Life, Mom

Mother’s Day

I think about my Mom a lot, but as Mother’s Day approaches she is constantly on my mind. I wrote a blog post about her a few years ago and the amazing woman that she was. And being freshly married has made me think about her even more. How much I wish she was here to see all of my accomplishments and the women that I’ve grown into.

She’s visited my dreams a few times in the past weeks, but it’s always the same – she’s just there….watching. She never speaks. I like to think that sometimes she sends me messages in her own way, like us seeing a sea turtle on the morning we got married in Hawaii or the good juju that we had throughout our trip.

I think about how much she would love to see Ryan (my brother) as a father and how much Ryder is just like him. I think about how much she would have loved to see how our whole family has grown and how much she would have wanted to be there for her own Mom. I think about those last few months with my Grandma and taking care of her and how that’s what my Mom would have done.

She would have loved to be here.

She would have loved to be there to help me pick out my wedding dress. I remember going with her and Ryan to pick up his tux for a high school formal dance and there were wedding dresses hanging on the wall and she asked me if I would want to have a big wedding, knowing how shy I could be. I told her I wasn’t sure because standing up in front of a bunch of people seemed slightly terrifying. Well, here we are, years later, and I got married in Hawaii – just the two of us.

I think she would have loved that. She always had dreams of traveling all over and I feel like that is what compels me to travel so much. To see and experience the things that she never had a chance to.

I think she would love that we’re still having a big party with all of our friends and family to celebrate. As I make plans, google etiquette, and work through even the most minute of details I can’t help but wish she was here to help. That’s not to say I don’t have the most amazing family and friends that I can reach out to, but you get it.

I’ve had people ask how I plan to include her and to be honest, until recently, I pushed it out of mind. Knowing that if I let myself go to that place, I’d end up a hot mess. So here we are – hot mess express. I finally found a way that is meaningful to me and also incorporates two of the other most influential women in my life – both of my Grandmother’s, which you’ll have to wait a few weeks to see 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day

Five Friday Faves

Five Friday Faves 01.12.18

Happy Friday! Only one more week until we’re off to Belize, I’m so excited! Ready for some sun and relaxation!

With that, here are this week’s faves! I like to post favorites from my week or old favorites that I use regularly. Hope you enjoy and Happy Friday! TGIF!!

Continue reading “Five Friday Faves 01.12.18”

Life, Weight Loss


In July 2017 I decided to start eating vegan due to my family history of health issues and watching the documentary “What the Health.” I honestly wasn’t sure how far I would get and completely went cold turkey while I was traveling to Wyoming for fun, took a quick stop in Colorado to visit my bestie and then on to Vegas for a work trip. It was probably the worst timing, but I did it! And I’ve primarily been meat/dairy free for six months! That’s amazing to me. And I say primarily because I’ve had meat twice, an egg here and there, and a little bit of dairy over the holidays. I call that a win! And I feel amazing! After a few days of withdrawal and trying to figure out what I could eat on a daily basis, it’s become second nature. I can find anything to eat, anywhere. I’ve even been to a steakhouse and a BBQ joint and tweaked something to figure out vegan options.

So what have I learned from all of this…..

I don’t really like the word – “vegan.”

I know, shocking, right? Especially since that is the title of this post 🙂

Let me explain. There comes a lot of stigma with the word vegan – preconceived notions, questions, explanations, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. And there are so many versions or labels for vegans – plant-based vegan, raw vegans, VB6 (vegan before 6 and moderation after), high carb – low fat, ethical vegan, junk food vegan, etc. There are so many different sources/lists out there. And while I consider the food that I eat primarily plant-based vegan, I’m not sure if I want to label myself that way. What I’ve found with this label is that it also brings a strick-ness and a “microscope” that I’m not necessarily looking for. I absolutely love sharing my food with you, and I understand that that in itself puts me under a microscope.

And this is where I might offend some people, as I know that there are some very strict vegans out there and that is their choice. More power to you, I commend the way that you advocate for vegans and promote the vegan lifestyle – I mean, I’m one of them. I love eating more plant-based foods – it makes me feel amazing, and I think more people should start incorporating more plant-based foods into their diet. What I don’t like is that I’m afraid to post if I eat an egg once and a while, eat a cookie that someone made for a party or try some amazing dish while traveling.

So what I’m trying to say, is that if I want to be true to myself and share my everyday life with you all – you might see some non-vegan foods once in a while. I plan to continue eating plant-based, but I also plan to share the good, the bad and the ugly. And that’s what Tweaked Foodie is and has always been about – me and my style and how I’m tweaking my life one day at a time to be healthier. So I’m introducing the “Jill diet,” the “me diet.” I take that back – I don’t even want to call it a diet….the Jill lifestyle. Practicing what I preach – “progress, not perfection.” Because why should I be defined as a label, I should be defined as me. And in my opinion, every little bit helps. According to this calculator, in the past 5.5 months (accounting for some non-vegan eats), I have saved –


That’s amazing! And aside from the health benefits, I also want to help save our planet!

Again, I know this may offend some, but I truly appreciate every one of you and hope you stick around to see the evolution of Tweaked Foodie. You’ll still see my vegan, plant-based, or vegetarian hashtags to help identify if the meal does fall into one of those groups, but I myself will not identify as a vegan – just a healthier version of me.

I’d love to answer any questions that you may have about transitioning or incorporating more plant-based foods into your lifestyle. Leave a comment here or email me at 🙂 

Five Friday Faves

Five Friday Faves 12.01.17

Happy Friday and first day of December! It’s been oh…9 months since I’ve done one of these, so figured I was due 😉 Ironically, the last time I posted 5 Friday Faves, I was heading to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and I’m heading there again tomorrow for my birthday weekend! For years it’s been my tradition to go to Christkindlmarket to get a boot/mug of warmed spiced wine (so I have a few of them!), do some shopping and eat some yummy food! This year, they’ve also set up a market in Wrigleyville, so I’m excited to check that one out!


With that, here are this week’s faves! I like to post favorites from my week or old favorites that I use regularly. Hope you enjoy and Happy Friday! TGIF!!

Continue reading “Five Friday Faves 12.01.17”


My Mom’s Corn “Stuff” Casserole

Thanksgiving is my most favorite food holiday – gimme all the carbs! And my most favorite side dish of all is “Corn Stuff” or Corn Casserole. I’m sure quite a few of you have heard about this delicious concoction or maybe not. If not, you’re missing out! We were introduced to it by my Aunt many years, she would always make it for Thanksgiving and then it became my Mom’s go-to. If you knew my Mom, she wasn’t the greatest cook – so this was right up her alley 😊 5 easy ingredients!

Well this year, I decided to try to veganize it and guess what? It was just as delicious. Just a little unsweetened almond milk and vegan butter – and voila – Vegan!

I actually made two versions this year – one in the crockpot and one in the oven, and they both turned out perfect! I’ll add both in the directions below.

Vegan (or not) Corn Casserole

Spray a 9×13 pan or crockpot with non-stick spray. If cooking in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees.

  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk or Vegan Sour Cream (or regular)
  • 1 Can Cream Corn
  • 1 Can Regular Corn (drained)
  • 1 Box Jiffy Vegetarian Cornbread Mix (or regular)
  • 1/2 Cup of Vegan Butter (or regular)

Mix together and bake for 45 mins. The casserole should be a little soft in the middle – you want it creamy, not dry. Remove from the oven and let it sit for five minutes before serving.

If cooking in the crockpot – mix and cook on high for 3-4 hours. When I did this, I doubled the recipe in a 6-quart crockpot and it took almost the full four hours.

This was my first vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving and everything was delicious! Didn’t even miss the turkey! 🦃

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?