J.K. Rowling Congratulated Us!

Yep! You read the title correctly. After posting a picture from our engagement, J.K. Rowling herself actually saw it and tweeted Heather and I! We honestly didn’t think she would actually see our tweet.

The Monday morning after Heather proposed, I woke up to get ready for work. As I was checking my notifications, I noticed that someone with a blue check (a verified social media account) retweeted our engagement. I was so excited that someone “famous” had seen our picture. I woke Heather up with the exciting news and she immediately began checking her own notifications. While on Instagram, she saw a message from a follower stating “Your life must be made since J.K. Rowling saw your tweet.” We paused, went to Twitter, and clicked on J.K. Rowling’s profile. We were both frozen as we scrolled her page. When we came across her tweet, “CONGRATULATIONS!”, we started screaming! The author of Harry Potter TWEETED us! So yes, our life has been made!

It’s been three weeks since we got engaged, yet the excitement continues. Even before J.K. Rowling tweeted us, The Knot reached out to us regarding the proposal. I have been a fan of The Knot since I was in high school. I had every intention of using The Knot for all of our wedding planning, but the fact that they reached out to us confirmed my desire to use their planning tools. The Knot, however, had more in mind for us in regards to a partnership with them. The details of this are still in the works, but I promise to share all of the excitement with you as soon as we know more.

On top of J.K. Rowling and The Knot, our story was picked up by news channels, bloggers, and online magazines all over the world. While at work that same Monday morning, a parent of one of my students emailed me saying that Heather and I were on the MSN homepage. Within hours, our engagement pictures and videos were flooding the internet.

Click the title to see the article:

How They Asked

Inside Edition

MSN News

Yahoo! News

AOL News

Best Life Online

Jungle VT

George Takei (Star Trek IMDB)

The Advocate


Equally Wed

Her Campus

These are a few of the articles we have found so far. We are even seeing articles about our proposal in languages we cannot read. The week after the engagement, we had the pleasure of being interviewed on Tonight With Cassidy on KGW News. Basically, this has all been a dream. We honestly cannot grasp everything that has happened! While we are unbelievably humbled by the amount of media attention, love, and support we have been receiving, we are ultimately most excited to start this new chapter of our lives!

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How She Asked

When Heather and I first started dating, we quickly connected over our love for Harry Potter and the fact that, according to Pottermore, we are both Slytherins. On our first dating anniversary, we went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. For our third anniversary, this past August, we went to the Los Angeles location. While we were at Harry Potter World in LA, we started discussing having a Halloween party this year. Heather decided to be Draco Malfoy, and I decided to be Astoria Greengrass, his future wife. Little did I know, in February Heather had purchased our favorite book Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire, and had it designed to spell out “Marry Me” in the pages. She’d been holding onto the book and ring not yet knowing when or how she wanted to propose. With the book, our costumes, and an upcoming Halloween party with all of our friends, Heather decided it was the perfect time. Within the week of us announcing the party date, Heather booked plane tickets for all of my best friends from Mississippi to make sure they would be here for the proposal.

Heather, being the amazing social media guru that she is, partnered with Sizzle Pie, Portland Cider Co., Portland Gear, and One Hope Wines to make our party epic. I already knew about all of these collaborations, however, I didn’t realize these companies knew they were part of a proposal and not just a grand Halloween party. With that being said, when Heather sent me to go pick up the pizza, I didn’t think anything of it. Since we were being given a ton of pizza, she asked our friends Jenna and Kerwynn to go with me. Instead of Sizzle Pie, Jenna stopped in the middle of a neighborhood and claimed it was the pizza place. I was beyond confused. In front of the house, was a Little Free Library. Heather and I love driving around Portland searching for Little Free Libraries. It’s one of our regular weekend dates. As I stepped out of the truck, still confused, Jenna told me that there was something in the Little Free Library for me. Through the glass door I could see a Harry Potter book. I immediately realized something big was happening.

As I pulled the First Harry Potter book out of the library, I noticed a note sticking out. Distracted by the shock of what was happening, I didn’t even notice my best friend from college, Jordan, walking towards me. It was raining and she was covering her face with an umbrella. I struggle to express the emotions I felt when I heard her voice. Seeing Jordan told me exactly what was about to happen, I was getting engaged! Thoughts began pouring in my mind. I couldn’t believe that Heather was proposing, and I couldn’t fathom that Jordan was going to be present for it. Heather and I moved to Portland, Oregon over a year ago, and this was the first time Jordan was seeing my knew home. How incredibly thoughtful of Heather. I had never felt so loved!

As we got back into the truck, I still though we were going to pick up pizza. My only thoughts were that now Jordan was with us, we were picking up pizza, and then I was getting engaged! Instead of Sizzle Pie, I once more found myself in front of a house with a Little Free Library. This time I jumped out of the truck to reach the second book and letter from Heather. As I walked towards the little library, I heard “Hello Darling”, in a voice I again instantly knew. Although I knew who I heard and who I was seeing, my brain took a second to actually register that my best friend from high school was now present also. Ally was here, and Heather did this!

I then had Jordan and Ally with me, and I forgot about the pizza. As we drove, I searched each driveway for Morgan, my best friend since first grade. The moment I saw her I began screaming and practically jumped out of a moving truck. With Morgan was also the third Harry Potter book and a letter from Heather. I had all of my best friends with me, and they were all in Portland, Oregon to be a part of my engagement.


They then took me back to our apartment where the party was being held and led me to the rooftop. Standing in the rain was Heather, holding the fourth book, and smiling beautifully. I was ugly crying all over the place as I practically ran to her. I said “YES” before she could even ask me. I was literally jumping with joy. She then pulled out a little blue box and dropped down to one knee. I honestly can’t tell you what she said, what I said, or what was said in the minutes afterwards. I didn’t even notice the photographer circling us and talking our pictures. What I do know, however, is that it was the happiest moment of both of our lives!

Also waiting was a room full of all of our closest friends. An added decoration now hung in the room that said “From Muggle to Mrs.” Heather put so many details into this proposal. While she showed me to paper flowers on the tables that had our names on them, someone snapped a picture of us and showed me that Heather had also created a Snapchat filter for us. We then spent the rest of the night celebrating with everyone! It was nothing less than MAGICAL!

We are humbled by the amount of love we are receiving, but most importantly, we are eager to start this next chapter of our lives together. I cannot wait to marry my best friend! Watch the full video below:

Photography: Ivory & Oak

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How to Save a Life

Ready to make a real difference? 

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If I only knew then what I know now.” This for me is one of those life lessons I wish I would have stumbled on sooner. A bit of a disclaimer, I am no medical professional. This post is merely to tell my story and share my own personal beliefs. However, these personal beliefs will be backed by actual medical professionals, specialists, and medical journals. I am in no way trying to shame anyone. I am in no way perfect—nor do I expect anyone to be—I just simply wish to be informative for those seeking guidance in the matter.

If you’ve read about my battle with food, you already know that I chose veganism after being diagnosed with Gastritis and Celiac Disease. The only diet that relieved my stomach pain was a vegan/gluten free diet with proper food combining for optimal digestion. What started for strictly personal reasons, soon turned into a lifestyle that benefited myself and others. Let me also state that Heather and I still own (or sometimes accidentally purchase) a few non-vegan items. We are still learning what is considered vegan and what is not. For instance, I never associated gummy bears with animal products. Gummy bears are in fact NOT vegan because they obtain gelatin which is derived from collagen obtained from various animal body parts. GUMMY BEARS, Y’ALL! We also are in the process of “veganizing” our closets. New shoes and purses will be here soon to replace the ones we currently have. We are also seeking ethically made clothing—the more we learn about how we can make a difference in our world, the more we make those issues a priority in our lives. It's all about choosing to make better decisions. You don't have to throw away all of your non-vegan items today. Simply start choosing ethical purchases as you learn. Now, about our initial switch to veganism:

 As a child, I would question every meal, “Is this a plant or an aminal? Cause I don’t eat aminals.” I might not have known how to say animals, but I knew I didn’t want to eat them. If only I would have kept that mindset. We grew up surrounded by industries and advertisements that led us to believe that we needed meat for protein and milk for calcium. I even had a Britney Spears “Got Milk” poster in my room. However, something just never felt right about it for me. I went back and forth growing up being vegetarian and then not. In my lifetime I have had Salmonella (twice) and E.coli—both can come from meat. I should have listened to my body. I also hated the texture of meat, anddd I’d type more on that but it’s physically making my stomach hurt to even talk about it. Fish and seafood were my only exceptions. When I started having major issues with my stomach, I began playing with my diet and trying to see what helped. I ran across numerous articles on vegan diets and began doing my own research. To be completely honest, I also admired some now fellow vegans on Instagram. By "admired" I mean slightly obsessed over their pages! So… I took the leap. Little did I know, I was drastically improving my health, saving lives, and helping our environment. Side Note: Heather definitely never saw herself being vegan. As an athlete, she believed she needed practically her body’s weight or more of protein a day to make the gains she desired. In fact, she was on the keto diet before she went vegan. She was eating only meats, cheeses, and fats when she switched to a vegan diet OVERNIGHT!

So how exactly do we think we are helping ourselves and others by choosing to be vegan? I hope you are cuddled up in a blanket, wearing comfy clothes, and ready to read! These might be all over the place BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS! Since I wanted this to be informative yet enjoyable though, I only listed 20 facts. (References are in pink)

Helping Others

Our #1 Reason: Obviously, we are saving animals’ lives. There is absolutely no humane way to kill an innocent animal. I literally start to cry when I think about the fact that this is our society’s “norm”. What makes a pig or a cow any different from the dog or cat that you have safely and lovingly lying at your feet? A vegan saves 198 animals a year. This not only is our reason for remaining vegan in our food choices, but also in our decision to make smarter choices in our clothing and accessories, as well as our makeup, hair products, cleaners, etc. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. For that reason, we also choose to not visit aquariums or zoos. A personal choice should never compromise the well-being of an innocent being. (PETA).

2. The pharmaceutical industry sells 80% of all antibiotics made in the United States to animal agriculture (Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). The World Health Organization has stated that we are nearing a post antibiotic era in medicine. All of these antibiotics could be going directly to humans in need, instead they go to animals being bred for our consumption.

3. There is approximately the same number of hogs (being raised for human consumption) in North Carolina as there are people. This is where swine flu originated. These pigs produce the waste equivalent to 100 million humans. All of that waste is being pumped into waste pits that leach into rivers and streams. Unfiltered, it is also sprayed onto nearby fields (Scientific American, 2015, North Carolina Riverkeeper & Waterkeeper Alliance, and more).

4. Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector (Food & Agriculture Organization).

5. Raising animals for food consumption is the leading cause of Rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and fresh water consumption (Stanford Environmental Law Journal, Scientific America, and more).

6. 40% of the world’s grain is fed to animals being raised for human consumption. If everyone in the US went vegan, we could feed 800 million people just with the grain currently feeding these animals. That’s enough food to feed all of the people in Europe. Think of how many starving children we could be feeding with that grain. (Cornell University)

7. You can save six showers worth of water for every 1lb of meat you DON’T eat. 51% of the world’s water goes to animal agriculture (The Scavenger).

8. Fishing boats kill not only millions of fish a year, but they also are the death to dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sharks, crabs, and other sea life. Side Note: Whales are my favorite animal! (PETA)

Personal Health Reasons

9. The World Health Organization Report has classified bacon and sausage as carcinogenic— directly involved in causing cancer—to humans (World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer). In the US, 1 out of every 4 deaths is from cancer (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

10. Diabetes has been found to be caused by meat, dairy, and animal derived fats, NOT carbohydrates and sugar as I too once thought. As little as one serving of processed meat a day increased the risk of diabetes by 51%. (Michael Greger, M.D., Barnard, Neal, et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, and more)

11. Within minutes of eating dead meat bacteria toxins, the body gets a burst of inflammation, stiffening or paralyzing the arteries (Michael Greger, M.D. 2012 & British Journal of Nutrition).

12. The leading source of sodium for adults in America is chicken (Consumers Union).

13. Eating one egg per day is just as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day for life expectancy (Baer, Heather J, et al, Spence, J. David, et al, & Michael Greger, M.D.). In fact, the USDA admitted that eggs cannot legally be labeled as nutritious, low fat, part of a balanced diet, low in calories, healthy, good for you, or safe (Michael Greger, M.D.).

14. The number one source of saturated fat is dairy (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

15. Four worries from fish: PCB’s, Mercury, Saturated fat, and Cholesterol (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). Oh, DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE WHALES!

16. 93% of dioxin exposure comes from animal products (Toxic Substance & Disease Registry)

17. There is a strong link between autoimmune disease and animal products (Journal of Nutritional Science, 2012).

18. Milk is a hormonal fluid. Dairy is LEGALLY allowed to contain, get this.. PUS! That’s freaking gross! (USDA APHIS Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 2014)

19. Milk does not build strong bones. Britney, how could you lie to me?! (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Feb 2003, Vol 77)

20. 70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle related and preventable (The Center or Disease Control and Prevention).  

As a fitness lover, I cannot justify making my outside appearance seem healthy while neglecting my inside health. Heather and I initially decided to be vegan because of the way it made us feel, but these 20 reasons are reasons we will remain vegan. For ourselves, animals, and for others, we cannot and will not consume nor purchase animal products. It is not “hard” to be vegan. I am not “giving anything up” to be vegan. Again, I am not a perfect vegan, but I do try my best to make ethical decisions in my daily life. I hope that this post is received out of love for you, our earth, and the animals. I in no way want to shame anyone. I simply wish to inform and make a difference where I can.

Some tips for going vegan

EAT ENOUGH!! Although I labeled this a “diet”, I do not mean that in the sense of calorie restriction or aiming for weight loss. Eat ALL the fruits and veggies. Listen to your body. If you are hungry, literally eat plants until you are full. There is no restricting on a plant-based diet.

Take a vitamin B-12 supplement!

Eat raw plants first for proper food digestion. Combining certain fruits can cause stomach aches. My e-book addresses all of these things.

Drink lots of water.

When first going vegan, your body will detox. This can actually cause you to feel bloated, your skin to break out, and can cause you to have a headache for a few days. All of these things are normal and will go away! My skin drastically cleared up once my body detoxed. I also began feeling (and becoming) much leaner!

Watch documentaries! There are some great ones on Netflix. Start with What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Vegucated, & The Cove.

Shop in season. Fruits and veggies that are in season will be cheaper. However, never put a price on fueling your body with truly healthy foods. Saving animals, water, grains, the rainforest, and our earth is also pretty priceless!

You can do this! It’s a very simple way that you can make a huge impact on our world. Gain your vegan superpowers today! (Hope I have some fellow super nerd Scott Pilgrim fans out there!)

Make the change. Be the change.

Kelsey StacyComment

Cruelty Free Makeup

One of the questions I am often asked on Instagram is about the makeup I use. When I switched over to a vegan diet, I had no idea that it would also eventually affect every aspect of my life. By gaining knowledge of different industries and their practices used when creating products, I began seeing that it's not only the food industry that harms animals. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, test on, or use for our own entertainment. For this reason, I began searching for cosmetics and companies that I could ethically use and support. 


One of my colleagues and friends has a life motto: "With every aspect of life there needs to be a push and a pull." The push is when you feel the desire to do, create, change, etc. some aspect of your life. The pull is when God opens that door for you. While makeup might seem like a small, practically irrelevant decision in life, for me it was one of these push and pull moments. I celebrate even the smallest of push & pulls! 

I had just started looking into cruelty free makeup, when Heather came home with some exciting news. One of her high school classmates, Sarah Biggers, had launched her own cruelty free makeup line! While there are other lines out there, I felt that this was the one for me. What better way for us to protect animals while supporting a fellow entrepreneur sister?! I immediately went online shopping! I have wholeheartedly loved every product from CLOVE + HALLOW. I must say that my favorite product thus far has been the lip velvet in  Sugarbear. 

Here's to women using their art and talents to love others well! 

Kelsey StacyComment
Vegan Rain Boots

We see a lot of rain living in Portland, OR. Luckily, we came across the cutest vegan rain boots to keep our feetsies dry and warm. BOGS boots quickly became our favorite go to. With super cute boots for me and stylish boots for H, we fell in love! Whether I am wearing them to Zenger Farms on a field trip with my first graders, playing in the snow with Heather, or walking through the park and art galleries, my BOGS are my go to! 

Not all of their boots are vegan so be sure to check! Avoid things like leather and wool. 

Kelsey StacyComment
Fall into Pumpkin Season

Pumpkin Sweater

While I love everything I receive from Ashley LeMieux,, her Ruby Sweater is one of my favorites. It is perfect for the fall and for indulging in all things pumpkin spice! She sells out of her clothing quickly, so grab yours while you can! Pumpkin Mac-no-Cheese Recipe below: 

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese - Vegan & Gluten Free

            Tis the season, right? To be honest, I practically started pulling out the pumpkin spice in August! I get entirely too excited for fall. If love were a season, this would be it. It’s the perfect time to cuddle up with your person or fur baby, indulge in pumpkin flavored everything, and watch some football. At least that’s what Saturdays look like in our home. Our house is seriously divided come the Mississippi State vs. Alabama game, but every other Saturday is a perfect combination of Hail State and Roll Tide!

            With it being the start of pumpkin season, I thought it was appropriate to kick off my first Dine blog post with one of our holiday favorites: Pumpkin Mac & Cheese! This is a gluten free and vegan recipe, but it can easily be modified if you wish. Last year we took this dish to my family’s house for Thanksgiving. It was the only dish that was completely gone by the end of the night—some having had seconds and even thirds. If it passed the test with my southern family, it will definitely pass yours. It also passes the “I don’t know how to cook” test. You can do this, pumpkin! So let’s get started!

What Will You Need?

1 Box Gluten Free Penne Pasta (or pasta of choice)

3 Tbls. Vegan Butter

3 Tbls. Gluten Free Flour

2 ½ Cups of Vegan Shredded Cheese—I used Daiya brand

1 Can Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Spice, Salt, Pepper, & Basil (to taste)


1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. While your oven is heating, fill a large pot with water and 1 tsp. salt, and cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain pasta and set aside in a large bowl.

3. In a saucepan—or pot—melt butter over low to medium heat. Add flour and stir for about one minute. Add pumpkin puree and 2 cups of cheese. Add salt, pepper, and pumpkin spice to taste. I can’t help but taste test as I cook! For that reason, it’s hard for me to give specific amounts of things like spices. I just add slowly until I am happy with the result.

4. Once you are happy with the taste of your sauce, pour mixture over your bowl of drained noodles.

5. Toss noodles in sauce until evenly coated. Then pour the noodles into a sprayed casserole dish. Add extra cheese on top. For additional baked flavor and texture, sprinkle gluten free bread crumbs on top.

6. Place Mac & Cheese in oven for 20-30 minutes. Cook until noodles are nicely baked and cheese has melted.

7. Serve hot and garnished with basil. Invite your friends over and share the pumpkin love.

Kelsey Stacy