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deck the halls

Random fact on this lovely Friday: somebody found my blog by searching the phrase “chia seed in my eye.”

I kinda like that, lol:)  Not going to find any advice here, though!

I mentioned the other day that Jon and I decorated for Christmas on Sunday.  I love decorating for Christmas!  Last year during this time I hadn’t even started ChiaSeedMe yet.  I was kind of in a transition between blogs.  I had been writing at Brand New Sidewalk about random life happenings for about a year, but with the craziness also known as my first year of teaching, I just didn’t have the time or energy to put into it!

So, I started a tumbler, thinking it would be a good way to keep blogging, but with shorter, less-time consuming entries.  I really liked tumbler, and sometimes I think I’d like to keep blogging there (in addition to CSM), but so far it hasn’t happened.  My tumbler was geared a little more toward healthy living, but I really made the jump when I started ChiaSeedMe.

So in the spirit of decorating for Christmas here are some of last year’s decorations.

And this year.

Oops!  That’s not a decoration.  That would be my breakfast.  A random juicing of carrots, apple, a lime, small piece of ginger and a few handfuls of spinach (aka – everything that I could scavenge from my oh so empty fridge).  Plus half a leftover Cliff bar.

Let’s try this again.

And of course Christmas at our house wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my Grandpa’s peanut brittle.  He spends hours making it every year, and it’s the best peanut brittle there ever was.

The husband and I will be spending the whole weekend Christmas shopping!  I’m so excited.

What are you most excited about this weekend?

Happy Friday!

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cheesy noodle dish + blog reading tips

Hi!

This morning Jon and I hit the gym a little late, so I did a really quick interval run.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to get the motivation to kill it on the treadmill, but when I do it’s nice because I get done so much faster and I feel so good!  Unfortunately I didn’t have time for weights or ab work, but later I did spend some time running through my PiYo class for this week.

I also spent some time catching up on some of my favorite blogs over breakfast!

1/3 cup oats, handful of frozen blackberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds cooked in 3/4 cup water for 2 minutes.  Add a couple spoonfuls of soy yogurt and another sprinkle of chias (just for fun:) = best oatmeal ever. creamy. thick. delish.

I hate when I get behind and I feel like I don’t know what’s going on with everyone.  This morning was like catching up with friends…I love all my blog friends:)

One thing I’ve been having a hard time with lately, though, is time.  No matter how bad I want to catch up and comment on everybody’s blogs, I just don’t have enough time.  I can sit for an hour at some point in the day, reading and commenting, and still feel like I’ve only gotten through about half, which for me is about 15 or so. I just feel like I don’t have much more time than that to give to it, especially by the time I post on my own.

I feel like I see so many bloggers who comment on tons of blogs, and I just don’t see how they have time to do it.  Is there a secret that I don’t know about? I use google reader, but by the time I click out of it to comment, I’m not sure how much time it really saves.  What gives?

I’m hoping I’ll get some tips from some of you on how to read and comment on more blogs in less time!

Moving on.

For lunch today I made one of my favorite meals, but in about 1/4 of the time it took me to make it last time!

Cheesy “noodles” and brussel sprouts

Instead of cooking the spaghetti squash in the oven, I poked holes in it with a fork and put it in the microwave for about 12 minutes.  When I took it out, it was just the right amount of softness and I sliced it open with ease. In less than 2 minutes, I had cleaned out the seeds and then scraped out the “spaghetti” strands into a bowl.

this is what it looks like after being cooked and cut in half

and after separating out the strands

While preparing the squash, I placed a bowl of halved brussel sprouts in the microwave with just a little bit of water for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Next, I mixed together 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp hummus and about 1.5 tbsp water.  I whisked it until it had a smooth consistency.  Last, I combined about a cup of spaghetti squash and 1/2 cup of brussel spouts before pouring the sauce over top and mixing it all up.

I added a dash of black pepper and ground red pepper for some kick!

Delicious!  This is one of my favorite meals.  The credit does not go to me though – I think I originally saw this idea on Heather’s blog, and I think Gena actually came up with the sauce idea.  I know some of you may think it sounds like a crazy idea for a recipe…when I took this to work for lunch last year, my coworkers thought I had lost my mind.  Try it before you knock it though.  It honestly tastes like a big bowl of creamy, cheesy pasta!  Added bonus: it took me less than 15 minutes to make, and it heats up well too if you’re looking for lunch to take to work.

I know some people have a problem with using microwaves.  Honestly, I haven’t done enough research to voice an opinion, but I try to choose my battles.  And right now, that’s one I’m going to choose not to worry about.  If I had more time, I would just cook the squash in the oven, but on days like today I’d rather have microwaved spaghetti squash than none at all!

I’m off to meet a new tutoring student.  This is my first student who is not an adult – he’s a fourth grader!  I’m not used to this, so I’m crossing my fingers it’ll go well.  Hope you all are having a great day!

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getting back on track

Amidst the busyness of the last few days, there have been some really sweet highlights.

Yesterday I received a mysterious box in the mail.  I always get so excited when an unexpected package comes, but usually I open it to find junk mail of some sort.  But not this time.  I opened the box, peered inside and saw this:

and this

My mom, step-dad and sister bought me this cute little scarf and mailed it to me as a surprise.  How sweet is that?  It totally brightened my entire day and made me feel so loved and happy. I have the best family:)

Another highlight came today when I finished a project that I’ve been working on.  My friend, JJ, facebooked me about a week ago and asked me if I could make a couple of tag blankets for some friends of hers who are having a baby shower this week.  I made a tag blanket for JJ’s baby right before he was born, and she says he takes it everywhere with him, so she thought it would be a great gift for her friends!

I of course happily obliged, but unfortunately my sewing machine was not quite as willing.  Yesterday took all the patience I could muster as my machine jammed over and over and over.  Finally, after about 4 hours of working, I finished them up!

tag blanket numero one

and numero two

If you’re wondering what a tag blanket is, allow me to explain.  It’s a small, soft blanket for babies that has loops of ribbon coming off of it – it’s great for cuddling, pulling, chewing and just all around good fun:)

Anyway, regardless of my frustration with the sewing machine, you really can’t beat an afternoon of sewing while jamming out to Christmas music and sipping a hot latte on a frigid winter day.  Can I get an amen?

Another thing you can’t beat?

baked apples with cinnamon and a splash of agave

and spinach lavash wraps with hummus, chia seeds and veggies.  with a side of ceramic birds:)

So, I mentioned yesterday that I would be back to talk about getting back in a healthy groove after veering from it for awhile.  The last couple of weeks or so I have just gotten a little lazy with eating clean.  Between the stresses and busyness of the everyday and the extra craziness of the holidays, I’ve been eating a few too many chips and cookies, and not nearly enough veggies.

I definitely have my ups and downs when it comes to living healthy.  I go through phases where it seems I just get on a roll of eating too much junk and not making it to the gym.  And once I start slacking, it can be sooo hard to get back on track.

But no one can be perfect all the time, and the important thing for me is to focus on the fact that I do always get back on track. Instead of beating myself up and regretting what I’ve done, I am so much more successful overall when I just dust off my behind and jump right back in the game.  Dwelling on what I’ve done in the past only serves to drag me farther down, killing any remnants of mojo I have left and leaving me feeling discouraged and sad.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve really stepped it up and gotten back on track with food and exercise.  Tonight I was thinking through a few things I’ve done to help, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • I re-read a book that has been motivating to me in the past.  This renews my energy and refreshes my perspective of why it’s important to me to make healthy choices.  This time around it was Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean book.  Absolutely love this book – if you haven’t read it, put it on your Christmas list stat!
  • I took a few minutes to write out some goals/reasons why I want to do what it takes to feel great and be healthy. These change from time to time, so it’s really important to me to keep them fresh and current in my mind.
  • I got a partner! Turns out I’m not the only who has been slacking since the holidays started.  Talking to someone else and sharing ideas, struggles and goals together really pumps me up to make some changes.  Plus, I get instant accountability for my choices!
  • I wrote down a mantra and memorized it! Every time I start to fall back into bad habits, whether by skipping the gym multiple days in a row or by eating another handful of chips rather than some raw vegetables, I immediately repeat my mantra in my head.  It focuses me instantly!
  • I perused blogs and jotted down some new fun meal ideas that I can get excited about! Sometimes I just get in a rut and become tired of the same foods I always eat.  There’s no better place than blogs to get new inspiration for workouts and meals.
  • I pretended I felt better even before I did.  Sometimes it really does work to “fake it till you make it.”  Even though I felt sluggish and kind of weighed down, I began to act and think like I felt healthy and alive.  This got me through for a couple of days until I really did start to feel better!

These are just a few of the things I did – nothing groundbreaking, but yet these never fail to help me get back on course when I seem to have strayed far away.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have for getting back on track after being in a rut.  What do you do when this happens to you?!

Hope you’ve all had a great Wednesday!  Onward!

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