The Importance of Shop Local

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! We have made it to the half way point in our week and I can personally say so far so good, I hope you can say the same. Today I want to talk about the importance of local and small businesses. I want to point out the importance in supporting them, shopping with them, and sharing your feedback about them. In addition I will give you a look into a couple local businesses here in Chattanooga TN that I personally support.

So first and foremost do you even know what local businesses are in your area? If you just said you think you do chances are you really don’t know. When I talk about small local businesses I am talking about the shops and stores that are locally owned and operated. Not stores or venues that are chains. Now don’t get me wrong I love certain chains as well, but they have corporate backing to help them thrive. I am talking about Jane down the road who opened her own jewelry store, or Mac who opened his own fishing depot. Real people like me and you who had a dream and took a risk to make their dream come true and bring you a personalized experience that you can’t get within a chain/incorporated business.

One of the easiest ways for me to explain how I see the difference is you can buy a shirt for $50 at any retail store in your local shopping mall, or you can take that $50 and go to a local boutique buy a better quality shirt. What’s the difference you ask? At that retail store you are padding a corporations pocket, at that boutique your helping that owner support his/her family. Your making a positive difference in their life by supporting their goals as well. Imagine wanting that boutique your whole life and the feeling of gratification when you finally sell your first shirt. Imagine showing your parents how far you have came or your children what determination can do for you. By shopping in those locations you are supporting something bigger and more important that you will ever comprehend unless you experience it for yourself.

Now I also realize that a lot of local small businesses are specialty stores. So if your the type that likes to shop at a certain giant corporate conglomerate because its convenient to have everything in one location, get over it. Your getting convenience at the price of quality and originality. I’m super guilty of shopping a ton on line. I do that because I don’t like shopping in general, at the same time you are limited to what you can find online and you also risk knowing exactly where it is coming from. I have found some of the most unique gifts at local shops. I also regular my local market on weekends which is a combination of local and regional vendors that have hand made crafts. I prefer hand crafted and made with love any day over manufactured and mass produced. The same goes for local restaurants. You can have a menu dictated by a corporate board who may know nothing about food, or a menu hand selected seasonally by a skilled chef that has a passion for the food they are preparing and serving to you. Trust me if you have never been to a starred local restaurant then you need to save and try it out. It will speak volumes to your pallet, your emotions, and leave you astounded.

So I have a couple local places that I absolutely enjoy going to and shopping at. I often even just go and browse to see what they have new and to check out prices so I can save for specific things that catch my eye. I will give each there credit and please note that they are not listed in any specific order.

Anyone that has been reading my blog knows I have a passion for coffee. Coffee is something I find peace and comfort in and will always be a big part of my life. I have two local shops that I visit consistently. First is Wired Coffee Bar in Ooltewah, TN. I visit Wired Coffee Bar almost every single Sunday. Not only do I love the atmosphere I enjoy the employees and the fact that they have always went out of their way to make my drinks exactly how I like them. They even adjusted the temperature on them so I wouldn’t have to add ice and water down the yummy coffee. My drink of choice from them is a latte made with two extra shots add steamed heavy whipping cream.

My other favorite local coffee shop is in downtown Chattanooga, Cadence Coffee Co.. I pretty much stop here every Friday morning and get a cup to take to work with me. My drink of choice here is an Americano add steamed heavy whipping cream. It literally one of the best tasting coffees I have had, and believe me I have had a lot. I also enjoy the fact that Cadence Coffee is a big supporter within the community. Their barista Joy definitely has a perfect name, because she is a pure joy in the morning. They also have a nice meeting space and I like the modernized light bulbs.

I promise not all my favorites are coffee joints. Moving on to a great local food place I enjoy from time to time. The reason I enjoy it is because they offer healthy and quick options in a world that has been diseased with fastfood. They also offer meals that are already prepped and you can take home to prepare. You can even order in advance if you want to have it available for meals at home or lunch on the go. It is the first place locally that I have had them go out of their way to make sure my meal was Keto and fit into my macros for the day. It is just good whole and healthy food. The place I am speaking of his Naked Foods. They also support other local businesses which is great to me! They also have a nice dining environment and are constantly holding special events. The owner and founder Allison Oakes is also a delight and when I dined there she personally made sure the food met my expectation.

My favorite local gift shop without a doubt is Blue Skies in Northshore Chattanooga. From unique local items to quirky humor this place has it all. They have so many different things that you can spend hours looking at. It is also one of the only shops I have been able to find things with the initial U on it. They also have handmade jewelry from other local vendors. The employees here are also super friendly and very inviting. They love to answer your questions as well.

As you can see there may be hidden gems among your location. Take the time to find them and take the time to get to know them. Go to events that support them, because when you support them you are also supporting other locals you support. This list is only a couple of my favorites. I could go on and on and on. If your from Chattanooga and you want to know other places please reach out and we can discuss. Until next time … Keep Ketoing On!


Friendly Friday (publication #4)

Happy Friday fellow readers! I hope everyone has had an amazing week. For today’s publication of Friendly Friday I wanted to introduce you to things that I enjoy to do when I have some down time.

My number one go to is writing. Who would have guessed a blogger would like to write. I found my love of writing when I was eleven years old. My sixth grade English teacher inspired me and I never looked back. By the age of thirteen I had written my first full novel. It was never published by I still have it and shockingly it’s 95% hand written. I’ve written numerous short stories, poems, and even had an interpretation piece published when I was in college. It doesn’t matter if I am typing or writing physically it brings peace to me to put my thoughts in word form. I am hoping to work on a book in the near future and actually may pursue publishing this one since it means so much to me. In conjunction with my writing I also have a journal and pen collection, a writer can never have enough of either.

My number two go to is painting. Specifically acrylic painting. I love the feel of paint going onto a canvas. I especially like the way a painting can catch my emotions in the moment. While I prefer a more abstract method, I can also paint real things too. Things I try to stay away from….people. Unless you want to be a silhouette or a blob I don’t have that kind of talent. I could paint for hours on hours and never get bored. Some of my work is available for sale and has a page here on my site for anyone who is interested.

My number three go to is coffee on my back deck early in the morning. This is the most peaceful and quiet moment I get most days and I savor every time I get to experience it. The sun shining, the birds singing, my favorite mug and my endless thoughts. I often share those moments with my husband as well, but its the moments I do this alone that I find a little piece of me and bring it to life. My back deck is my happy place without a doubt, and coffee is a piece of me as well.

In a nut shell these are the things outside of my family that make me happy and make me who I am. These are my joys and bring me my inspirations. I encourage all of you to find something in your life that does the same, and until next time…Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #6)

Monday MadnessGood Monday Morning everyone, hope everyone is ready for their dose of weekly madness! I would love to say I am ready to tackle my week, but I am under the weather and truly wish I could just stay in bed. Unfortunately I have bills to pay and kids to parent so no extra rest for me. Allergies in Chattanooga are brutal so hopefully in the next couple weeks all will clear up and I will be back to my energetic self!

Last week I continued in my carnivore journey and was still feeling great. I also started working on going down to OMAD (one meal a day) and pretty much all week I was successful with that. I had tons of energy and never once felt hungry. The one day that I did feel hungry, guess what, I ate. It is amazing how that works, just listen to your body! So after a month my I lost 2.9 pounds and 5.5″ while on carnivore. That brings my total loss to a little over 72 pounds and over 125″ off my body! Keto/Carnivore is so worth it for me!

In other news in my life I have decided to take the plunge and I applied for my project manager professional certification. So hopefully in the next couple weeks I will find out if I have been approved. Then I will be hitting the books to study for the exam. It is something I have always wanted to do but have procrastinated for too long on. I decided time to go for it and I’m as ready now as I ever will be!

I’ve been continuing research on Keto/Carnivore last week to better wrap my head around things that others are doing and what I agree with and don’t agree with. I want to be able to share with everyone my feelings, my opinions, and I also want a little bit of research behind what I am talking about. The science of it all is fascinating to me. I’ve also started to branch out to others as well, because my way is not the only way and I want to be able to help anyone no matter what way their way is.

I also have started to add back in some heavy cream to my diet to see how it affects me. Not having it in my coffee but have been adding a little bit into some bone broth. I really enjoy the added creaminess it added to my broth. The broth helps sooth my throat and also is giving me a boost of protein to help my body to heal. So far no reaction to the cream and I think as long as I keep it in moderation it will be fine. I have also started adding back in some different spices, and have noticed that most are okay so far. Spicier seasonings seem to be a no-no still though as they tore up my stomach. So I will continue to keep it simple for the most part. Salt and pepper properly applied can make a huge difference.

I have also now eliminated Keto coffee Monday-Friday. I am only doing black coffee with redmonds real salt, and lugols iodine through the week. I do allow myself one keto coffee on the weekends. I actually don’t mind the coffee black and I think the reduction in fat will be better for my loss as I still have plenty of fat to go. I’ve also noticed that I don’t want coffee as much as I did a few weeks ago so my afternoon coffee doesn’t happen everyday anymore.

So as you can see 10 months into this journey and I am still learning so much about myself and my body. You can’t give up you have to constantly tweak things and adapt to what your body needs. I haven’t set a new goal for this week and I may not, as just keeping on track is a goal in itself. Sometimes you don’t need to change it you just need to be in the moment and do it. Looking forward to sharing some more topics with everyone this week, until next time Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #3)

Good Monday Morning Everyone! Welcome to another Monday Madness recap. Just like most people out there I had a super crazy week, but it was very productive. So let’s jump right in and run it all down!

So last week I continued on my carnivore experiment. As of today I am 32 days in and still holding strong. The plan is to go a minimum of 42 days (6 weeks) as I have been told by numerous individuals that weeks 4-8 are when you start to see the real benefits. So far my energy level is actually being maintained and my hunger level is decreasing. My fasts are getting easier and longer, actually was able to get two 24 hour fasts in this past week. My sense and smell and taste are also on fire still it’s amazing to say the least. I also dropped another 1.2 pounds when I did my weekly weigh in Sunday, that brings my total loss to 69.8 pounds since starting Keto in May 2018.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

Other changes I have started to notice, is my body shape is changing and becoming more defined in certain areas. I have not added in anything other than the walking I was doing pre-carnivore. I am starting to research some beginner dumbbell work to try and start toning my arms some. My sleep continues to be pretty much 7-8.5 hours a night. I’ve also started to notice some changes in my hair, it is no where near as dry as it use to be so I’ve had to start to try some different hair care products. I also seem to now not like chicken very much. We had wings Saturday night and they just tasted so bland to me. I missed the taste of beef! I am also finding that fattier cuts of pork are a no for me, they don’t sit well on my stomach. So this week will be very heavy in beef variations.

What else will I be adding or I guess I should say taking away this week? I plan on attempting to fast 24 hours every other day starting today. So today I will eat as planned and then I won’t eat again until Tuesday night. I think I will have great success, but at anytime I start to feel hungry you can bet that I will eat. I really listen to my body so much more now than I use to.

Photo by on

Last week I tried to give up coffee in the afternoon. So I was successful in giving it up Tuesday – Thursday. What I learned was it is not the caffeine I want. I still had tons of energy without the coffee. What I wanted was the flavor of the coffee. Plain and simple I enjoy coffee, so I may be looking at some decaf options for afternoon cups. I did have a very nice cup Friday after work and I enjoyed every single drop! So I don’t see me giving up coffee anytime in the future just maybe removing the caffeine since I don’t need it.

I made my first attempt at reverse searing some steaks last week and I failed! I learned I need to invest in a meat thermometer. I thought I had the perfect medium rare, and unfortunately ended up with more of a rare. My husband thought it was awesome, me not so much. I am just not ready to take the plunge into the rare meat market yet. It intrigues me but my mind still says don’t do it.

Tried some new fatty brisket last week that had some amazing bark and smoke flavoring. I had it twice to be honest! So as much as I love going out to get some we are now researching smokers, because I want to tackle making some myself. There are a couple more joints in town I want to try and then plan on seeing a comparison review of them in the future. If anyone has a super affordable smoker recommendation send it to me!

There will be some great new content coming up this week and I’m excited to share. I also did my first instagram live. I plan on doing more of those and short videos in the future as well. You can find me on instagram at @utevachesser . Looking forward to the week ahead and until next time Keep Ketoing On!

So why the coffee cup?

So when I was branding my blog I wanted it to be a place of comfort and place of transparency. So I took a lot of time to decide what I wanted to represent me. Well in a nut shell coffee represents me in a lot of ways so that is why I chose it. In additona I’ve always been charming (ok 80% of the time) and I’m here to confess to everyone and anyone who wants to listen.

One of my fondest memories of child hood was going with my mother to numerous neighbor houses on different days of the week. One of the perks of living in a small neighborhood. What did we do on those visits? My mother and her friends sat around the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about anything and everything. I don’t remember a time that conversations didn’t involve a pot of coffee or two.

As I grew older that same type of expereince became my thing as well. The only difference the kitchen table of a close neighbor became a local copy shop, firehouse, or even a living room sofa. I enjoy coffee and for me it’s always brought me closer to people, even those who I am just getting to know. It’s never too early or too late to have a cup and sit and talk in my opinion.

Cofee is my get up and go and at the same time can be my relax and reflect. I want my blog space to be all those things for all my followers and readers. I want you to feel welcome and be motivated by what I share.

So I invite you in to Charming Confessions, a place where I will always be honest with you and share with you. I’m always open to questions and I’m always willing to just listen, even if you don’t like coffee! The more the marrier!