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a good day

Yesterday ended up being quite the busy day!  I have several “projects” in the works right now that I am not quite ready to reveal, but they are taking up a lot of my time.  The cool thing is that I am loving working on them. It’s been awhile since I’ve had something going on that doesn’t really feel like work even though it is.

I’m wanting to get into doing more yoga this summer, and my gym had a power yoga class yesterday at 5:30 pm.  I still wanted to squeeze in some cardio so I did a quick 2 miles on the treadmill in the morning.  Over the course of the last month of school and then vacation, my running endurance levels have backslid a bit, so I’m trying to build my stamina back up.  Let’s be real, the hardest part of running is the phase where you are out of shape and just trying to build up endurance.  For me, running is not much fun during this phase, but it feels dang good when it’s over!  I think that’s why people sometimes have trouble getting into running – it is hard in the beginning.  But it does get easier and more fun the stronger you get. You just gotta hang in there!

I came back to a nice big bowl of overnight oats.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made them, and I have no idea why!

This bowl started off with 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, 1/3 cup oats and 1 tbsp chia seeds.  They marinated in the fridge over night, and I added chopped fresh cherries and sliced almonds in the morning.  The cherries added just the perfect sweetness.  Aren’t cherries the most wonderful fruit?

Lucky for me, I had a hot date for lunch

Grace is one of my favorite people, and we had such a sweet time of catching up.  Her husband’s name is Jonathan also, and we love getting together and having play dates for Olive and her little Bichon, Lucy.  She always shoots it to me straight and speaks truth into my life.  Friends like that are not on every corner, and I appreciate and love her immensely!

I ordered one of my two usuals from Panera – mediterranean veggie sandwich (hold the feta!) and a cup of vegetable soup.  Also a whole grain baguette for dipping.  I haven’t been getting my baguette fill since being back from vacation, so it really hit the spot;)

Several hours and one refreshing power yoga class later, I mad a quick and easy dinner.  We had some frozen pasta from a few weeks ago, so I heated it up.  I made two sauces – one for me and one for Jon.  Actually, I sort of cheated by using this awesome new Bove wine and mushroom organic pasta sauce I bought at the store last week (shhh!). I added tons of chopped bell pepper and onion to mine and bell pepper, onion and ground turkey to his.  I loved this sauce!  I don’t know how often I’d buy it considering the steep price, but maybe for special occassions.

We were up working late last night, so I ended up having a toasted Ezekiel muffin with Earth Balance a little later.

I’m off to clean out our office and get some work done on our budget.  Fun!  We are using a program called Mint. You basically set up your budget online.  Mint links to your bank account and automatically sifts every transaction into a category.  It sends you frequent updates through your phone, so you always know if you’ve gone over in a certain area. I hate those evil little messages.  Admittedly I’ve been guilty of just deleting them when they come through, but I’m getting better!

Have you heard of or used Mint?
Do you have a system you like for keeping track of your budget?

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simple pleasures

Today has been the best day ever.  And there was nothing major that happened.  It was all about the simple pleasures.

A constant thunderstorm all day.  Got to lay in bed with J after the alarm went off and had time to make him breakfast.  Went to the gym and wasn’t rushed.  Picked up my Mini Diana pictures (more to come on this).  Blogged TWICE!  Ran errands with J.  Was able to do lots of laundry and get the bathroom cleaned.

And ate lots of good, healthy food right at my own table.

Breakfast:  Oikos plain greek yogurt, Optimum Cereal, sliced banana, cinnamon.

Snack number one: a bowl of fresh cherries.

Lunch:  Morningstar spicy black bean burger, leftover guacamole, hummus, onion, tomato, pickles. With an unpictured ear of corn on the cob (obsessed).

Snack two:  more Optimum cereal with soy milk.

Dinner:  a spinach lavash wrap, organic mushroom and wine pasta sauce, broccoli slaw, leftover veggie and hummus mix.  And slightly overcooked brussels on the side.

I’m off to hang out with J and possible enjoy some more of my current read, Glass Castle.  One of my goals for this summer was to read more just for pleasure.  I read American Wife and Sarah’s Key while we were on vacation, and now I’m on to this new one.  Being an English teacher, I of course love to read, but it seems like it has been months since I’ve been able to just sit and read for pleasure.  I hope you all have had a wonderful Monday!

Off I go!

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pack your bags!

This morning started off kind of rocky due to sleeping through our alarm and missing church.  Sad:(  We made a last minute run to the city last night because I needed to get some shoes to wear on our trip.  I had a little too much luck with shopping and ended up with more shoes than I really need.

I’ve had worse problems.  Either way, I guess our bodies weren’t quite ready to be up and at ‘em this morning.

We turned things around pretty quickly though, putting it in high gear to get ready to leave for Europe.  By mid afternoon we had laid out most of our clothes to be packed, cleaned out the fridge, mowed two lawns (I mowed ours, Jon mowed a friends), and done three loads of laundry.  I also was fortunate enough to get two of my drawers and my closet cleaned out.  You see, I have had this stellar pair of Nike spandex workout capris that I absolutely adore, and they have mysteriously gone missing as of about three weeks ago.  I really want to take them, but alas, even after looking every last place I can imagine they’d be – they have remained undiscovered.

Regardless of the busyness of the morning, I managed to throw together a healthy breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast – Yogurt bowl w/ one soy yogurt, sliced almonds, granola and dried cherries

Lunch – two slices Ezekiel bread, spinach and artichoke hummus, sliced cucumber, tomato and onion.  With a side of corn on the cob.  Kind of random, but we’re trying to eat the last of the perishables in the fridge.

I am so happy that I planned out my vacation outfits a couple of weeks ago.  It has made packing so much easier.  Now, if I could just get the laundry done, I’d be set!  Folding laundry is my least favorite household task.  I’m not sure why, but I’d rather do just about anything else.

We are flying out of Dallas on Tuesday, so we’ll be driving down early to stay with my sister for a day.  We are actually comtemplating going tonight, but still have not decided whether it is possible, so we’ll see!  Regardless, we will be making a pit stop at Whole Foods once we get there so I can stock up on some healthy snacks.  I wouldn’t want to get caught with plane food as my only option!

As far as our time in Europe, I plan to enjoy the food and indulge, but in moderation.  I’ll be packing a few of my own healthy things (think rice cakes, nut butter and bars) to supplement, and doing the best I can!  I’ll be updating later about ideas for taking food on trips in case any of you are planning your own trips and are interested.

Gotta go finish packing – talk to ya’ll later!

What are some ideas that you have as far as packing food to take on an international vacation?  How do you balance eating healthy and indulging while on vacation?

What is your least favorite household chore?

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creamy, coconutty goodness + a good reminder

Wow, guys.  I have been so MIA the past couple of days.  I have been swamped with work…essays seeming to multiply like bunnies.  I wake up thinking about work.  I go to bed thinking about work.  Eek.  I need to get a grip.

I do have to say I am stoked about some coming announcements that I’ll be making – I know it’s kind of mean to say that and not provide more info…I hope you’ll forgive me.  Sorry!  I just can’t contain myself!

Anyhow!  I’ve totally slacked on snapping food shots the last couple of days, but I have some weekend eats lined up, just waiting to get their chance in the spotlight.

Friday lunch was leftover vegan basic pasta sauce over whole wheat spaghetti.  Also added a special touch of chopped avocado on top!  I used to would have never thought of putting avocado on top of spaghetti sauce, but these days I more often ask myself “why not??” rather than “why?”

Snack on Friday:) Yogurt with sliced almonds and dried crans

Breakfast on Saturday.  The return of the Pumpkin Protein Waffles.  Round two = better than eva’

Next up: easy prep for mystery recipe – to be featured in a coming post, so stay tuned!

more prep…

simmerin’ away – Can we say “fix it and forget it?”  I think we can:)

On Saturday, Jon and I strolled downtown to check out the arts festival.  While the festival wasn’t exactly as festive as we had hoped, we dined at our most beloved downtown restaurant – Cafe Bella.  The atmosphere is quaint and cozy and the menu has a plethora of veggie/vegan options.  Here was my menu item of choice:

sub in hummus for cream cheese.  Obbbviously.  I die.

Next on the Saturday afternoon agenda was a trip to the health food store – Nature’s Supply.  They were hosting a customer appreciation sale, and I’ll tell ya what…I was feelin’ the love.  I picked up some Pirate’s Booty (obsessed), blue corn chips, organic whole wheat tortillas, tempeh, some dark chocolate and…wait for it…Artisana Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut butter – whew!  That’s a mouthful!  And it was.

I had never tried coconut butter before, but of course had seen it all over the blog world.  I just couldn’t bring myself to fork over the big bucks for it; however, who could pass it up as part of the customer appreciate sale?  I mean, c’mon!  Of course, the second I was in the car and out of public view I had to pop it open and get a good taste.  The verdict?  Delish!  I can’t say I will be buying it again because it set us back a good $10 (on sale!), but that is no reflection on how tasty it was.  I’m lucky to splurge on a $5 jar of almond butter though, so I best not get ahead of myself.

Perfection on an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin english muffin.

and the following morning on a leftover Pumpkin Protein waffle.  Can’t. get. enough.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on projects, hugging and cuddling, and soaking up every last moment of the weekend.  Monday morning swept in much too soon.

We also watched a movie called Beyond Borders.  Have you guys seen it?  It was riveting.  It was also very thought provoking and impactful.  I adore movies that make me think outside the bubble that I live in.  When we lived in Thailand, I was confronted every day with the reality that many people don’t have everything, such as materials possessions, food, shelter etc.,  that I’ve been blessed with.  Since we moved back to the States, however, I’ve found it’s easy to forget.  I like watching movies that deliver prespective right to my front door. This movie really made me think about all that I have to be thankful for.  It also made me really evaluate the things that I really don’t need.  More on that to come in the future.

What is your favorite thing you did and your favorite thing you ate over the weekend?

Do you find it hard sometimes to keep perspective in this material driven world that we live in? What kinds of things do you do to keep yourself in check?

I hope you have had a great start to the week.  Here we go again, ya’ll!

G’night.

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make it happen

Happy Thursday:)  I honestly can’t believe we’re only a night’s sleep away from Friday.  I am SO glad.  I’m just counting down the days until school is out – only 6 weeks and 1 day to go.

I received my Women’s Health magazine in the mail today, and it has some great stuff.  Women’s Health and Oxygen are my favorite magazines – I feel they are the most down-to-earth and real of all the fitness magazines.  This issue has Jillian Michaels on the cover and a great interview with her inside. It’s funny how when you need a certain kind of affirmation about something, it just keeps popping up everywhere. In her interview, Jillian gives some great tips on how to achieve success, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • Define your goal and be specific:  you have to know exactly what you’re going after before you can go after it.
  • Believe in your ability:  A lot of times people don’t really believe they can accomplish their goals.  If you don’t believe in you, then who will?  This is the one I have the most trouble with.  At times I’ll feel so confident and self assured, like I could become the next Oprah if I wanted…other times I have trouble believing that I can make it through my next workout.  This is something I am really working on in my life right now.
  • Stay positive:  the minute you turn around to bash yourself, reverse it and give yourself a compliment.
  • Imagine your goal:  Visualization allows you to get comfortable with the idea of change.  I was just thinking about this today.  I took a few minutes to visualize my goals.  I pictured myself as I would be a year from now if I actually stepped out and tackled my goals.  I even envisioned what the blog post would look like when I recap everything I will have accomplished (obvs. I think of everything in terms of blog posts:)  This was really motivating for me.  I desperately want to live that story!
  • Get educated:  Studying up before pursuing your goal helps you make powerful choices that effect change.  Knowledge is power.
  • Don’t fear failure:  It is an integral part of success.  I fear failure all the time!  I think the big point here could even be – it’s okay to fear failure, as long as you don’t let that fear hold you back.  Conquer it!
  • Get feedback:  look for someone who’s educated in the goal you’re trying to achieve and seek out constructive criticism from him/her.

I think I’m going to type these up and post them where I can see them on a daily basis.  Keeping things like this in front of me helps me stay motivated and inspired!

Today was honestly pretty stressful.  Work was more stressful than usual (I won’t even go into that), and I got a call from my mom this morning, letting me know my grandpa had an accident.  He had climbed up on the roof of our lake cabin to clear off some limbs, and when he went to climb back down, one leg of the ladder sunk into the ground, causing him to fall from the roof level. Unfortunately, he cracked three ribs.  Fortunately, he didn’t have any other injuries.  I am so thankful to still have my two grandparents, and all the time I think about the possibility of something happening to them.  I don’t know how I would handle it.  Even this got me all worked up, and I just wanted to go visit him, not be at work!  I got to talk to him on the phone for awhile after work, though, and he seemed to be in pretty high spirits, considering.

For lunch, the parents at our school put together a luncheon for the teachers.  I knew right away (from past experience) that there would be nothing there for me, so I packed this

Overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/2 chopped banana.  Let sit overnight.  Add toppings!  Almond butter to be specific.  Delish!  My coworkers give me the strangest looks sometimes;)

Here’s the rest of the day’s eats

Yes, that would be cheeseless pizza again.  Yes, I just had it last Saturday.  What can I say? I was having a serious hankering for it, and I was exhausted from the day.  What’s a girl to do?

I also am proud to say I worked out today, even though it was all I could do to keep my eyes open during the commute home.  I threw on my gym clothes and headed to the gym.  I cranked out a quick 2.5 miles on the treadmill, and followed it up with some ab work using the Bosu ball.  Yay!

  • What is your favorite fitness magazine?  Or would you rather read online articles/blogs instead?
  • What strategies do you have to help you stay motivated and inspired?
  • Chia Seeds Direct is having a sale on white chia seeds.  Get 10% off by using the code WCS.  Also, U.S. residents get free shipping.  What are ya waiting for??

Well, that’s it for today, folks!  Hope you all have a great Friday! G’night.

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