Healthfully Ever After

Healthy Curated Living

The Healthy Holiday Bride: 6 Must Read Posts

Bits of Nutrition, Weddings and EventsCarlene ThomasComment

Happy holiday kick off and engagement season! 


We're officially in the midst of what will become SO MANY engagement announcements. But also inevitable complaining about how to stay healthy with all of the parties and festivities that are on the calendar. Over the past few years I've written a lot of articles on the intricacies of all of this for brides during the holidays. How to stay healthy as a couple, how to stay healthy as the bride as you try to watch your habits for wedding dress fitting, how not to explode at your in-laws for force feeding you one more slice of pie... It's kind of sadly ironic that the holidays are supposed to be celebrations and relaxing but they end up being stressful and overindulgent more often than not. But they don't have to be that way.

I rounded up the pieces I've written to guide you through these next weeks to stay healthy wedding sane! Below are a few of my pieces from Huffington Post Weddings as well as a podcast where I talked about my approach to being a balanced bride...and not crazy or restrictive. 

Safe travels and enjoy!


Buy Art Get it Framed by Framebridge: Living Room Gallery Wall

MaoHaus RestorationCarlene ThomasComment

So let's talk about my art addiction. We're all friends here. You know one way I like to chill is by going antiquing with my husband. Not in a way where I'm dragging him...we genuinely like to do this. We live right near one of the most historic antique corridors on the East coast that runs through multiple states (hayyy route 15!) and that means about every five miles you drive, there are three shops clustered together. MPH= miles per hour. APM= antiques per mile. 

One thing we've learned as we buy antique store art...forgotten art so to that you have to look beyond the frame and beyond the layers of stuff it's behind. We've purchased art for $40 that we look up when we get home and find out it's worth more like $5,000. We've learned to see past the setting to what it could be. And may times it's the shi* frame it's in or the absolute lack of frame! Growing up, my parents (who are artists so not a typical childhood) were always buying art and I remember accompanying my Mom to pick out matting and frames for new pieces. It was such a process and I remember her talking about how expensive it was to get things framed properly. I mean, sure, you could use an IKEA frame (and you know I freaking love IKEA), but a frame can really make or break the feel of art. That's where Framebridge comes in. Framebridge happens to be headquartered here in the DMV but you can be anywhere across the country to use their services! You pick your frames (we went with more modern contemporary classic frames to play against the super traditional art), ship in your art (they sent us boxes which made it SO easy!) and they ship it back! 

Framebridge x Healthfully Ever After
Framebridge x Healthfully Ever After

So if you're interested, I want to talk a little about the art to hopefully inspire you to do a little non-obvious shopping for your home. Like, I love Etsy...but I'm kind of over seeing everyone putting the Beyoncé print  in their house. 

But first, can we talk about my green velvet couch and my life size cheetah statue? Both antique finds. Drops mic.

 The black and white photograph is my badass Grandpa chilling in Hue, Vietnam when he worked with the State Department. The painting of the old guy with glasses was a purchase we made from Lucketts Antique Store. Um, he ended up being an original piece by artist Michael Lemmermeyer which is kind of a big deal. And the old guy in the picture? That's actually a portrait of Arnold Hoffman who was the art director of the New York Times and an artist himself. The hunched over guy is from a place in Leesburg called Black Shutter Antiques. We just thought the line work was bomb. 

The naked lady is kind of a funny story. There was something about her that we just liked. And then when the peeps at Lucketts told us that they had her hanging out towards the intersection and a minivan mom stormed the store in a rage demanding they take down such 'smut', we were basically sold. We needed this painting because that was too freaking funny to pass up. So when I posted her to Instagram, I got A LOT of comments that said it looked like a painting of me. So. Half of me wants to cover her boobies up.

Framebridge x Healthfully Ever After
Framebridge x Healthfully Ever After

Framebridge totally revamped our art and gave it new life. Earlier this year I had framed a large original piece in my office and the original quote for framing? Um, more than the art itself (several hundred dollars) which is a no-no. So go forth! BUY ART! And stop fretting if it's not perfectly framed. That's why Framebridge is there.

If you're interested, you can use the code HEALTHFULLYEVERAFTER for 10% off your first order. 

Thank you to Framebridge for partnering with me on this project! 

Burrata and Blood Orange Winter Party Salad

Main DishesCarlene ThomasComment
Burrata and Blood Orange Winter Party Salad

Meet my new winter recipe love affair. I'm calling it the panzanella salad of the frigid months. Or "Carlene Mourns Summer Tomatoes". This winter salad of sorts pulls in the glorious winter citrus that abounds, specifically blood oranges, and pairs it with crunchy kalamata olive bread, burrata cheese, honey, cardamom and a generous sprinkle of basil. Because fresh herbs are the only thing keeping my palate happy right now as I realize it's really winter produce season. 

This dish is perfect for a party. It's like you brought a cheese platter and morphed it into the only thing better than a cheese platter. Which is clearly two cheese platters. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is outstanding if I do say so myself. You get creamy burrata paired with crunchy bread bites. You get sweet but acidic blood oranges and a more floral sweet honey. It works. It just so works. 

Burrata and Blood Orange Winter Party Salad
Burrata and Blood Orange Winter Party Salad

Burrata with Blood Orange Salad w/ kalamata olive toasts

/// Ingredients ///

  • 3T olive oil 
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 ball burrata
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1 T honey (I use Wedderspoon manuka honey)
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1-2 blood oranges
  • 1 T basil, chopped
  • 2 Kalamata Olive Rolls cubed

/// Directions /// Cube bread and toast. Go more toasted if this dish is going to sit out, go less if you're serving immediately. While the bread is toasting head olive oil and garlic on medium on the stove until the garlic is lightly browned and softened. Set aside to cool a bit. Cut blood oranges into rings. In a large bowl or platter, place a mix of blood oranges and toast. Place the burrata in the center. Drizzle with the olive oil garlic mix and then honey. Sprinkle on cardamom and sea salt. Top with fresh basil. 

Burrata and Blood Orange Winter Party Salad

� Healthfully Ever After & Carlene Thomas 2011-2014