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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Smoothie Series: Berry Bliss!

Antioxidants anyone? This smoothie full of them! And delicious to boot.

Berry Bliss Smoothie:

1/3 C Blueberries
1/4 C Raspberries
1/3 C Blackberries
1/2 C Strawberries
1/3 C Cooked Oatmeal
1/4 C Fat Free Milk
1/4 C Water
Ice, If needed.

Blend until smoothie and enjoy! Add a scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder for an added boost of protein or a handful of fresh spinach to get in a serving of vegetable. You won't be able to taste the spinach. (psssstttt neither will the kids!).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Smoothie Series: Breakfast Tropical Fruit Smoothie

To get this series kicked off, i thought I would go ahead and post a recipe today.

I think the following one of my favorite fruit combinations. Very summery and tropical. Calgon take me away...

1/2 C Frozen or Fresh Peaches
1/2 of a large Banana (or a full small one)
1/3 C Pineapple Chunks
1/3 C Fresh or Frozen Mango
4 oz   Orange Juice
4oz Water (or fat free milk)
Ice (if you're not using frozen fruit)

Possible additions: 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, Peeled/Sliced Cucumber, Shredded Carrots, 1/2 C Yogurt

Toss all of the ingredients into the blender and blend for approx 35-45 seconds, longer if needed.

New! Summer Smoothie Series

It's hot. Not just warm. Hot. Like step out of the shower and instantly start sweating hot. I'm not a fan.
With the heat climbing every so far, it has given me even less motivation to work out or cook or do... well, anything.

I have been trying to think of meals/snacks that are quick, easy,cool and budget friendly. What is more refreshing that a nice cold smoothie? So this summer I will be posting a new smoothie recipe every Sunday.  They will be healthy smoothies, not full of ice cream or frozen yogurt and added sugars.

I took some time at the grocery store to compare fresh vs. frozen fruits. Of course, you want to buy fresh when you can but I think we all want to find the balance so you don't break the bank. At my local grocery store I compared the following prices:
Blueberries: 6oz fresh- $2.99, 16oz Frozen- $3.99
Raspberries: 6oz Fresh- $3.99, 12oz Frosen- $2.99
Blackberries: 12oz Freh- $5, 16oz Frozen- $2.99
Strawberries: 4lbs Fresh- $5, $16oz Frozen- $3.99
Mango: 1 Piece fruit-  $1, 12oz Frozen- $2.99
Peaches: 8oz Can -$1.99, 16oz Frozen- $2.99
Pineapple: 8oz Can- $1.49, 12 oz Frozen-$2.99

One of these days I want to get out to our local Farmer's Market. Maybe I can find even better deals there. There are a lot of items I didn't list like apples, orange juice, vanilla protein powder, carrots etc because I already have those on hand.

Smoothies are great for the kiddles too! They are fruity, filling and cold. It also gets them those added servings of fruits and vegetables that can be a struggle for some parents. What kid wouldn't want a milkshake looking drink with a bendy straw when it is 100+ degrees outside? Plus, the combinations are virtually endless and each recipe usually makes a decent quantity. I am hoping to experiment a little by adding some vegetables, cooked oatmeal, protein powder and flaxseed meal etc to some of the smoothies for added nutrients. I am pretty stoked about this series. I hope you are too!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweet Summertime

It is officially Summer. Although I am not a lover of the 100+ heat, I enjoy the longer days and cool breeze of the evenings. I don't generally do too much during the summer months (other than work) but this year I want it to be different. I want to do stuff like :

* Drink more lemonade and iced tea
* Lay on the couch with my love, a lot.
* Visit the Birch Aquarium
* Go to Sea World and see the new Sea Turtles Exhibit
* An evening on the beach cooking smore's
* BBQs with friends
* Quality time with my best friend
* Take my nieces and nephews to the Zoo/Wild Animal Park
* Picnic
* Do a 30 day photo project
* Do the P90X program ( I know... not exactly fun but definitely a goal)
* Color with some kiddos
* Read
* Try a new restaurant or two
* Walk on the beach
* More Ladies Nights Out

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I've Been "Biebered"

OK don't hate me for selling out to this "teen sensation". Not all of his music is annoying. In fact, he really does have a great voice and is quite talented. I can't bash the 12 year old girls that burst into tears at the sound of him clearing his throat. Fact is, in High School my friends and I were obsessed enjoyed some boy band music. We may or may not have spent countless hours making signs for the concert or driving around San Diego like lunatics trying to win the Channel 93.3 scavenger hunt. There were front row tickets and back stage passes at stake, after all. We may or may not have shed a tear (or two) during "God Must Have Spent".

So when I heard this Justin Bieber song and watch the video, I sort of found a small place in my heart for the kid. It is a beautiful song and, in my opinion, a thought provoking video. It shows things we don't want to think about. We know they exist but as long as we don't see them, all is good.

Take a few minutes and watch.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cookies for Kayla

Last week I ventured out on a labor of love. Katie's sister is halfway through her chemo treatments for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The medical bills are already stacking up so her friends and family in Northern California put together a huge benefit concert to help raise money for medical expenses.

I was unable to attend due to my work schedule but I wanted to do something. Sticking with what I know (and know well), I decided to put together cookie bags for them to sell. Little did I know they were expecting somewhere between 300-500 people at the event. That is a lot of cookies!

I knew I couldn't make that many bags but I was going to do as many as possible. So Tuesday afternoon I began baking.

Wednesday I frosted and  baked some more.

I used the 'flooding" technique where you outline the cookie then fill it in with a slightly thinner icing and let dry 8hrs.
Thursday evening I baked even more. This time Chocolate Chip cookies with purple M&Ms.
350 cookies later I was ready to start stuffing bags. I had to have them all tied up and perty by Friday morning. I was done stuffing bags by 1:15am so I called it a night...er uh morning.

Friday Morning, Mindi, came over to help me tie ribbons and attach tags.

Then off they went to Brian & Katie's for their trip up north.
175 bags of cookies made with nothing but love. Sounds like they were a big hit at the event. It was a lot of work but absolutely worth it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Tasty Giveaway: The Winner!

It is that time! Time to annouce the winner of 2 dozen personalized cookies and 2 additional dozen cookies for a friend of choice. Drum roll please............................:

And the winner is:
Entry #1* CRYSTAL!!!

She wrote:
" Yay! I love this idea! My good deed for the day was: bandaging up a stranger's child at the Wild Animal Park today. I always carry my lil first aid kit and the little girl fell HARD, so we stopped and took some time to clean her up and put a (transformers) band-aid on her. :) "

What a wonderful and sweet thing she did for that little girl. I am sure her and her mama really appreciated it.

I loved hearing about your random acts of kindness. I will definitely be doing this again so don't get too bummed if you didn't win this time around. Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways!

* I used random.org to generate a random number between the numbers of 1 and 6*

Congratulations Crystal!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Who ever came up with the phrase "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" was sadly mistaken.

Words are sharper than any knife, faster than any bullet, more dense and destructive than any bat or frying pan. Words reach into your heart and pierce the very center; leaving a gaping hole that takes a long time to heal. Days, weeks, months... sometime years. Words don't just have the power to hurt but to destroy. They have the power to take all sense of self worth, hope, trust, joy and peace right out from under you.

Usually I choose my words carefully but I do have a temper and I don't always control what I say. Whether I meant what I said or not doesn't matter. I still said it and I shouldn't have.

I've tried to live my life with no regrets. All of that has changed with one sentence. One sentence has made me regret the decision to speaks the words I didn't mean. In the process of my poor decision making, someone was hurt. Badly. I can't take the words back. I can't take the hurt away. I can't help but be so disappointed in myself for uttering words, that I didn't mean, while I was frustrated.

This has been the most aweful 24 hours of my life. I've hurt someone so precious and dear to me. I've tore a whole in the heart of a beautiful person that loves unconditionally and would do anything for their friends or family. I know how much I am hurting over this so I can only imagine how much worse it is for that person.

So friends, be careful with your words. Stop for a moment and think before you speak. Don't say things you don't mean. Learn from my mistake. The stakes are high and it is not worth the gamble.