Wednesday, January 11, 2017

greek yogurt 52 ways: #37 blueberry, spinach smoothie

I've been having this green smoothie for breakfast every morning since the beginning of the year. My oldest daughter Lani asked me, "Why have you been having smoothies for breakfast?? It's so cold!" I laughed and told her that I've been feeling like having healthy smoothies lately.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 37 blueberry, spinach smoothie
A few months ago I shared Green Smoothie Tips for Newbies. In that post, I shared that I have 3 go-to green smoothies that I use:
  • This tropical, green smoothie, which includes: 1 cup of coconut milk; 1 c or more of spinach (or kale); 1 banana; 1/2 c of vanilla, Greek yogurt; 1/2 c of frozen pineapple, and 2 tbsp of shredded coconut. 
  • This orange, banana smoothie (I add spinach or kale and omit the strawberries): 1 c of orange juice; 1 c or more of spinach (or kale); 1 frozen banana; and 1/2 c of vanilla, Greek yogurt. This is a good recipe for those not used to green smoothies yet. The orange juice is primarily what you taste. 
  • This simple, green smoothie: 1 c of soy milk (I've also used almond milk and coconut milk); 1 c of more of spinach (or kale); 1 frozen banana; and 1/2 c of vanilla, Greek yogurt. 
My template, green smoothie recipe is:
  • 1 c of a liquid
  • 1 c or more of spinach or kale
  • 1 protein serving (typically 1/2 c of Greek yogurt)
  • 1 sweet fruit (typically bananas)
  • at least one frozen fruit (I like my smoothies fairly cold)
  • maybe more fruits (to enhance flavor)
The recipe I am sharing today follows that template. 
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 37 blueberry, spinach smoothie
For this smoothie, I blend the following in my Nutribullet until smooth:
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 container of Yoplait's Greek 100 Protein: Vanilla (it has double the protein serving with 14g of protein)*
  • a handful of spinach 
  • 1/2 c of frozen blueberries
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 37 blueberry, spinach smoothie
This smoothie is refreshing, delicious, and satisfying (because of all that protein).

*This post isn't sponsored. I just loved that this Greek yogurt option had double the protein serving!


I now have 4 go-to green smoothies! :)

Have any Greek yogurt, dessert (or breakfast!) recipes you'd like to share? Leave your recipes or links in the comments. :)

If you try a recipe I share, be sure to let me know! Use the hashtag: #greekyogurt52ways.

**I'm making Greek yogurt 52 ways. Read about why I'm doing this project right here and read about the health benefits of Greek yogurt right here. See all of the ways I've incorporated Greek yogurt into my dessert or breakfast so far here. I recently completed a 52 sandwiches project. Read more about that project here.**
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 37 blueberry, spinach smoothie

Friday, January 6, 2017

january 2017 goals

Happy 2017! I am thinking about how to live better and make healthier choices this year. I'm sure many of you are, too. I sat down earlier this week and looked over my goals from last year and realized that I'd like to stick to (and expand on) most of them. As you may know, I set big, overarching goals for the year; and with those goals in mind, I then set smaller, actionable goals for the month; and then finally, I set even smaller, actionable goals for the week/day. I have blogged about my goal-setting method in the past:

Related: Goal-Setting: 2016

I'm sharing my list of goals for this year below. They are almost exactly like last year's goals.
january 2017 goals
(Pictured: Sugar Paper planner for Target, Printable Pineapple 2017 calendar, Elise Cripe printable, daily tracker, Elise Cripe "Just Start" rubber stamp)

But first... my goals for January:
  • Make plans with friends
  • Go hiking
  • No mindless social media browsing before noon
  • and no social media browsing before bed
Overarching goals/projects/resolutions for the year:
  • Read at least 15 min. a day
    • This is my third year aiming to read for at least 15 minutes a day. I've used Elise's daily tracker to track my reading for the year. (I'm happy she offered her tracker as a freebie to her newsletter subscribers this year). Reading daily has become habitual for me. There are days when I don't get to read, but I allow myself to make up the time by reading any other day in as many 15 minute increments as I'd like. I'm hoping to stick with this goal again this year. 
  • Exercise 5x a week/incorporate strength, interval training 3x a week || Reach 10k steps a day
    • I lost weight last year (10 pounds) though I didn't stick with this goal as much as I would have liked. I had success losing weight using Jillian Michael's DVDs some years ago. 25-30 minutes of effective exercise is appealing to a busy mom like me. I really like Jillian Michaels' kettlebell Shred-It with Weights workout. The first level is on Youtube if you want to give it a shot before you buy the DVD. This year I aim to incorporate interval training 3x a week and any other form of exercise appealing to me that week twice a week. (I've been going to a Zumba class lately). I also plan to go mall walking (it is an actual thing!) and hiking this year. 
    • I am super motivated by my Fitbit, which I've been using for more than a year now. I feel so accomplished when I reach 10k steps a day. 
  • Document our memories
    • I fell off of the Project Life bandwagon this past year, but I plan to pick it up again this year. I need to simplify my process. (I may go back and document 2016, but for now, I'm just starting fresh with 2017). I think I get daunted by how much time it takes, but it shouldn't take all that long. I can invest only what I'm willing to invest. In the past, I've used a 12x12" book for most of the year and 2 smaller 8 1/2x11" books for my summer book and for my December Daily. That has worked for me before, but I may need to rethink my system for this year. I don't want to be overwhelmed by scrapbooking this year. I want to enjoy it as I have in the past. 
  • Declutter/minimize the junk in our home ||  "redecorrange"
    • Last year I completed this "4 Weeks to a More Organized Home" challenge. I'm hoping to declutter seasonally (inspired by my friend Denise). It would also be nice to refresh our home from time to time by rearranging furniture and repurposing spaces in our home.
    • This is the layout of the front of our home.
  • Eat healthy desserts
    • I can never ever ever give up dessert. I have a major sweet tooth, but I can have healthy versions of my favorite desserts. (I plan to complete my Greek yogurt 52 ways project this year. The point of that project was to research and try new healthy, dessert recipes).
  • Drink more water
    • I still want this stamp for tracking water consumption.
  • Stick with my morning routine and afternoon/evening routine
    • I highly recommend considering what things you want to incorporate into your everyday life and figuring out how to fit them into your schedule. Routines are powerful ways of improving the quality of your days and including life-enriching activities into your life.
    • I'm aiming to have my girls stick to their morning/afternoon/evening routines, as well.
  • Blog often
    • Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies. I took an unintentional, long break this past year. I hope to be more consistent about blogging this year. 
What are some of your goals this year? Hope you have a good one!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

october goals | fall manifesto 2016

october goals | fall manifesto 2016
(That's my Get to Work Book)

At the beginning of every month, I look over my overarching goals/projects/resolutions for the year. This year I hope to blog often; read at least 15 min. every day; exercise (incorporate strength/interval training 3x a week and reach 10,000 steps a day); document our memories; declutter and "redecorrange" our home; meal prep; eat mindfully (eat more greens + vegetables and eat healthy desserts); drink more water; embrace routine; keep a prayer journal; get out alone; get out with each of my family members (for one on one time); and write fun, seasonal manifestos.*

In October I plan to:
As you can see, some of my goals for October are on my fall manifesto. At the beginning of this year I decided I wanted to write manifestos for all seasons this year.

Related: my winter manifesto | my spring manifesto / my summer manifesto

october goals | fall manifesto 2016
(Click to enlarge ... the list is also below!)

As far as fall, these are things I'd like to do:

-Go on a moonlit hike
-Carve pumpkins
-Throw a potluck, fall dinner party
-Craft for the season
-Use our crockpot more
-Go to a fall festival
-Read
-Make soup
-Go to the library and roam around
-Bake
-Celebrate Evie’s ½ birthday
-Blog
-Pick up a classic novel
-Wear a cozy scarf
-Go to the zoo
-Watch a TV series with Jesse
-Enjoy seasonal drinks
-Play board games
-Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
-Set up our hot chocolate bar &
-drink hot chocolate
-Find a 2017 monthly/weekly planner
-Make caramel apples
-Visit an apple orchard

*I blogged about each of those goals in more detail at the beginning of the year: January 2016 Goals. I set monthly goals to get more specific with my yearly goals. There may be something specifically inspiring me this month, for example, that won't work (or I'm not feeling) at another time of the year. I talked about my goal-setting process in more detail: Goal- Setting: 2016

What are you up to this month / season?? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

currently in september

currently in september
feeling the pull back to blogging. As you know (or maybe you're not so sure anymore), I am determined to continue writing in this space. I am obviously lacking consistency. (I am in a creative rut, have a bit of writer's block, have had trouble making time to blog, and the list goes on and on). I hope to shake off these barriers to blogging soon.

appreciating routine. My girls went back to school last month. I reworked my morning routine to fit my life at this time. I like a fresh start.

Related: Establishing a Morning Routine

enjoying Juli's long nap in the late morning. I have time to actually think. If you have toddlers, you know what a relief it is to think. ;)

recommending the book Boundaries in Marriage to those who are married or looking to be married. I read it a couple of weeks ago. I picked it up after having read Boundaries at the beginning of the year (which was like free therapy. Well, actually it was therapy for $1. My friend Denise picked it up at the library for me). Boundaries in Marriage is written by the same authors. I'm still rereading Boundaries and looking to share a more in-depth review of it on my blog in the future.

listening to extended versions of Andy Stanley's podcast discussions (his church sermons). I'm in the middle of What Makes You Happy. I just finished up 5 Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith and The N Commandments. Also listening to this discussion by Les Parrott, which I listened to in person a few weeks ago.

paying attention when Les Parrott says: "If you try to build intimacy ["a connection," "a relationship"] with another person before you've done the difficult task of getting whole ["healthy- psychologically, emotionally, spiritually"] on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself... and they'll fall flat. Guaranteed. Why? Because nobody was designed to complete you. [...] It's nobody's responsibility to do that for you."

going to Zumba class a couple of times a week at the gym. It's been a fun way to reach my daily, 10,000 steps goal.

anticipating my nephew being born soon. My sister Jasmine and her husband Oscar are excited, too, I assume. ;)

having Special K's maple brown sugar oatmeal for breakfast nearly every morning. (I heat almond milk and use that instead of water). I tell everybody- it has 8g of protein!

Related: My Weight Loss Toolbox: Let's Talk Protein

reading All the Bright Places. I heard it's going to be made into a movie in 2017. I really enjoy my reading-the-books-before-I-watch-the-movies hobby.

making chicken soup regularly these days. It's cold/flu season. Some time ago, I heard that chicken soup has medicinal properties. (Here's one source). I really do feel better after a cup of hot, chicken soup. [I have a very, simple recipe. I boil homemade, chicken stock. (I make the stock by seasoning water with bouillon to taste, using any bone-in chicken that's on sale, and finely diced onion and garlic). Once the stock boils, I add chopped carrots and chopped potatoes with the skin and allow that to simmer for 15 min. Then, I add chopped Mexican squash and corn kernels or corn on the cob, and allow that to simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally, I add heated, already cooked diced chicken or a shredded rotisserie chicken. EASY].

Related: Rotisserie Chicken Soup

living with a teenager now. Lani turned 13 last week. (Juli turned 3 two weeks ago, so I'm living with a toddler and a teenager). I wholeheartedly agree with Christie from Stie's Thoughts: "Disbelieve the myth that teenagers are sullen, angry creatures who slam doors and hate their parents. [...] Teenagers are incredible. They are funny, smart, eager to please, and up for just about anything as long as food is involved. They have the most generous hearts and want desperately to be loved and validated. They are quirky, and messy, and have the best sense of humor." I'm taking notes from her wise rules in How to Raise a Happy Teen.

preparing for Addy's 7th birthday coming up in October. She's at a very sweet age. (If you're wondering, Evie is turning 10 1/2 in October. We'll be celebrating her 1/2 birthday with 1/2 a cake and singing 1/2 of the birthday song*).

*Related: Juli is 1/2 a Year Old | Gotta Have Cake + Addy's Birthday / Oak Glen Schoolhouse Museum

thinking about how there is only 95 days left in 2016. I considered starting a "100 Happy Days Project" on Sept. 23 when there was 100 days left in the year. I feel like maybe I missed my window of opportunity, but it's never too late to start a happiness project, right?

looking forward to my fall (and my first pumpkin spice latte with Denise later this week. It's the little things).

Hope to be back soon. :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

five on monday

five on monday
Happy Monday! As you know (or don't if you're new here) I typically post "Five on Friday" links- those which inspired me or I enjoyed reading this week. I've been slowly getting back into blogging. I don't have the best consistency, yet. Hope you don't mind me sharing 5 links today instead of this past Friday. :)

Here are my 5 from last week:

1. Make Your Own Personalized Photo Ring Dish! by Laura Gummerman | cute project!

2. Do You Have the Same Love Language as Your Partner? by Gal Szekely | I've read The Five Love Languages before and am rereading it to refresh my memory.

3. 25 Popsicle Recipes Your Family Will Love by Jessica Turner | yum!

4. 6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Happiness by Steven Schwanitz | good list!

5. 100 Pep Talks by Elise Cripe | Elise shared 100 pep talks as a challenge on Instagram (#100daysofelisepeptalks). I enjoyed reading along. She created a book of her pep talks- really cool.

Read through more posts like this here.

Photo credit | Kaboompics