Rebekah Wheeler – Dream Chaser

A look into my life as a wife and mom and my journey to the best me!

2017 – the blog — January 1, 2017

2017 – the blog

Mini Sessions - Wheeler051.jpg

Perfectly imperfect. This picture captures our family perfectly. We laugh, we fight, we have fun days, we have bad days. We argue over clothing choices and brushing teeth. We laugh about funny things Camden does or says. We are not perfect, but we love.

To start this new year, I want to introduce myself. I grew up in a small town in the panhandle of Texas, went to college at Oklahoma State University, and moved to Edmond, Oklahoma where I met my husband. We have been married 8 1/2 years and have two beautiful boys. Our oldest is 6 and our little guy is 3. I have a passion for fitness and health. I love real-life fashion and everything that sparkles. I work full-time in oil and gas and teach Pure Barre part-time.

 

This blog is full of recipes, experiences, stories and my life. It’s not fancy, but it’s my heart on a screen. I have always loved writing and have a journalism degree.

One of my goals for this year is to publish at least one blog per week. So stay tuned, readers. 52 (or more!) blogs are coming at you!

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Give Thanks. — November 22, 2016

Give Thanks.

Thanksgiving Week is here! It’s my favorite time of year. We are in the heart of football season, the food is delicious, the clothes are cozy and so fun.

Since going towards a more ‘paleo’ approach to food several years ago, I have finally gotten to the point where my ‘clean eating’ dishes are things that are requested and the ones I look forward to eating!

This is my third year of preparing gluten-free and dairy-free dishes. My favorite side dishes include: Spicy Sweet Potatoes (see previous blog post for recipe), roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and dried cranberries, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted green beans with almonds. This year, I’m adding a new favorite! Let’s call it ‘Fall In A Bowl.’

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with foil.

Mix together 3 cups of cubed butternut squash, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Spread in a single layer on the cookie sheet.

Mix together 2 bags (3-4 cups) of shaved Brussels sprouts (I get these from Trader Joe’s) with 1 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste) and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Spread in a single layer on the cookie sheet.

Roast both sheets in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring midway through the roasting.

-Key, let those sprouts get nice and charred!!! –

In a large bowl, combine roasted veggies with 1 cup dried cranberries and 2 cups of toasted pumpkin seeds. You could use pecans or other nuts here, but since we have a nut allergy in the house, I went with the pumpkin seeds. Also optional to add more maple syrup, but we found this to be perfectly sweet enough.

Serve warm.

 

Punta Cana Vacaciones Part 1 — July 30, 2016

Punta Cana Vacaciones Part 1

Dustin and I have been on exactly three vacations in our eight year marriage. Our honeymoons – a Carribean cruise, a trip to Colorado with my family, and a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Technically, we have also been to Vegas, but I was competing at Mrs. America and saw him for about 12 hours during the week so I don’t count that. 


All this to say, we were beyond excited to travel to the Dominican Republic for five whole days of enjoying each other, the beach, and the quiet! 

We flew United – all-in-all an easy and comfortable experience. One thing I would suggest is to pre-book transportation from the airport to your resort. We took a taxi and it was fine, but a tiny bit nerve wracking that we were getting scammed or something! We stayed at the Chic Punta Cana resort, a small all-inclusive resort. It was absolutely gorgeous and like nothing I have ever seen! The decor is very modern and upscale and everything is open and outdoor. We also were upgraded to the Diamond Club which gave us access to a private beach, private pool, hydrotherapy, private breakfast and a private lunch at the Sushi/ceviche restaurant! The Diamond Club is entirely worth it if you are booking a stay at Chic! It includes got a private butler and a pool-side room with a beach view. 


Once we were checked in, we grabbed some water (Punta Cana is HOT!) and headed to the ocean. Guys, the ocean and beach in Punta Cana is just beyond words. White sandy beaches are clean and the water varies from dark blue to green to turquoise. Our private beach had covered cabanas with pillows or standard beach lounge chairs with shades. 

We spent almost all our time either at the beach or the Mermaid Pool. We had the beach and the pool to ourselves for almost the entire time and it was just heaven! It felt like we had the resort completely to ourselves. Private ocean-side tables for all meals and top of the line service. 

I wasn’t going to let my commitment to fitness slide while on vacation and the gym at Chic was well-equipped! Dustin and I ran on Tuesday morning and I streamed an Insanity Max 30 workout from my phone on Wednesday. Thursday was yoga at sunrise on the beach with weights afterward and Friday, I did a lower body workout with a little cardio. It was a nice change to do my workouts outdoors with the palm trees and lush greenery all around, but I have never gotten quite so sweaty! 


One of the coolest things I did was the full hydrotherapy experience at the spa. The treatment started with the steam room followed by the sauna. Once I had completed the first two, I was led back to the hydrotherapy pools – a jacuzzi, an ice cold pool, the hydrotherapy pool and four ‘showers’ with different health benefits! My attendant brought me hot tea and left me to enjoy the looks for an hour. Um, an HOUR with no talking or my phone?!? I left this hour with legs feeling like jello. I am so high-energy and a little high-strung so this level of relaxation was like nothing I had ever experienced. Ever.

I took Dustin back with my the next day, but I didn’t do the full treatment. I didn’t want to be sleepy all day!! 


One night, our butler sent us chocolate covered strawberries which was a sweet treat even if we couldn’t eat them (we are both dairy-free). More on what we ate all week in a future post!


Overall, the trip was just perfection and I would highly recommend our resort. We spoke with several couples at the airport and on our flight home who stayed at larger resorts and they weren’t as impressed. If individual attention, total peace and relaxation, delicious food, wonderful spa and gym, and gorgeous modern decor is for you – Chic Punta Cana is for you! 


Future posts on ‘what I wore’ and ‘what we ate’ will follow soon!

Adulting is hard. — July 13, 2016

Adulting is hard.

I don’t mean to be graphic here, but adulting is hard. Paying bills, jobs, keeping up with a house (especially while on the market), cooking, plus parenting(for some) – it’s all hard.

My littles have been insane for the past few weeks. Like the kind of kids you see in tv shows and movies – fighting each other with plastic light sabers, wrestling with each other, saying ‘no’ to everything, making nap and bedtime complete nightmares and being all-around difficult. 

All this. It’s hard.


But thankfully, I haven’t stopped filling my cup. Filling it with God’s word, lots of prayer, long talks with my husband, MAKING time to be the best me. And crazy as it seems, I am managing! 

Other than taking time to work out and destress, my favorite ways to have a little ‘me time’ are listening to podcasts or taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower. Curling my hair and wearing a cute outfit also helps! I know it seems crazy, but try it! 

We also take family trips to Starbucks for ‘pink drinks’ or to the snow cone stand for a break. Adults, don’t forget to take time for yourself! Adulting is hard. But we can do it!

One Direction — June 27, 2016

One Direction

Over the last few months, I have been actively praying and pondering about the direction to take this blog. And I think the answer has been there along….just keep on going!

My passion for positive self-image, fitness, healthy recipes, nutrition, fashion, parenting mishaps? They haven’t gone away just because the beautiful crown and sash are now tucked away.

God gave me a story to share. I am confident that my purpose in life is bigger than myself and bigger than I can even imagine. 

I have some bold dreams. Some big goals. And it starts here – with this blog! It’s time to push myself and to encourage you to do the same!

Anti-Valentine’s Day — February 2, 2016

Anti-Valentine’s Day

February is one of my favorite months. It’s the beginning of the end of winter. It’s when I begin settling in to the new year. It’s the month we dedicate to celebrating love.

I haven’t always felt this way.

In high school, I celebrated Anti-Valentine’s Day with some friends. We dressed in all black and rebelled against the oh-so-paltry high school romances in our small town. I read a book as a 13 year old girl about not wasting time dating a boy that you couldn’t see yourself marrying. And in my incredible foresight, I realized my future Mr. Right was not a member of our student body. So these sweet friends and I took a stand against the single bud vase rose deliveries and the human sized stuffed teddy bears. We said no to faux diamond necklaces and no to boxes of chocolates.

Now that I am a happily married woman, I love Valentine’s Day. The way we celebrate is different than most traditional couples. In our seven years of marriage, I have only gotten flowers on Valentine’s Day once. But each year, I come home on a random Tuesday to flowers on the table. I enjoy a delicious meal cooked by my husband on a Saturday evening. I get to spend an afternoon with my girlfriends while my husband takes the littles to the park. He fills up my car with gas so I don’t have to. Mr. Oklahoma shows me love every single day of the year.

Single ladies, pray for your future husband. Pray he is the man that will go pick up almond milk ice cream when you desperately want it. Pray he is the man who prays for and with your children. Pray he is the man who sacrifices daily for you. And pray that God makes you the perfect compliment and partner for that future man. 

A man who sweeps you away for a weekend trip to Napa but won’t help you change your flat tire? No, thanks! The guy who drives the fancy car and wears the right clothes but doesn’t call you for five days? No, thanks. 

I adore the daily showers of affection and the little texts reminding me how beautiful he think I am! And the date nights and vacations are just icing on the gluten-free red velvet cupcake. 

Marriage is hard and wonderful and frustrating and bliss. It’s so worth waiting for! 

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies — October 26, 2015

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the most unhealthy recipe I have ever blogged. Don’t be fooled by the ‘gluten-free’ and ‘dairy-free’ – these cookies are not calorie-free or sugar-free!!

 BUT, they are delicious and amazing and maybe will change your life. Maybe.

Here are the steps:

Get some palm shortening – don’t use butter and don’t use any fake butter. Get this shortening. Here is what it looks like:

 

I love it because  these are the ingredients. So perfect for a mom with a dairy allergy and a kid with a nut allergy!

 
Also, get this flour.  

 

I love this flour and it is perfect for gluten-free baked goods!

Now, we are ready to BAKE!

Cream together 1 cup of shortening with 3/4 cups brown sugar and 3/4 cups white sugar. 

Add 2 eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

Now, add 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. 

Next – add 2 1/4 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour. Add the flour slowly. I do mine by 3/4 cups at a time. 

Once everything is all mixed well, add in 1/2 bag (or more) of these Enjoy Life chocolate chips.   

Mix with a spoon until combined. 

Drop by small spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Here is the key – take these out before they are completely done! You want them crispy on the edges and gooey in the middle. 

Remove from baking sheet and place cookies in cooling rack. Also a key step! 

  
My oldest son claimed these are the best cookies he has ever had in his life. 

And my little family of 4 ate the entire batch in one day. Whoops 🙂

Happy baking, friends!