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Five Things Friday {3}

22 Jun

Here are the five things I’ve been loving this week:

  1. Spray sunscreen – For reals, yo. Whoever invented this stuff is a bazillionaire and is most deserving of the fortune he or she is {sun}bathing in. My daughter cannot stand to wear her sunhat, so I just hose her scalp down, in addition to the rest of her body, and she’s good to go. Her hair looks like a grease-pot, but who cares? Not like she’s trying to impress the 2-yr old boys at the pool, ya know? Let’s hope not, at least!

  2. Frozen grapes – I picked up this trick from Brandy at MannlyMama, and I am addicted! They taste like candy. So far we’ve only done red grapes, but I’m sure the green ones would be just as awesome. My kids love them at the pool, and it’s such a fun way to cool off with a healthy snack. I had also come across it on Pinterest, but not as toddler food. One pinner said to pop frozen grapes in your wine to keep it cold at a summer party. Genius!

  3. Julienne veggies – We joined a crop-share with a local farm this summer, and the past few boxes I’ve picked up have been full of yummy summer squash. I saw something a friend pinned on Pinterest, a simple photo of julienne veggies tied up neatly as a wedding reception appetizer, and I decided that slicing the squash in strips was a great way to cook them quickly. I chopped up a zucchini, a yellow squash and a couple of carrots, and cooked them in a teaspoon of olive oil and chopped garlic. Yes, they stuck to the pan a bit, and it took some good old elbow grease to scrub the brown gunk off, but I’m trying to use less {or no} oil in our cooking lately to reduce the fat in our diets, so it was worth the extra effort. It only took about 5 minutes to soften them up a bit, then I dressed them with fresh-squeezed lime juice, grated ginger, honey and soy sauce. Served over cooked quinoa, this was so yummy and easy!

  4. Fresh-picked fruit from the farm – we go out to the farm each week to pick up our box of produce, and while we’re there, we pick our bonus for the week. This week it was two pints of tart cherries, 1/2 pint of black raspberries, and a pint of blueberries. Even though it was 100-degrees, we ended up picking another 1/2 pint of black raspberries and two extra pints of blueberries because they are SO DELICIOUS {and a million times fresher and tastier than grocery store berries}. Baby girl was a superstar at sampling while I did the picking. I don’t think she even got one berry into the container because they always ended up in her mouth.

  5. P90x – the hubby and I have begun the journey. We’re only on Day 4, but already I can tell that it is going to have a major impact on our bodies. I have a Love/Hate relationship with it. Love how I feel afterwards, but Hate having to put the kids to bed then do an hour {or longer} DVD before I can finally go to bed.

    The kids and I are off to meet The Daddy at his work Family Fun Day today. Happy Friday friends!! TGIF!


Goals and a look back at an old list for Five Things Friday

1 Jun

This Friday I thought I’d do a little blast from the past.

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately. Back when I was a senior in college, we had to write a list of five goals we wanted to accomplish in the next 10 years. I can almost picture that piece of paper in my mind. Part of me thinks that if I really look hard enough {read: dig through all my piles of junk and clutter} I’d be able to find it. Because I’m pretty sure I saved it.

We were told that by physically writing your goals down on paper you were much more likely to actually attain them compared to simply thinking or talking about them. Something about the act of putting it in writing that makes it seem more real, I guess.

I can remember four of the five things on my senior year list of goals.

  1. Get married
  2. Buy a house
  3. Have kids
  4. Make $100k in one year
  5. ?

I actually accomplished all of those things in the first five years out of college. But for the life of me, I cannot remember the fifth thing.

It still bugs me.

In the corporate world, I always had goals. It didn’t matter whether I had a strict, micro-managing boss, or a laid-back superior who could care less what my numbers looked like. Because to me, I had goals in front of me for the week ahead, for the month, and for the year. If I didn’t, my work tended to be just mediocre. By laying out the objectives I wanted to reach or exceed, I pushed myself harder and did higher quality work. My reputation was so important to me. I was always worried about what people thought of me and how they viewed me as a recruiter that I almost needed to better myself with each placement to keep up. It was exhausting. But looking back, I’m very proud of what I accomplished in the ten years I worked.

Now I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a homemaker. I don’t care so much what other people think of me, but I do care about feeling that I’m successful in my new career of SAHM. I haven’t set goals for myself in over two years. Unless you count the 35-pound weight-loss goal I was determined to accomplish after the birth of my son. {I hit that one, in case you’re wondering.}

I’m itching to write some new goals. Given that it’s June 1, I thought it was a good date to lay out some monthly goals for the rest of the year. I think I’ll stick to three goals for each month, so as not to overwhelm myself.

1 Volunteer at a nursing home
2 Start and finish the gardening work around the house (weed all flower beds, lay fresh mulch, hang flower baskets from porch)
3 Run four days a week
1 Clean and organize garage
2 Carve our initials into the humongous tree that lives beside our house
3 Do a 3-day juice fast
1 Take a photography class
2 Cook vegan/vegetarian the entire month
3 Repaint the kitchen a bold color 
1 Create Preschool boxes for each of my kids to collect their artwork and projects
2 Plan a fall {October} wine tour with friends
3 Do a 10-day juice fast
1 Go on a family camping trip
2 Go to church every week and become more involved by joining a group
3 Finish my manuscript
1 Be a “Room Mom” for a day at my son’s preschool
2 Work hard on my abs and keep them in shape through the holidays
3 Finish holiday shopping and start a new rule that each child gets 3 gifts and each adult gets 1 gift from Santa in order to simplify things and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas
1 Throw a really awesome holiday party & make it a tradition
2 Format my manuscript into a blog book including my own photography
3 Sponsor a local family for the holidays

I’m hoping to hold myself accountable to these goals to be able to look back on the second half of this year and see all that I’ve accomplished. I think it would be incredibly satisfying to say that I was able to do what I set out to do. Not just for me, but for my family, too.

I’m excited about this. I feel a new energy that I haven’t felt in awhile. It’s time to rock this list. Let’s go.

What do you think? Have you written out any goals since becoming a mom? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of 2012?



Five Things Friday

18 May

I’ve been trying to cook vegetarian and vegan foods over the past few weeks in an effort to rid our family of processed foods at home and eat healthier as a whole. One of my blog friends recently saw one of my Instagrams and asked for the recipe, therefore, this FTF is dedicated to recent recipes and blogs I’ve found which have inspired me along during my adventures in vegetarian cooking.

  1. Vegan Yum Yum – Eggplant & Pine Nut Rolled Lasagna – I only had no-boil noodles in our pantry, so I did a layered version instead. It came out FANTASTIC!! I will definitely make this recipe again. LOVED it. Even the next day for leftovers it was delish.

  2. Pickles & Honey – Fruit pulp Mini Muffins – Her blog is so creative. She comes up with such yummy recipes, I’m eager to try them all. Since discovering her blog I have made these fruit pulp muffins twice and they are so perfect for a snack on-the-run. I added raisins and the kids love them too.

  3. CreateLiveBlog – Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies – I was just curious to try making these, since I had found the idea online. The peanut butter in the “batter” makes them taste like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, which is even more tasty to me that plain on choc chip. These only lasted a few days in our house. Will definitely make these again. Super easy, fast and healthier than your average cookie.

  4. Cookin’ Canuck – Vegetarian Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout – was searching for a Three-Bean Salad recipe to use a can of Cannellini beans I had in the pantry, when I stumbled upon this blog. Love her ideas and can’t wait to try more. I had to substitute a few things in this recipe, but for the most part stuck with the ingredients it called for and it was so delicious. My daughter had two bowls of it!!

  5. Happy Herbivore – Black Bean Brownies – My sister-in-law told me you could make black beans into brownies, but I was skeptical. I found this recipe and went to it while the kids napped. They were good, but I think they could be improved upon with some tweaking. I added dark chocolate chips to the batter and I think that is what did it for me, but I might try some other alterations next time I bake these. Just like the cookies, for me this is just a much healthier way to curb my cravings.

    Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Five Things Friday

27 Apr

I’ve been lacking inspiration lately, so I decided to take a few days off from blogging and Twitter to re-group. Joy from Joy the Baker – one of my favorite baking blogs – had some great suggestions for post ideas, so I thought I’d run with one of them today and do a simple list of five of my favorite things lately.

  1. The HydraCoach water bottle – A few months ago I was waking up with headaches and was pretty sure it was because I was not drinking enough water during the day. A friend had pinned this and I decided to bite the bullet and just pay the $27 to get one so that I’d know exactly how many ounces I was taking in and I have got to say – it was totally worth it. It’s now a game for me to see if I can get past my goal of 59 oz before the end of the day. The headaches are gone and I am fairly certain it was due to upping my H2O intake. I’d say it was a good investment.
  2. Picked up Bloom at the library this week and I haven’t been able to put it down. Kelle’s ability to pour her heart and soul out in words on paper, on her blog, and in the gorgeous photographs throughout the book is amazing. Such a beautiful story about learning how to love again. Can’t wait to finish it to return it to the library so that another person can enjoy it was much as I am.
  3. – when we started juicing last week, I began searching for organic food markets in our area. Unfortunately, we don’t have one in our town, but there is a Whole Foods store about 30 minutes away. They were advertising a free weekly class on plant-based eating, so I called and asked if I could join in. It was a two hour class – half lecture, half cooking demonstration. I learned how to cook lentils and how to make an easy and very yummy mango lime sorbet. While I was there, I picked up some organic granola, plain fat-free Greek yogurt, raw organic honey, and blueberries and threw them together the next day for a post-workout snack. YUM.

    I am in love with their website because it has a TON of awesome recipes which are rated by users and people comment on how to adjust or alter the recipe, which is really nice. My favorite thing about it is that it has a virtual recipe box, so you can save ones you’d like to try without having to print them all out.

  4. The healthier eating habits our family has started to adopt over the past week since we bought the juicer.I’ve been slowly transitioning the kids off processed foods, and we are eating so much more of the healthy stuff – fresh fruits and veggies – than we used to in the past. I’m making a fresh veggie juice every morning which I split with my husband. He takes it to work to drink mid-morning and I have it usually when I’m out on the go with the kids before lunchtime.

Although he’s been slower than me to adapt to this big change, he’s starting to get into it more each day. Last weekend he made a vegetarian chili from scratch which was absolutely delicious. My sweet tooth has diminished significantly since jamming my diet with plant-based foods, but I did have a craving yesterday for chocolate chip cookies. So the kids and I ended up making a small batch with organic Spelt flour and agave nectar instead of sugar and they turned out pretty good if I don’t say so myself. I do want to keep the 5 pounds I’ve lost off though, so I need to keep my cookie-eating to a minimum. Which takes me to my next thing…

5. The 30-Day Shred– This video was created by Jillian Michaels in 2008, and man, do I wish I would have found it back then. It’s a 20-minute workout which is divided into three circuits: cardio, strength, and abs. What I love about it is that you’re never doing one exercise for more than sixty seconds. I can do anything for 60 seconds, so it goes by so incredibly fast for me. {Bought it on Amazon for $4.99 and play it on my laptop while blaring Katy Perry radio on Pandora via the ipad. I can only take so much of Jillian, if you know what I mean.}

I’ve been making it a habit to do it every afternoon around 3:30pm which is when the kids wake up from their naps. I give them a snack and they’ll sit and watch me do it, sometimes even getting in on the fun themselves too. {My daughter is hilarious when she does a push-up. She squats down, puts her hands on the floor in front of her feet, and kisses the carpet. Love it!}

I feel stronger, and think that I can definitely see a difference in my arms. My waist feels like it’s firming up, and overall I just feel good. I’ve only been doing Level 1, but am planning on moving up to Level 2 in May. The goal is to do Level 2 in May, Level 3 in June, and then maybe move on to do P90X in July.

So there you have it folks, the Five Things I’m Lovin’ on this Friday.

Happy Weekend everyone!!!

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