nourishing & unapologetic
We've reached it, folks. Friday is upon us. The first full working week of 2016 is in the books. Accordingly, we should expect a full moon, a meteor shower, champagne, fireworks...or something for this milestone. We should celebrate. Properly. You know?
Since we can't control the universe, it's too early for bubbly, and I'm pretty sure we've passed the window for shooting off fireworks in a legal fashion, this post is practically the next best thing.
If you're new to the blog, this series is where I spill it about all the things. Things I love. Things I like. And things I think you should like or love too. This is the fifth time this series has appeared on zeeeee blog. If you have about 7.2 more minutes to spare today, you can check out the other past faves here,
Without further ado, I give you my newest obsessions, in no particular order:
1. Hella Cravings, Adele's Hello Parody: my sister-in-law, A, shared this with me. I pretty much lost it with laughter. This song could be one of my life's theme songs. The two singers rock the creative rendition with conviction. Plus, it's a pretty accurate portrayal of the struggle between fitness and food. (and, really, who isn't still enjoying Adele's song?). It's win-win.
2. Nike Running Relay Leggings: gah. these are basically the best tights/running pants. They fit well. They don't bunch, or ride, or twist. They are a great winter workout pant. The waistband is even inspirational, "run fast. live fearless." Best news, they come in a print. Now, I probably could have modeled these for you since I actually own them...but there's no reason to bring my thunder thighs into this... so let's settle for the stock image.
3. Clif Kid ZBars: I once lived with two amazing people who've made food, nutrition, and hospitality their life. During a grad school internship I had the privilege to call their home my home. These two have significantly impacted my life in countless ways, but for the purposes of this post, you should know Doc B (the lady of the house) introduced me to Clif Kid ZBars. She kept the mini version in a basket near the fridge where all the possible snacks lived (and for the record, I'm pretty sure she still does.)
You've likely heard of Clif Bars...these are from the same family but they're better. You can find them in two sizes and in a variety pack (36 count!) at a local big box wholesale retailer (i.e Sam's) or online or potentially wherever Clif Bars are sold. In my opinion, ZBars seem less nutrition bar-y and don't have as many calories. Plus the flavors are easy to support, like iced oatmeal or chocolate brownie.
We keep ours in a cookie jar on the counter so we can grab one as we dash out the door most mornings. I also keep one in purse for hunger emergencies (the world doesn't want me hangry).
4. BevCooks.com: If you've never read Bev Weidner's blog at BevCooks.com you must stop what you're doing and read now. Why? Well, first, off, she's scary witty. Second, her Instagram captions are off-the-charts original. Third, she seems to completely have a handle on life and food and music. Finally, she went to the University of Arkansas. This means were kindred spirits, I just know it.
Don't expect a buttoned up, run of the mill blog; plan to be entertained and informed.
5. This Faceted Square Necklace from Express. It's become one of my go-to accessories. It's gold tone (winner in my book!). It's simple. It's not obnoxiously long or oddly mid-chest length. It is easy to toss on to dress up a more basic outfit or pretty enough to wear with something dressier. Oh, and it is actually reasonably priced. If you're looking to add a little something to your accessory stash this might just be the one.
Ok, I think that's a wrap.
Until next time--
Holy Moly, it's Friday. Glorious Friday. I hope you've reveled in this day. And since it's still technically Friday, let's discuss some of my latest loves.
1. Lemon Water: yes, hot water with lemon juice. It may be trendy, but it's a totally legitimate habit to partake in. I started drinking a mug of hot lemon water every morning about a month ago. I'd read a lot about this simple idea and there was basically no reason no to. A quick Google search will yield plenty of positives for you. (In case you need some convincing, look here or here.) While I can't say scientifically that it's improving anything for/in me, but I can say I do feel better. I start the day with it and wait at least 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything else.
I gave up my beloved Diet Pepsi for Lent which left me yearning for a boost in the AM; this gives it to me. Seriously! We recently did a long weekend trip in California. Though I had good citrus at my fingertips, I didn't have my daily lemon water dose, and by the end of the trip I was feeling incredibly sluggish. I totally attribute it to the break in my routine. Now that I'm back on the wagon, my pep has returned. There are also a few other benefits I've noticed that bring us a bit too close to TMI territory for me, but think digestion, bloating, etc.
Try to add this to your morning ritual. Just do it.
2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish: for many a year, I painstakingly painted my nails every few days. Then I went through a phase of acrylic nails and then shellac. But as we're trying to save and life gets busier, I have a difficult time to justifying and fitting it in. Then pre-California trip, I stumbled across this at Target. I am usually doubtful about claims of "long wear" polish. BUT. BUT. This polish does a pretty fair job living up to the purpose. It paints well and wears well. My first application did last 7 solid days before chipping. (that's through travel, hiking in CA, cleaning, and cooking!) Paint happy and don't worry for a bit.
3. This. This quote. I LOVE IT. Profoundly simple. Profoundly accurate.
I came across this on Pinterest (it's on my board among many others.)
When life gets chaotic or when we're not seeing expected results from our efforts, let's all remember this. We are our own best advocate. We're our own best champion. Go ahead, be your biggest fan.
4. Shutterfly Pet Tags: our pups were in need of an update. So when my coworker sent me a link for a free pet tag from Shutterfly, I jumped on it! Now, Shag and Gart are stylin'. Check them out and order your own. (Plus they have lots of options and you can customize to your heart's desire.)
Now, let us think all things Easter. I know it's Good Friday and there's not much time to dally. But fear not, I've got two treats you can whip up in no time, flat.
First up, BUNNY BAIT! The name itself is adorable. And it's gobbled up quickly. Feel free to customize it to your bunnies' tastes. (And, I must confess, I didn't eat any of this so I can't vouch for the taste. I am not a popcorn fan, but my coworkers said it was a win.)
This recipe isn't entirely original but I didn't have one I based it off of. There are many versions floating around Pinterest so you can certainly find one for your reference if you'd like exact measurements.
1 bag microwave popcorn (probably not buttered, but use whatever you have on hand)
Pretzels (I used broken up pretzel chips)
M&Ms (festive colors always welcomed)
Peanut Butter Chips
Half of block of Vanilla Almond Bark
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
2. Pop popcorn according to package directions. Let cool.
3. Spread popcorn on cookie sheet. Add Chex. Add pretzels. Mix around until distributed evenly.
4. Sprinkle peanut butter chips.
5. Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl, approximately 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Watch it and stir after first minute.
6. Drizzle melted bark over mixture on cookie sheet.
7. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
8. Stir until well combined
9. Let it set on cookie sheet. Cover or place in a dish.
Chocolate Covered "Carrots"
1 pint strawberries, rinsed and dried
3-4 blocks of vanilla almond bark
Orange food coloring
1. Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl, about 1 and half minutes.
2. Add about 1 and half teaspoons of shortening in the bark. (This helps keep the coating smooth and shiny.)
3. Squirt a few drops of food coloring. Mix to desired color.
4. Dip a single strawberry into the coating. Set aside on parchment.
5. Repeat until all strawberries are coated.
6. Let dry. Store in fridge.
These treats are nothin' fancy, but they're pretty festive, and they're pretty yummy. Hope they bring you some joy and satisfaction.
May your Easter weekend be full of fun, family, and blessings!
Until next time--
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.