nourishing & unapologetic
HAPPY FRIDAY, friends! Let's jump right into my some of the things I'm currently obsessed with. You might want these things in your life. And it's almost the weekend so you'll have time to seek them out. You're welcome.
1. In October, my organization got a new office manager. She's AWESOME. She's super high energy and absolutely sincere. She's instituting new processes, ideas, and the like. One such new addition: twice daily ergonomic stretches. Now, before you yawn, and think "really?", hear me out. At about 10am and 2pm we gather as an office and do a quick routine of various stretches. She mixes it up each day, but we focus on back, hands, shoulders, neck, etc. And then we do an active movement of some kind (i.e. grass pullers, punching Monday in the face, desk push-ups, jumping jacks, and raising the roof on Fridays!, etc.) Let me tell you, if I miss stretching I know it. These little movements actually help. Plus, they're a nice way to break up a sometimes sedentary day. I encourage you all to bring this to your workplace...your co-workers will only think you're crazy for a few days...
In case, you need a starting place, check out these cool posters:
2. Hildebrand Chocolate Milk: dairy lover's unite! Okay, I honestly, I only love dairy in the form of cheese, ice cream, on cereal, cream cheese, did I say ice cream?... I am not a milk drinker. Growing up, I only drank milk before I went to the dentist because I am pretty sure my dad told me it would make my teeth whiter... (he totally tricked me!). But as a refined grown-up ;), I have occasionally drank milk if it was ice cold and chocolate. Then I found this milk from Hildebrand Dairy in Junction City, KS at my local Dillons. It is life changing. I now crave it. I try to have it for breakfast every day it's in the fridge. This milk is awesome. Rich, creamy, delicious. They have other flavors, but let's be real, I'm a chocoholic/purist. I'm not straying to another flavor. Look for it in your local dairy case (specific location list can be found here.) Don't be alarmed by sticker shock; you can return the bottle to get your bottle deposit back.
3. Cybex Arc Trainer: I'm trying to train for a half-marathon...my new training plan calls for a good mix of running, cross-training, and strength training. So I've been looking for ways to mix up my cardio on days that are non-running days. In the past I've disregarded the arc trainer at the Y. But, in lieu of another day on the elliptical or treadmill, I hopped on it last week. Holy moly! This machine rocks. I prefer the machine that engages both my arms and legs. If you crank up the resistance and/or the incline you can totally amp up your workout. Time goes by quickly on it and I actually feel like I get a good sweat session. I'm all for low-impact on the ol' knees because I don't want to hobble later in life... I encourage you to check this machine out next time you're at the gym. (Dang, I shouldn't have told anyone because now there might be a line to use one... feel free to move along if you see me coming, I'll want to get my Arc time in, haha!)
4. MantraBands: Nick got me this bracelet for my birthday. I am by nature a worrier. At some point I came across a quote photo that said "warrior not worrier." I've tried to embody that... worry doesn't do me any good. Now I have a wearable reminder to charge through difficulty, hopefully without reservation. I love these bracelets and fully intend to buy more of them.
Find your mantra. Live it and wear it daily.
5. Avocados: I think I may have eaten my weight in avocados recently. Oops! But that's okay, right? They're nutrient dense, have good fats...yada, yada..(Learn about their nutrition here).
I made PERFECT guacamole for Valentine's Day (and again for the next two days #truth). I found this recipe from The Ecofriendly Family on Pinterest (imagine that! check one off my birthday todo list of completing 29 pins). It truly is the simplest, best guacamole--almost like Chipotle's. Yes, I can attest to that from many a taste test :) Here's what you need:
2 ripe avocados
1/4 - 1/2 red onion, finely diced
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Finely dice and chop onion and cilantro, respectively. Put in medium size bowl. Cut the avocados in half. De-pit the necessary half. Using just the tip of the knife, score the avocado diagonally both ways, scoop out flesh in to medium size bowl. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Give it all a quick mash with your potato masher. Then cut your lime in half, prick the flesh of one half with a fork, and squeeze juice over the avocado mixture. Mash all ingredients until desired consistency (we like it a little chunky). Add more lime juice from remaining half, if desired--I like a little extra acidity so I usually have the juice of 3/4 of a lime. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and dare yourself not to eat it all.
Bonus like: @Garth_the_Goldendoodle account on Instagram: Shameless plug for our adorable pup's Instagram account. Yes, I became that person. We created our goldendoodle his own IG/social media account. But, hey, we have no Baby Born's yet and it's all in good fun. He and Shaggy are always up to something so now we have a place to highlight and report on their shenanigans. Feel free to follow him. #partyonGarth #pawfect #goldendoodle
I think that's a wrap. Hope you enjoy these things as much as I do. If not, find your own favorite things and relish in them.
Cheers to Friday! Cheers to the weekend! And, if Winter is back upon you, stay warm, friends!
Until next time.
*NOTE: None of my commentary is an official product endorsement; none of these brands know who I am. :) All opinions are my own.
It’s Valentine’s weekend! If you’ve read a few other posts, it’s apparent I’m a holiday fanatic. The decorations, the treats, a reason to indulge…I’m there! However, Valentine’s Day has never captured my heart as much. Funny, since I’m a pretty emotionally driven person. Though, let’s get it straight—I’m not hating on V-Day; it is a lovely day. (bahdum bum!) In honor of this love-filled weekend, I want to share with you a love story of a different kind: love of family, particularly the momma unit.
You see, my mom, the Debmeister, Debbo, Debra (not her actual full name), celebrated a milestone this past Friday. She started a new job. No, we’re not celebrating because she started on Friday the 13th—a presumably unlucky day. We’re celebrating because she started a NEW JOB after 35 YEARS at her former employer. No, that’s not a typo. Thirty-five years at one business. Loyalty and then some, huh? This is a big step. A big risk for her. My family seriously, emphatically couldn’t be more proud!!! We’re behind her 110% and know she is going to thrive in her new position.
I’ve featured my daddy-o on here before, but not my momma. She’s equally as impressive as my dad. You’ll see that soon enough. Though, in the spirit of full disclosure, as many know, my mom and I have had some notorious arguments (largely attributed to my sass mouth), but I realize I really lucked out in parent lottery. So, let’s delve in to why she rocks.
One could say my mom has a hard luck story—huge family (like problematically big), the loss of her mom when she was not even into the double digits, and more. But for her shy side’s sake, I’ll stop there. The important part of her story is that she never let her circumstances define her. The determination that courses through her veins wouldn’t let that happen. She’s always done what she’s had to do to get by. She’s adapted to whatever life threw her. She’s worked in a leather factory, she’s been a welder, she holds her cosmetology license, and for the last three decades she’s worked in printing…Plus she's been parenting for like 2/3 of her life and a wife too. Multifaceted, yes, that could be the right word to describe her.
But more importantly, she is probably one of the most sentimental, loyal, and giving people you’ll meet. She is creative, crafty, and resourceful. She isn’t a talker unless she’s comfortable, but when she’s in her zone, she’s funny and engaging. She is a prolific provider of unconditional love.
When I was growing up, any whim I wanted to undertake, she’d support it. Any Halloween costume I dreamed up, she’d create it. Any meal I wanted, she’d cook it. You get my drift… It’s safe to say the Pope household generally turned on a dime for me (now don’t worry—I had boundaries—and my brother is still the golden child ;) ).
Most girls eventually say that their mom is one of their best friends. In my little brain and heart, that doesn’t entirely compute. Okay, yes, she’s of course your (my) first and oldest friend and most trusted confidant. But to me, a mom is more than that; she’s a role model. She’s the balance in a way no best friend could possibly be. No labels needed, a mom is one of the best people to have in your corner no matter the situation.
Now, that I’ve probably said enough to a) embarrass her, and b) make her cry (Dad get the tissues), I’ll sign off.
Mom, I am overjoyed you took the chance to exercise your confidence. You are going to be an excellent asset to the new company. Know I am behind you just like you’ve always been for me. High five and a big hug! (And Nick says, ditto.)
Now, all of you, go give your mom (mother-in-law, aunt, mom-type figures) some extra love. Perhaps have a belated Galentine’s celebration?! Or if you’re mom is now your Guardian Angel, drag out a few photos and reflect on her legacy or go do something she loved to do.
Until next time--
PS This is the second post without a recipe, so in honor of my mom’s favorite flavor, let me refer you one of the best coconut recipes I know of. You can thank me later.
Coconut Cream Pie Bars: http://dough-puncher.blogspot.com/2011/06/coconut-cream-pie.html
29. Twenty-nine. That sounds kind of like an shorthand spy name (like Agent 99, eh, Get Smart fans?...crickets. Hmmm, I am quite sure part of my soul comes from an older era.) Anyhoo, I've been 29 for a week now. Yes, to some "I'm just a baby" and to others, "man, you're 29. really?" Spare me.
I am genuinely thankful for another year on this Earth breathing, marching to my own drum, with my favorite people. It's pretty fine to be 29.
I had a great celebration with my husband. He totally surprised me with an adorable cake and a brand new MACBOOK PRO! Yes, this is the inaugural post from my beloved laptop. He knew I would have absolutely never purchased it myself. THANK YOU, Nicholas! And I've been able to belatedly celebrate with my co-workers and our families too, complete with favorite meals, brownies, and beautiful weather.
In this year, the year before everything starts to go downhill (or at least that's what I'm told), I'd like to make a concentrated effort of both more and less. A constant bundle of contradictions, I am. But what I mean is I want to do more and worry less. I want to focus on more quality and less clutter. I want to love more and complain less. I want to achieve more and be "busy" less. I want to grow more and weigh less. (Wait, this is still a food blog so about that....) Seriously, though, I think 29 is a quest for becoming even more me.
I've decided to outline 29 things, goals per say, to complete in the next 358 days.
And because I'm a sucker for typography and words, here's a bit of inspiration for you all as we journey onward. I hope this list causes you to pause, to reflect, and/or to challenge yourself to make a list of your own. Milestones are in the making. Let's do this.
Until next time. xoxox