Friday Morning Iced Coffee Date

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning and a very HAPPY FRIDAY to you!

I’ve seen a few bloggers have virtual “coffee dates” with their readers, and I just love the idea so much. So I wanted to have one with you guys, too. Of course, it would be an ICED coffee date since I don’t drink the hot stuff all that often… unless it’s a pumpkin spice variety in the fall. That’s pretty much the only time I’ll switch things up for hot coffee. Anyway, just wanted to chat with you and share some news/thoughts/ideas that have been on my mind lately. And I would love, love, love to hear from YOU! I realize blogs have changed quite a bit in recent years and commenting is down overall, but I miss you guys and want to know what’s going on. Fill me in! 🙂

iced coffee date

When I was in Santa Barbara last week, I heard an incredible motivational talk from John Jacobs, one of the co-founders of Life is Good. One thing he said that really resonated with me was the idea of “get to” versus “have to”. I’ve actually blogged about this same idea in the past, but related to exercise. I never think of exercise as something that I “have to” do. It’s ALWAYS something that I “get to” do, which never makes it seem like a chore. But, of course, this idea relates to so many other things in life. A great example from John Jacobs: You have to go to a meeting? What about: You get to go to a meeting because you have a job? It was such a nice way to spin negative thinking. And it’s crazy how that one word shift makes such a difference in our gratitude and what we are thankful for.

If we were chatting over iced coffee this morning, I would also tell you that this idea of “get to” has been following me around for quite sometime now.

When I met Lindsay from Pinch of Yum in Canada last month, we talked about “get to” with regard to creativity and our jobs as bloggers. When it comes to full-time, professional blogging, there are a lot of moving pieces, which, like most jobs, can be overwhelming, stressful, and just plain ol’ frustrating. Lindsay suggested instead of getting bogged down with all of the tasks that you have to do, remind yourself that you get to do them. Develop a new recipe? You get to create it. Attend a media event? You get to have that opportunity. I immediately loved her way of thinking, and she even took it one step further by telling me about “it’s better to be a trickster than a martyr” from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. You can read a full explanation here, but, basically, you can suffer and trudge through your work like a martyr or stay “light on your feet” and have fun while doing it like a trickster.

This “get to” stuff has changed my thinking about a lot of things in life. So much, in fact, I want to have a custom sign made for my office that simply says: GET TO. I’d love to have this constant reminder/motivation at the forefront of my day. I could probably have something made on Etsy, right?

Image result for "get to" "have to"

Ok, so I just went on and on and on about that. What do you think about “get to” versus “have to”? What reminds you to be grateful in your everyday life? Do you have any motivational signs/quotes hanging in your home or place of work? Tell me about them. 

Year after year, I visit Barrett’s Haunted Mansion with friends. Once again, our friends invited us to go, but, this time, I’m going to stay home because I just don’t like being scared. I go every year, thinking it will be a good time (and it is… sort of), but I’m done with being scared for “fun.” It’s just not my cup of tea. Anyone else hate being scared?

Image result for carrotsncake haunted house

When I picked up Quinn from daycare the other day, one of his teachers told me that he was the “line leader.” Basically, the kid at the front of the line that led the other children from the classroom to the play area outside. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt so proud in my entire life. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when he learns to ride his bike or graduates from Kindergarten.

There are only 4 days left to purchase a “Happy Hour Starts Now” tank top to benefit the CCFA. They’re only available for a limited time, and I would appreciate your support so very much.

happy hour start now tank top

If you guys have questions about Designed to Fit Nutrition (FYI: I started a custom meal plan business with my friend Kerrie), please leave them in the comment section below. I am planning to write a blog post on CNC soon, but I don’t want to just regurgitate what’s on the website, ya know? Any sort of direction about what you guys want to know would be super helpful!


Stitch Fix for Men is now live, and Mal is SO PUMPED! He was always jealous of my “fixes,” but now he can have his own! If you have a guy in your life who needs help with his wardrobe, definitely sign him up for a fix. He’ll have instant style! Stitch Fix would also make a great birthday/anniversary/holiday gift, especially for the guy who seems to have everything!

stitch fix for men

Question of the Day

Your turn! What’s on your mind this morning?

What would you tell me at our Friday iced coffee date?

P.S. Did you know Carrots ‘N’ Cake has a weekly newsletter? That’s right. It’s a lot of fun and you should definitely sign up for all of the latest news, deals, and updates! Just enter your email on the right side of the main page under “Weekly Newsletter.”



  1. Good morning! Do you create meal plans for people who are training for various events? I’m running my first marathon in January and am struggling a bit with the nutrition aspect – trying to consume enough calories and make sure they’re the ones I need, not just the Mellow Mushroom meat lovers pizza calories (ahem, yesterday.)

  2. I have been reading for years and this is my first time commenting!! Ask and you shall receive 🙂 I would tell you that Quinn is so cute and you have every right to be proud of him!! Have a great weekend!

  3. Well I’m having hip replacement surgery this morning and I’m up early finishing work because I’m upset, anxious and cannot sleep. Thankfully, it’s an easier surgery than traditional ones with only a two week recovery and outpatient but still, my entire life will be changed in a few hours forever. So instead of telling myself I am losing something, I keep saying I am gaining a better life going through this.

  4. Thanks so much for your well timed post! This week has been long and I just wasn’t feeling it today. One more push to finish out the week! I am totally into the Get To idea! If you find a cute sign let us know!

  5. This was such a great post. I love that I get to reply to you. One of my favorite quotes, that was said a lot from my CrossFit coach was, The Pain of Discipline Weighs Ounces, the Pain of Regret Weighs Tons…

    My children are older, 15 and 13, but I remember that proud feeling of line leader, door holder, star of the week. So many memories.

    Tina, I think it takes a lot of courage to do what you do, put yourself out there of so many to criticize. I clearly remember a guest blog post regarding IIFYM/Macros based meal planning and the comments blew up. I’ve tried a custom meal plan and for what ever reason I got wrapped up in the perfection of what my choices were, even though I knew I could adjust and eat what I wanted to “fit” in – needless to say I didn’t do well. But I don’t think that way and I have a hard time. I didn’t do well with it, specifically because I told them, No Beans, and sure enough there they were.

    I am considering your plan, but need to budget it in. My question(s) is, does the plan map out your meals to eat throughout the day and show the breakdown of macros? Do you include a list of substitutions that shows the macros based on lets say a 1 ounce so that you can interchange food? Do you review foods eaten and make suggestions on where I went wrong and what I could have substituted?

    Thanks again Tina for always providing great content!! (I didn’t proofread this so I hope it makes sense)

  6. I love the sentiment of “get to” versus “have to”! I discovered your blog when I started Crossfit almost a year ago, and I have Crohn’s. Crossfit has made such a huge impact on me and I’m so grateful for every day that I’m healthy and am able to go!

  7. I’ve heard the same about blogs, but I still find myself reading them all of the time. I just thought I would chime in because sometimes the people who read day in and day out just don’t leave comments! I find myself doing the same thing sometimes and it doesn’t make me less “engaged” (in my opinion).

    PS. Good timing for an iced coffee date because I’m sipping on a pumpkin iced coffee from Starbucks as we speak! 🙂

    I also HATE being scared and refuse to go to any haunted houses after a terrifying visit to Six Flags Fright Fest one year…

  8. The concept of switching your mindset to get to is really cool and I can see how that would be powerful. I’ve been practicing a focus on gratitude. Life has been throwing a lot of lemon lately, but I know there’s always good to be grateful for!

  9. I’d be having iced coffee too! A Rhode Island girl at heart, nothing makes me happier than a Dunkin iced! I love the idea of get to vs have to – It makes us live in the moment and truly appreciate the obligations that we honor.

  10. I keep a small gratitude journal in my nightstand. I don’t write in it every night but I always know it’s there and I often take it out when I’ve had a particularly difficult day or am feeling anxious as I head to bed. Changing my thoughts to focus on things I am grateful for right before I fall asleep is so helpful for me! Plus, it’s fun to look back at all the past entries!

  11. Oh, I’m so with you there on hating being scared! Will not do it. Life is scary enough, I don’t need to seek out additional fake scariness!

    Also, just wanted to say how much I love your blog. I always read your posts as I’m getting ready for work in the morning and they really help me get started on my day! 🙂

  12. I was wishing I could have a coffee date today – on my front porch! I just bought some Pumpkin Pie flavored coffee. So good! Love the idea of “get to” vs. “have to.” This can be such a powerful way to frame my day-to-day obligations. Happy Friday!

  13. I love these types of posts! The “get to” mindset is a great reminder of how to approach things with positivity. I appreciated reading that this morning. And I totally feel you on disliking being scared. I have never enjoyed it. The big thing on my mind is upcoming surgery next week to address some infertility issues. Even though it’s surgery, which is scary, I’m actually excited about it. Every step we get to take on this journey is leading us closer to being able to get pregnant. And I’m lucky that I have a doctor I trust and insurance to help cover some costs.

  14. Love the challenge to think “get to” instead of “have to!”

    Today I am a proud mama because my son (in 1st grade) received a note in the mail from his teacher yesterday that he was the “Bo Leader” (the award is sponsored by Bojangles). Apparently you get this honor by displaying the 7 Habits of a Leader throughout the week. He was so excited and proud of himself! He talked about it non-stop last night and this morning on the way to school.

  15. I follow tons of blogs but rarely comment – oops!

    Another blogger mentioned Stitch Fix for men and how excited her husband was to fill out his style profile and have his first fix. This makes me L O L because my husband is soooooo not into clothes or fashion. I just can’t even imagine him signing up for anything like that. Haha!

    I have NEVER been into haunted houses – like why would anyone want to scare the crap out of themselves on purpose?!? Crazy and nope.

    Happy weekend 🙂

  16. I just had a ginger chai latte so this is perfect timing! I read your blog most days, and I love reading about your life with Mal and Quinn! Your posts have really inspired me to try lots of new exercises and generally just get out of my comfort zone more. You really bring a “realness” to your writing and I love it! Thanks for seeming like a friend most mornings! xx

  17. I use to LOVE being scared but now that I’m a Mom its changed and I don’t like it. Especially with a husband that travels, I don’t want to freak myself out at night thinking about scary things. BTW, we had a HUGE wolf spider in our garage last night (when my husband wasn’t home, of course!) So I wanted to shush it out but then all these little babies started running every where, waaaaaahhhhhhhhh! I immediately grabbed bug killer and sprayed every inch of the garage and then removed my car from the garage for fear that they would make a home in there! (This is something I would have told you at our coffee date, haha, and I would have showed you a picture, the spider was bigger than a quarter, WTF!) Then I would talk to you about half marathon training, since I’m running one on 11/13 and I love talking about running!

    Well, happy Friday!

    p.s. One of my favorite framed quotes in our home “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet” 🙂

  18. I love the idea of changing our outlooks from “have to” to “get to” — it’s even made me change my attitude this morning! I think I’ll try to start being intentional in using it in my daily vocabulary! Coffee date this morning is with my Chili Mocha — my best friend and I call it “FourBucks Friday” for our weekly Starbucks addiction — usually I’m an Americano girl but I was intrigued with this title. I’m surprisingly satisfied by it but probably won’t order it again just for the $5 price tag on a Grande! Live and learn! My little girl turned 2 in July and I swear, I have never been more proud/devastated at the same time when she hits milestones. It’s the strangest feeling for wanting them to grow as individuals and then wanting them to stop growing up so fast! Slow down time!

    Also — I just laughed out loud when I tried to abbreviate Designed To Fit Nutruition — DTF =) =) It couldn’t be more appropriate! Looking forward to learning more about it!

  19. “Get to” vs. “Have to” is a game changer! Thanks for sharing that. I need an attitude adjustment this morning, and that is right on target. And I don’t get any thrills out of being scared. It’s not a joy for me—that includes haunted houses, scary movies, tv shows, etc. Life is too short. And it seems really short as your kids grow up and pass those milestones! Mine are now 29, 26, and 22, and I miss having them around! Enjoy every minute with Q.

  20. Thanks for sharing the “get to” versus “have to” mentality. Ever since moving to Antigua, I’ve changed my perspective because most people here don’t have many “get to” situations, if any (yet they are still so happy and thankful). I recall a particular instance when I was talking to my spanish teacher about how frustrated I was that my washing machine was backordered and that we had to take our clothes to the laundromat down the street in the meantime. Later, I found out she didn’t even have a stove in her home, let alone a laundry machine. Now i feel like I don’t have much to complain about; our situations could be so much worse!

    Have a great weekend!

  21. I love reading your blog and I loved the coffee chat post! I saw two things on instagram this morning that I thought you’d love – “@traderjoeslist” posted about Pumpkin Havest cold pressed juice from TJs…yum!! Whole foods also posted about bottled ready-to-drink Pumpkin Cold Brew Iced Vietnamese Coffee which sounds right up your alley for fall!

  22. I absolutely hate being scared!! My husband always tries to get me to watch a scary movie with him for halloween but doesn’t get how much I don’t enjoy it! I just got so excited to tell him there is a stitch fix for men though! He gets so jealous when I get a fix! I don’t comment much but I love to read. I live in the Boston area so it is fun to read about things around here.

  23. hi tina, the movie “About Time” hits on the idea to live life with the get to attitude. Have you seen it? its a fave of mine.

  24. I just used the “get to” versus “have to” argument with a co-worker this morning. She was unhappy that she has to wear glasses for the first time in her life, but man, how cool is it that we get to improve things like our eyesight?

    If we were having a coffee date today I’d tell you how excited I was to be participating in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday! Perfect weather is in store, and since I’ll be walking 26.2 miles the cooler temps are a necessity 🙂

  25. THANK YOU!!! I needed that reminder that I GET TO do all these things on my to do list and not HAVE TO. Love this post! On my mind? If I’ll get my work hours in before everyone leaves the office while hopefully my son naps so I can call patients/insurances, etc. Feeling sick and overwhelmed because this darn cold won’t go away! But on the bright side I don’t feel worse!

  26. Long time reader here too, first time commenting! I LOVE the idea of “get to.” I will definitely be remembering that one! Such good insight and a wonderful way to go about living life. Love your blog, I am similar to you in workout philosophy and now have a 9 month old daughter so it’s fun to follow Quinn too 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!

  27. I totally do not like to be scared! In fact, Halloween is my least favorite holiday for that reason. I have had to suck it up now that I am a mom so that my children get to enjoy it. But the best story about me being scared happened about 10 years ago (I was in my early 20’s). My now husband and I were just friends and were with a group of other friends and we were headed to a haunted house. I tagged along, knowing that I really did not enjoy them, but wanted to spend time with my friends. The entire time we were in the house I was screaming and crying and just so scared. By the end I saw a door and started running to get out of the house because I was tired of scary people running after me. When I got out of the house I sighed with relief that I was done- only to be greeted with yet another character with a chainsaw! I wailed and took off sprinting across this lawn. Next thing I know my feet hit water- I ran straight into a lake! I turned around at that point and realized I was so far from the house! No one had come after me, and all of my friends were crazy laughing at me from afar. Since that experience I refuse to go to a haunted house. And my husband continues to tease me about that night. And yes, years later I can laugh about it! 🙂

  28. I know you are a fan of butterscotch, as am I. Wanted to let you know , in case you haven’t seen them, but there are now butterscotch M & Ms for the fall. YUM!!

  29. LOVE that “get to” mentality, especially in regards to work and exercise. My brother was paralyzed in a car accident a few years ago, and everytime I start to grumble about a workout I try to remind myself that I GET to workout – something he can no longer do as freely. I’m so fortunate to be able to move my body, and it’s something I try to never take for granted. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  30. Tina, I’ve been reading your blog for years and it’s still my fave. A couple years ago, you even posted a message to my friend who was getting married on my behalf (she is a fellow Carrots ‘N Cake follower). 🙂 I love the “get to” mentality and I sometimes have to re-set my thinking to get back to that mindset. I write in a journal and just try to quickly re-assess my thinking process when I am feeling negative. Essentially, I give myself a kick in the butt sometimes. I have a little boy around Quinn’s age and I am grateful every day that I “get to” be his mother. I “get to” be a family member to a ton of wonderful people and that’s all I need! Also, you mentioned inspirational signs – I have a million of them. My favorites include: “If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it!” and “I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Have a great weekend and keep being a wonderful blogger!!

  31. Love this! I like iced coffee AND hot coffee, I like being scared, and I’m excited for my happy hour tank to arrive in the mail. I also have two of my best friends waiting for me at my house texting me asking me when I’ll be on my way, and I am debating sneaking out of work 12 minutes early to go see them sooner. I hate breaking rules though, so even the thought of sneaking out a couple of minutes early sends me into a panic. I decided to read this post to make the time go faster. It did! 🙂

  32. That get to vs. have to is something I try to keep in mind with so many things and most recently marathon training. It’s true, I don’t HAVE to go out and run for 3 hours, I am able to and get to. But oh it is tough to shift your perspective sometimes!

  33. I really like that reminder of get to versus have to as I am about to head back to work this week from maternity leave. I am going back part time and I am very lucky that I get to work part time as some people only have full time or stay home as an option. Before going on maternity leave I was always one to stay positive at work and keep in mind the bigger picture versus the day to day struggles or frustration. I don’t have any motivational quotes in my house but I do like the sign that says have a grateful day. Now I want a cup of coffee

  34. “Coffee date” posts are my favorites! I love your discussion of “getting to” exercise. That is such a wonderful reminder. It reminds me that I want to take care of my body, not that I do just because the doctor tells us to.

    And if we were having a coffee date, I’d ask you all about laptop help 🙁 mine is dying – and at the start of grad school! An unexpected expense… Any recommendations?

      1. THANK YOU, Tina, for responding to my laptop question! It’s a big investment so I’ve done lots of research. This is a Dell that I had not seen until you sent me the link. Again, a huge GRACIAS, smiles, and a hug 🙂

  35. Love this idea of ‘get to’ soo much time I think we get kind of run down with life, trying to do too much or wishing away what we have right now for what we ‘could ‘ have. I think this fits into being more in the present as well, something I’m terrible at! Especially now with a toddler I feel like I miss so much of his growing up because time just seems to be flying so instead of thinking about ‘having’ to pick him up from daycare , it’s ‘get ‘ to or ‘getting’ to make him a meal , he probably won’t eat….kidding kidding, sort of!

    Love this idea!

  36. I totally agree about “get to”! When I say or think those two words, I instantly relax and have more fun doing whatever I previously felt I “HAD to” do. It’s a much better feeling!

  37. I’ve been reading CNC for a couple of years and it used to be my favorite blog, but to be honest…. It hasn’t been the same. I feel like all your posts either have been sponsored posts or recipes, which seem really impersonal to me. I loved the ‘A Day in the Life’ and High and Life posts. I realize maintaining a blog can get expensive, which is why it is necessary to do the sponsored posts, but maybe include them in a ‘Day in the Life’ posts. Just so the entire post isn’t dedicated to the sponsored product.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Sorry you feel that way, but I still write plenty of High Low High posts, and I just added a fun (and personal) coffee date one last Friday. I really try to mix it up with the type of posts that I write (food, fitness, life).

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