Friday, February 5, 2016

five on friday

five on friday
Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was pretty good. At the beginning of the week, Jesse and I went to the movies together (I looked like this with my snacks. #noregrets). I took my girls on a date night, too. We went to get frozen yogurt together. I did some mall walking with my friend Denise. Mall walking is an actual thing, guys. I didn't know! I got so many steps that day.

I've gathered you here, though, to share 5+ links with you! :)

1. I saw the Me Before You official trailer this morning. (!!!) I'm so looking forward to seeing it. I shared my thoughts about the book here. You should really read the book before you watch the movie.

2. I'm itching to work in my December Daily book after seeing some of Trisha's book this week. Maybe I'll be done by next December. (MAYBE).

3. Another gem by Margarita Tartakovsky: 3 Myths about Healthy Marriages that Most People Think Are True. Simply put: "Relationships are messy, and they don’t necessarily follow smooth paths."

4. Creative questions for small talk? Yes. 16 Questions That Will Make Small Talk (a lot ) Better by Sarah Von Bargen.

5. Finally, I went with this Valentine's Day card for Jesse this year.

Hope you have a good one!

See more Five on Friday posts here.

photo by Jasmine Bustillos (my sister :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

greek yogurt 52 ways: #34 ina garten's lemon yogurt cake

greek yogurt 52 ways: # 34 lemon yogurt cake
I've made Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake before. In fact, back when I first made it, I intended to blog about it. The pictures I took were too dark though as I had baked the bread in the evening. I came across the pictures 2 weeks ago, and thought, "I NEED to share that recipe!" It's so easy and so tasty. I like that this cake is tart due to the lemon zest, lemon juice, and yogurt. The original recipe calls for 1 c of plain yogurt. This time around I substituted plain yogurt using plain, Greek yogurt instead. This made the cake more dense, but still just as delicious as I remember it. I love it! I think you will, too.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 34 lemon yogurt cake
*not pictured: 1/2 c of vegetable oil, 1/3 c of lemon juice, 1 c of confectioners' sugar, 2 tbsp of lemon juice

I'm paraphrasing from Ina Garten's recipe (see here). For this recipe, preheat your oven to 350*. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk the yogurt, 1 c of sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 34 lemon yogurt cake
Then cook 1/3 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. When the cake is done, allow it to cool for 10 minutes. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture on the cake and let it soak. For the glaze, combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over the cake.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 34 lemon yogurt cake
I enjoy citrusy desserts. Do you??
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 34 lemon yogurt cake
Have any Greek yogurt, dessert 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: # 34 lemon yogurt cake

Monday, February 1, 2016

february 2016 goals

february 2016 goals
(My 2016 winter manifesto, Bookworm acrylic stamp set, 2016 daily trackerGet to Work Book)

Happy February! Rabbit rabbit! (I beat my girls to saying it this morning. ;)

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 February I plan to:
  • Try a new zumba class.
    • I currently go to a zumba class once a week. I really enjoy it. She is my favorite, zumba instructor. Not all classes and instructors are the same, so I'm looking for a good class. I would like to go twice a week instead of once a week.
  • Stick to my 29-day evening routine challenge.
    • I have had trouble sticking to an evening routine. My evenings are very hectic. I do all that I have to do and need to do, but I don't always do what I want to do. I am going to challenge myself to stick to my evening routine for this entire month. 
  • Continue working on my winter manifesto.
    • I'm really looking forward to going to a concert AND going to the library this month. :)

*I blogged about each of those goals in more detail at the beginning of the year here: 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 here: Goal- Setting: 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

five on friday

five on friday
(Get to Work Book + quirky Darling Dori from the shop: It's Paper Dear)

Happy Friday! I'm ready for the weekend. How about you?

I have 5+ links to share with you!

1. I just got these cool Large Number Pocket Cards from the shop Kellie Stamps for my 2016 memory book. Trisha Harrison often uses big number cards in her layouts- like this one she shared earlier this week. I'm planning to date the cards just like she does. Check out Trisha's Project Life | 2016 Prep.

2. Molly Madfis' DIY 2016 planner is sleek and adorable!

3. This is a cute idea: Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd's Winter Activity Jar. I shared my Winter Manifesto last week. I read through this list when putting my winter manifesto together: 101 Fun Things for Teens to Do This Winter by Denise Witmer. Since we're on this topic: 5 Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship with Your Teenager by Christie Hopkins.

4. Something to think about: The Best Therapy Is a Great Relationship By Linda + Charlie Bloom. And: How to Love Your Partner When They’re the Least Lovable by Robyn D'Angelo.

5. For personal edification: 10 Habits To Make You Happy and Productive Every Day by Filiz Mehmedova and Are You Running on Empty? 10 Tips to Build Your Self Esteem Instantly by Jo Ettles.

P.S. I enjoyed reading through Jessica Turner's 2016 Reading List. I'm adding a few to my reading list! :) My most recent book report is here. I'll be finishing up Station Eleven this weekend.

Hope you have an excellent weekend!

See more Five on Friday posts here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

january 2016 recap

Every month- towards the end of the month- I recap my monthly activities and goals and link to various personal blog posts. Related reading- Monthly Recaps: 2015 // 2014.
january goals
(I am using Elise Cripe's Get to Work Book this year).

Welcome back! I'm still getting used to my blogging routine for the new year. I had a few hiccups this week as you can tell. Thanks for sticking around as I get back into a groove.

I feel good overall about my activities and goals this month. I had a productive month.
book report :: the girl you left behind by jojo moyes
I shared that I plan to continue reading for 15 minutes a day in 2016 in my January goals. I'm at the end of Station Eleven, which is excellent. (Oh, the suspense!) My sister Jasmine is also reading it. She's coming to the end of it, as well. (She's actually a few chapters ahead of me). I am also reading the Harry Potter series with my daughter Lani (she's 12). The Harry Potter books are her favorite and we've decided that for our monthly date nights we would discuss the books. This week we went to the mall (got steps in!), looked around the bookstore, and read a bit from the the first book Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. (I'll blog about the book more when I finish reading it, but I have read it before for a Children's Literature college course). I shared my thoughts on the books I've read most recently earlier this month here.

Related: 10 Tips for Reading More Books
memory keeping: 2016
Most of my creative energy has been spent reading. I'm very, very behind on my memory book, but though I usually feel guilty about it, I don't right now. Memory keeping is a hobby I enjoy. This is a "want to" not a "have to." I'll get back into it soon enough. I did share what my plans are for Memory Keeping in 2016 earlier this month.

I have plans to update my etsy shop soon (I always say that!). I shared the business cards I had made last year, which I include in all packages, this month here.
business cards
I collect the business cards of handmade vendors. They're always so pretty. Making these business cards for my shop was fun.

Related: Tips for Running a Successful, Small Business Shop
green smoothie tips for newbies
In other news, I committed to a 30-day green smoothie challenge this month. Today is day 28. I have had a green smoothie every day this month. It's safe to say I'm pretty hooked. I crave the smoothie throughout the day if I haven't had it for breakfast. I'm just going with it 'til I'm sick of green smoothies (NEVER!). I'm eating so many greens! I shared Green Smoothie Tips for Newbies earlier this month.

I added 2 Greek yogurt smoothies to my "Greek yogurt 52 ways" project this month. (I love this project).
#32 Upside Down Salted Caramel Cheesecake (get serious. You have to try this).
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 32 upside down salted caramel cheesecake
#33 Coconut Macaroon (another one you'll HAVE TO try)
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 33 coconut macaroon

As far as my goals for January, this is how I did:

  • Do the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge
    • I started the challenge today, so you can still join me if you'd like! Today is a fairly easy day, too. I did this challenge for the first time in November of 2014. I established a morning routine due to this challenge, which has revolutionized my mornings. I'm not a natural morning person, but I love my mornings now. 
      • I did well with this challenge. I didn't do it to a T, but I do feel more organized and ready to tackle the rest of the year.
  • Participate in this 30-day green smoothie challenge
    • I'm buying a blender this month- I'm leaning towards the NutriBullet. I'm alternating between these three smoothies: this tropical, green smoothie (but I'm using kale instead of spinach right now); this spinach smoothie, and this green orange banana smoothie (I omit the strawberries and add spinach or kale). I'm not new to making green smoothies. I've had them inconsistently for the last year or so. I am new to sticking to them on a daily basis though. I do notice that as I have a green smoothie on a regular basis, I tend to crave more greens in my life. I believe that you'll crave what you eat. If you eat junk, you'll crave junk. If you eat healthful foods, you'll crave healthful foods. I recently heard, "You don't satiate an appetite by feeding it. You satiate an appetite by starving it." 
      • I am going to complete this challenge. I can't go a day without a green smoothie. I'm hooked!
  • Write a winter manifesto
    • I had much success with my fall manifesto. I didn't cross off everything, but I did cross off several things. My manifesto includes a variety of fun, seasonal things to do- some alone and some with my family. I love referring to it when I want to do something fun on the weekend or when we have free time.
winter manifesto
      • I did! and blogged about it last week here.
I also have overarching goals/projects/resolutions for the year, which I shared at the end of my January Goals: 2016 post. I will let you know how I am doing with those later this year. (So far so good).

I will be back tomorrow for Five on Friday and then again on Monday to share my goals for February. :)