversing minus the distractions of the world.

Physical Touch
Physical touch has many meanings, but in the Five Love Languages course, it’s all about holding hands, kissing, embracing, being intimate, putting an arm around a shoulder or cuddling while watching a movie or tv show.

Each and every one of us has a primary love language – one that speaks most to us emotionally. It’s almost like a spoken language, a language we relied on more than any other, a language we understand the best. The same can be said of our love language. The problem that arises in most relationships, is that naturally, we speak our own love language vs our partner’s love language. We tend to assume that what makes us feel loved is what makes our partner feel loved, and this is incorrect. In the course “The Five Love Languages”, we learned that in order to be effective in keeping your partner’s emotional love alive, you have to know and learn to speak the love language of your partner.

What are some gifts that speak to your love language? I’d love to hear, so please comment below.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Her

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to holidays and gift giving, I always seem to struggle to find that ‘perfect gift’. Well, Christmas is gone and Valentine’s Day is creeping up quickly… I’ve been scratching my head, thinking about what I could possibly give my spouse or even ask for. If your husband or partner is like mine, they like a list on Amazon or somewhere easily accessible, to help them with ideas.

I decided to shop local in Sacramento, CA and gathered a few gift ideas for my readers, to make things just a little easier for you. I think you’ll appreciate some of the products below. No, this gift guide isn’t filled with hearts and roses, but there’s definitely something for everyone on your list.

Keep scrolling for 10 ways to spoil the love of your life this Valentine’s Day!

1. Jason Keyser of JK’s Rustic Woodwork, has a Rustic Heart Valentines Day event coming up in February. See the event details here.

2. Cassidy’s Crazy Cans in Sacramento offers some unusual handmade glass trays that can be seen here. She has a sale on Saturday Feb 10th from 11am-3pm.

3. Check out these beautiful handmade trays from Devine Gifts. You can find her on Facebook at Devine Gifts.

4. I love these super cute earrings from Twee Her jewelry is affordable and unique. Keri makes colorful, nature inspired jewelry that helps quirky girls show off their inner whimsy. 

5. I am super excited about Jens Custom work. She makes custom name rings, necklaces, bracelets and keychains out of strips of metal. Check out her page here

6. In need of some custom made Valentine cookies? Tausha has an in home custom cookie business. She makes cookies baked to order and can create custom cookie cutters and stencils. Find her on Facebook here

7. How about an adorable custom rose bouquet with a combo of real and dollar roses. Check out Congratulei

8. I love the steampunk look here from Penz Jewelz

9. Candles Soy Delicious offers custom poured candles. Make dinner by candlelight extra special with a custom candle.

10. Looking for something decorative perhaps? Check out Joy Bushey on Pinterest Do you have any cute ideas to add to this list? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!