April 20, 2011

Going Green

There are two things I love in the morning.

1) Knowing it’s a new day that God has given J and I.

2) Eating my breakfast with Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann.

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I started watching the Today Show in college with my room-mates in-between our classes.  We’d all get home from an early morning class and race to put on sweats and zone out until our next class.  I’m not sure if I love the show itself more or the memories made while watching the show.

In any case, there are so many stories that have tugged at my heart and brought tears to my eyes, inspired me to try new things, and encouraged me to start new habits.  Such being one of their latest stories on a family that creates zero waste!  That’s right, zero-nada-nothing.  They do this by using sealable glass jars, baking bread, shopping farmer’s markets, throwing food waste into a compost, buying foods in bulk and more.

You’ll want to check out their story here.

This story made me realize how not-green I am!  I get plastic bags from the grocery store, I forget to recycle, I throw food away.  So, as a way to kick-off my efforts in going green, I found these produce bags at Crate & Barrel and can’t wait to use them!

Eliminating one plastic bag at a time.  Hey, you have to start somewhere!

What efforts do you make in going green?  Help me, please! 🙂

April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Pam!

This is Pam.  She is my good friend.  She is also J’s mom and my mother-in law.

Today is her birthday!

Pam and I love to talk about what’s for dinner when we’re eating lunch, find bargains at Marshall’s, watch the Food Network, are fans of Phil Vassar, encourage each other on our fitness endeavors and have fun together! I am so grateful that God chose herto be my mother-in-law!  Here’s to you , Pam, on your birthday!  May this next year bring you blessings in abundance!

Now, on to a recipe you’ll want to try, share and keep on hand.  It comes from a family I nannied for one summer in the San Fran bay area.  Not only does it give me a taste of California each time I make it, it is the best addition to any summer grill out.

Sally’s Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo. (Finely chopped) Red Onion. (Finely chopped) Kalamata Olives.

Good Seasons Italian Packet. Feta Cheese.

**I didn’t add measurements because it’s totally up to you on how much of each ingredient you’d like to put in.**   However, this is what I did:

  • 1/2 box of orzo (cooked and drained)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 can of Kalamata olives (finely chopped)
  • Dressing to taste
  • Feta Cheese to taste

Voila!  The easiest orzo salad ever!!

Enjoy!

April 17, 2011

Sunday Lemonade

As you all know,  I love heading to the store with a game plan.  Having a list gives me grocery shopping freedom!   So, today when our fridge was bare and our bellies were empty, I headed to the store.

This is what I bought:

Produce

grapes. pink lady apples. mini sweet peppers.  organic lettuce. pears. organic grape tomatoes. sweet potatoes. lemons. red onion.

Protein/Dairy

voskos yogurt (with coupon). fage greek yogurt. parmesan cheese. feta cheese. organic steak. all natural chicken (with coupon). icecream (buy one get one).

Carbs

alexia bread (buy one get one). orzo pasta. wheat thins (buy one get one).

Extras

lemonade. pop tarts (buy one get one and a coupon). olives. good seasonings dressing kit. reynolds wrap (coupon).

To my surprise, with the coupons and the buy one get one deals, I saved $23.40!  I think this is the most I’ve ever saved…or close to it! To a new couponer, this is a big deal! 🙂

I do believe it’s time to celebrate.  I think I’ll take up the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” literally!

What’s your favorite summer time drink?

April 16, 2011

The Friday Five: Friday Recap!

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

It has been a busy week, hence why I’m blogging “The Friday Five” at 11 p.m. tonight!  Despite the craziness, it has been a wonderful week and I’m now cozied up next to my husband watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows…ready for the weekend.

Friday’s are usually my day off and I have time to catch up on all sorts of fun things.  For today’s Friday Five I would love to share a Friday Recap.  Then, I want to hear about yours! 🙂

Friday Recap:

1) Enjoyed a morning run!

2) Read!  I love having the time to sit in a comfy chair and read and journal.

3) Brought  Starbuck’s to J at school. 🙂

4) Washed a lot of laundry!  I started using Seventh Generation laundry detergent and am loving it.

  5) Got a lift from some colorful balloons. 🙂

Now, tell me…what’s your Friday Recap?


April 13, 2011

Cinnamon Streusel Bread

One of my favorite things about looking at your blogs is browsing your recipe page.  Everyone has a way to present their favorite meal in a unique way, even if that favorite meal is something as simple as meatloaf. 🙂

This past weekend, I found a receipe I knew would be a winner:  Cinnamon Streusel Bread.  Cinnamon, butter, brown sugar…what’s not to love?  So, thanks to Courtney at The Granola Chronicles, here it is!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom a loaf pan or a muffin tin.

Combine the following ingredients

  • 2 C Flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • 1/3 C oil or applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 2 t vanilla

Next, combine the following ingredients to make your streusel.

  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 T softened butter

Finally, pour half of your batter into your loaf pan or muffin tins.  Sprinkle half of your streusel mixture over the batter and add your remaining batter.  Polish off the streusel mixture by sprinkling it on top.

Bake for 45 minutes. (This is a minimum.  It took about 15 minutes longer for mine to be baked through.)

**If you are using muffin tins, be sure to keep a watchful eye on your muffins as they will be done sooner than the loaf pan.

Enjoy!

Do you try recipes off of blogs?  If so, what’s your favorite one?


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April 12, 2011

Lazy Dinner Date

Sometimes we all need a break.  Tonight, I decided I was not going to turn on the stove, heat up the oven, or ask J to go out to eat. Instead, I decided it was a lazy dinner date at home.

A platter of goodies!  Whole grain bread, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, carrots, green onions, ripe tomatoes, carrots, peppers and grapes.

It may have been easy, but it sure was good…and of course made with a lot of love. 🙂

Question of the day:  What’s your idea of a lazy dinner?

 

April 8, 2011

The Friday Five: my favorite at home exercises!

Sometimes it’s hard to get ourselves out the door, into our car, and to the gym.  Sometimes the weather discourages us to lace up our shoes and hit the road for a good run or long bike ride.  So, what do we do if we want to work out but just can’t get out the door?  Bloggers, we work it out at home. 🙂

Today’s Friday Five: my favorite at home exercises!

*Feel free to adapt these exercises for what’s best for you!

1) 180 Jump (This is a plyometric exercise, a.k.a. jump training.)

Three sets of 15.

2) Mogules (This is a plyometric exercise, a.k.a. jump training.)

Three sets of 30 seconds each time.

3) Push Up’s (The real way!)

Start with 10.  Push up’s can be difficult, but they’re definitely attainable.  Work your way up to doing more each time. (10 reps/2 sets)

4) Pilates 100! (Powering through the burn!) 😉

To watch a video on how to complete this exercise, click here.

5) Box it out with 5 lb weights

Sink down into a squat position and box it out with 5lb weights in each hand.   (20 reps/3 sets)

Question of the day:  What are your weekend plans?


April 5, 2011

Eat More Produce!

If you live in the Central Florida area, you may be missing out on one of the area’s best hidden treasures:  Eat More Produce. From the looks of the exterior you may not be impressed; but once you step through the doors your senses will be greeted by a kalediscope of colors and the smell of fresh produce.

Because their produce is locally grown, it tends to be a hit and miss shopping trip according to what’s in season and when they’ve received a new batch of goodies.  However, if you have some time and a flexible shopping list, it’s a real winner!

Some of the newer store additions include:  a wide variety of dried fruit, beans and nuts, a selection of fine wines, a Boar’s Head meat and cheese counter and household cleaning products.

Eat More Produce is more than a market to me; it’s a wise investment.  I love spending my dollar to support local farmers and business owners.  They really go the extra mile in not only making my shopping experience pleasant, but providing fresh and ripe foods for my family.   Three cheers for Eat More Produce!

Question of the day:  What’s your favorite…fruit/veggie/cheese/meat/wine/nut???

Do you browse your local Farmer’s Market?



April 2, 2011

The Friday Five: foods to fuel

After a busy week and only one workout under my belt, I needed to get a good run in–if not for my health, for my sanity. 🙂

I used my runkeeper app and tracked the exact time and distance of my run.  It was a beautiful morning full of sunshine and a cool breeze…perfect weather to get back to it.

After my run, I was thinking about what food would be best to carry my body to a healthy recovery.  So, thanks to runnersworld.com, I found some tasty breakfast recipes that will jump start your recovery after a morning run.  According to this article, a good mix of carbs and protein within 30 minutes of your workout will be a great mix to refuel your happy body.  (Check out this link for exact recipes!)

1) High-Protein Pancakes: whole grain pancakes, greek yogurt, blueberries and nuts.

2) Savory Pita:  wheat pita, olive tapenade, apricots, tomato, red onion, red bell pepper, turkey bacon, and feta cheese.

3) Breakfast Sundae: bananna, fat-free vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, high protein cereal and a dash of cinnamon.

4) Southwestern Wrap: whole wheat tortilla, black beans, brown rice, scrambled egg, avacado, spinach, cheddar, cilantro and salsa.

5) Island Smoothie: low-fat peach kefir, low-fat milk, crushed pineapple, dried coconut, instant oatmeal, and frozen raspberries.

BONUS! Sweet Sandwich! (english muffin, cashew butter, mango chutney, golden raisins, fat-free cottage cheese.

Hopefully this gives you some more ideas to do your body good!

What’s your favorite post-workout meal or snack?


 

 

March 31, 2011

A long time coming!

This post has been a long time coming.  After a rehearsal dinner, a wedding celebration, a trip to Atlanta, and a lot of work…I’m back!

Last Saturday, I had the great privilege of being a part of my dear friend Carrie’s wedding.  As you can see, she was a glowing bride!  You just can’t beat an outdoor Florida wedding in March.  It was gorgeous!

Plus, you gotta’ love when the bride picks out bridesmaid dresses you’d wear again!

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The bride and groom were beaming, dancing and so in love.  After the big celebration, J and I hit the road so I could get back home to leave for a work conference in Atlanta.

One of the most difficult things to do on a trip, let alone a work trip, is exercise.  I promised myself I’d get in at least one good workout.

I hopped on a treadmill and used one of Peanut Butter Fingers (kick my butt) treadmill workouts.  Check it out here:  25 minute hardcore treadmill workout. It felt so good to burn some calories and give my legs a stretch after a long car ride.

Now, it’s back to reality!  I’m excited to be back, dear bloggers!

It’s time to catch me up on what’s been going on with you!

How are you?  Do you find it hard to exercise on a vacation or work trip?  Have you ever been a bridesmaid in a wedding?  If so, did you ever re-wear the dress?