Happy Friday Everyone!
One – Current Happenings
Happy Friday everyone! So, this new place opened up by the kids school and the teachers are addicted to it… and, now they have me addicted! Ha!! It is called Fired-Up Nutrition and they make really yummy protein shakes, iced energy teas and iced lattes. They have almost no sugar or fat, so it is definitely a better choice over Starbucks or an actual milkshake! The shakes have 24g of protein and are blended with water instead of milk. But, it has been fun going weekly and trying out a new flavor each time.
I went a couple of weekends ago and got everyone a shake. They close at 3 p.m., so Nathan wanted to try it on the weekend. We got 2 Birthday Cakes, 1 Brownie Batter and 1 Banana Bread shake! My favorite iced coffee there is the Powdered Donut. The iced coffee has Stevia in it with 1g of sugar and the shakes have 9g of sugar in them. So, it is definitely a better choice if you want a yummy drink on the go!
Now… Valentine’s was a week or so ago, BUT… I had to share this DELICIOUS dessert charcuterie board I picked up from Cake House Design by our house. We divided it up into 4 plates and enjoyed it for lunch for Valentine’s Day. It was SO cute and a fun way to kick off Valentine’s Day!
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For Valentine’s Day, Brian surprised me with some roses that I’ve been interested in for a long time. This bouquet is from Venus ET Fleur and it is the Small Round Classic Collection. What is unique about these roses is that they last for an entire year with no watering! Each rose is treated with a formula made from non-toxic and non-allergenic wax, as well as natural oils. The Paris hat box that my roses were sent in is so perfect, since Brian proposed to me in Paris. They have a variety of other styles of roses and you can even get just a single bloom. Brian also surprised me with some red traditional roses from the grocery store! He’s a keeper!
We have been working on cleaning up our finished basement. We had moved a lot of the kids toys down there and they haven’t played with them in YEARS. So, since we needed to have a pickup for my old treadmill, I decided to go through everything that we didn’t need anymore and they took it away. Now our basement looks so empty! Don’t worry, I did keep some of their more treasured toys to give to their kids someday in the FAR, FAR future (ha!). I feels SO good to get rid of items we just don’t use anymore!
Two – Vegetarian Recipes & a Cleaner Protein Powder
I’ve been trying out some recipes from my vegetarian cookbooks. I’ve been trying to pick one recipe and then I’ll make it for lunch for myself everyday that week. One week I decided to have breakfast for lunch! I made these waffles and they had mashed banana, flaxseed, oats, clean chocolate protein powder and other healthy ingredients in them. I made a jam from scratch that had blueberries, mint and chia seeds in it. I topped the waffles with the jam and fresh fruit. It was SOOO good! I used the Party in Your Plants recipe book for the waffles and the How Not to Die Cookbook for the jam.
On a different week I made a healthier version of Cheez-Its, with nutritional yeast, pumpkin, etc. as the ingredients and I made a fresh herb bread from scratch. I used the bread throughout the week to make avocado toast. I used the Party in Your Plants recipe book for the Cheez-Its and the How Not to Die Cookbook for the herb bread.
Some weeks I enjoy a HUGE salad for lunch and then I have a smoothie on the side with nonfat greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey. On my salad I love to use iceberg lettuce on the bottom (it actually DOES have some nutritional value!), a low-fat bleu cheese dressing with minimal/clean ingredients, freshly roasted sweet potato cubes with a light dusting of pink salt and pepper, sweet pea pods, cauliflower, cucumber, cherry tomatoes from the vine, grapes, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and no salt roasted sunflower seeds. It is SO yummy and fills up a big plate.
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I’ve been researching different protein powders to find a cleaner one. I had been drinking one that had over 30 ingredients in it… which, I’ve decided to toss since I don’t need that in my daily diet! #nothanks I found Truvani and I really love it… it is endorsed by the Food Babe, so you know it is clean. They list the ingredients on the back and the Vanilla has only 5 ingredients and the Chocolate has 6. They both taste GREAT, I actually prefer the flavor over my old protein shake. I like that I mix it into 16 oz of water, which helps me get in more water in the day, too! I usually drink this during or right after my workout. This is a plant based protein powder, so it is 20g of protein where a lot of regular/animal based protein powder have 30g.
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My friend Lauren from Mom Home Guide sent me this popcorn popper for my birthday. It is so cool, it can pop popcorn kernels without any oil (or you can add a little). When you’re done using it, it folds down for storage. And, you can even keep your popcorn in the bowl it pops in and eat it right out of it! I love to add nutritional yeast to my popcorn for a healthier buttery flavor. I sent one to my mom and she uses it almost every day and I recently sent one to one of my friend’s that is trying to lose weight.
Three – Running & NordicTrack
I am continuing to enjoy my new NordicTrack treadmill!! I did a live 5K race on it back in December and they mailed me a medal for completing the race!! It is little things like these that add a little cheer to my day during these Covid times when running a race in person is out of my comfort zone right now. The iFit Facebook groups are so fun, too! I just love hearing others running and fitness journeys. It is a great community!
So, since I enjoyed my last live race so much, I decided to do the iFit Valentine’s Day race! If you completed this race live, you get another medal! I can’t wait for it to come in the mail. I felt sorry for the iFit trainer Hannah, because at the start of the race is was literally hailing in West Virginia!! But, she was so great about it and didn’t miss a beat at being a great coach through the entire race.
One of my goals LAST year was to join a Yoga gym and to go once a week. Well, with Covid that never happened and instead I got back into long distance running. However, I heard about Yoga with Adrienne, who does FREE Yoga YouTube videos. She did a monthly challenge in January with a new Yoga workout every day of the month! Since I’m training for a half marathon right now, I knew I couldn’t take on a daily yoga challenge, but I did try the very first workout on a long weekend when I had a little extra time. It was almost an hour yoga session and I REALLY enjoyed it. I set up some candles, my salt lamp and I even got out some crystals that Kathrine Eldridge got me as a gift. It was really relaxing and my muscles felt so tight at the beginning and by the end they were so relaxed. I might look into doing one of her videos once a week once my half marathon training wraps up in April. I could use a little yoga in my life for my physical body and mentally, too! She also has a really cute dog in her videos, I can’t remember his name!
Four – Latest Book & Shows
This was a helpful book and I got some good ideas on how I can gradually improve my speed. The stretching chapter was helpful and I could definitely work on that. I am going to work on adding some recovery, hills, speed runs into my training instead of just focusing on distance running at the same overall medium level pace. His idea of breaking up one hard workout into two separate workouts on the same day was interesting, which he included on his workout schedules in the back of the book. Overall, a great book if you’re wanting to hear how a professional runner learned how to improve his own speed throughout his running career.
This is a really helpful book and not just for overthinkers! It has a lot of great advice on how to organize your life better and how to be happier. This book gives tidbits on how to get the thing done now, so that we no longer need to think about it. She talks about making things into rituals instead of routines. A routine is something we don’t really want to do, but we have to do it… but, if we make it into a ritual, we can add some elements into it to make it more pleasant and something we can look forward to. An example of this is cooking dinner can always be a chore, but if we dim the lights, turn on some music and pour a glass of wine it can become more pleasant. Or, if we have only 30 minutes to sit down and we spend the entire time looking at our phone, we may not appreciate as much if we were to read a chapter or two from a book and enjoy a hot mug of tea. There is a lot of other ideas similar to this in the book. This book is short and sweet, I enjoyed the audio version of it which only took me 4 hours to listen to!
And, as for shows…
It seems everyone was watching Bridgerton in the last month and we joined the bandwagon. It took me a few episodes to get into, but after that I was hooked. This is about the Regency era in England and how eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love. There is quite a bit of ‘making out’ in this, just a warning! This show is based off of Julia Quinn’s novels, which I haven’t read. I like that the mysterious Lady Whistledown (who does the gossip columns) is the voice of Julie Andrews.
We are now watching Outlander, we are still on season 1. There is I think 10 seasons so far? So, it may take awhile to get through it. We may break away from it for a bit after season 1 and watch the new Firefly Lane show, because I read that book ages ago and I love ALL of Kristin Hannah’s books!
Five – Misc. Finds
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I probably have about 8 different hair tools/dryers… I am addicted. When I saw that Bed Head had an adjustable wave tool, I knew I wanted to try it out for some beachy waves. I can’t wait to wear this style this summer with a tee and a pair of cut off shorts!
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When I was in Target, I picked up this Calligraphy Made Easy book and some Hand Lettering pens/brushes. I’ve been working on one exercise every weekend and it has been a lot of fun! The book recommended the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens, so I ordered those from Amazon. I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy!
I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing weekend!